About Us India - UK Relations

INDIA-UK BILATERAL BRIEF

India-UK historical ties, over the years have transformed into a robust, multi-faceted, mutually beneficial relationship. During the India-UK Summit in virtual mode on 4 May 2021, Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and The Rt Hon Boris Johnson, the then Prime Minister of UK, agreed to a new and transformational India-UK 'Comprehensive Strategic Partnership' and an ambitious India-UK Roadmap 2030 to steer cooperation for the next ten years.

Recent High-Level Visits/Engagements

  1. Prime Minister Modi met UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Bali on the side-lines of G20 Summit on 16 November 2022 and carried out discussions to boost trade between the two countries. This was the first in-person meeting between the two, since Mr. Sunak took over as the UK Prime Minister. The Young Professionals Scheme was announced after the meeting.

  1. On 21-22 April 2022, the then UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson paid an official visit to India. Important components were a visit to Sabarmati Ashram, followed by visits to JCB plant at Halol, Gift City and Gujarat Bio-Technology University. In Delhi, he held discussions with PM Modi, where both the leaders reviewed the progress made on Roadmap 2030. UK’s decision to offer ‘Open General Export Licence’ to Indian companies was announced. It was agreed to target an early conclusion of FTA. MoUs on Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership and Global Innovation Partnership were concluded. A joint statement on India-UK Cyber Cooperation was also issued. 

  1. On 17-19 September 2022, President Smt. Droupadi Murmu visited London to attend the State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. President paid her respects to the Queen lying in state at Westminster Hall and signed the condolence book at Lancaster House on 18 September 2022. President met King Charles III at a reception held at the Buckingham Palace on the same day. 

  1. Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited UK from 31 October to 2 November 2021 to attend COP26 World Leaders Summit in Glasgow. He had a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr. Boris Johnson, on 1 November 2021 on the side-lines of COP26 Summit. The two Prime Ministers reviewed the implementation of the Roadmap 2030. On 2 November 2021, Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Johnson jointlv launched the ambitious 'One Sun, One World, One Grid' (OSOWOG) programme and the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS). The OSOWOG is a part of the International Solar Alliance (ISA); and the IRIS is a part of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).

Recent Minister Level Visits

In 2022

  1. UK's Secretary of State for International Trade, Ms. Kemi Badenoch visited India from 12-13 December 2022, and had meetings with the CIM.

  1. EAM had a bilateral meeting with UK Foreign Secretary Rt. Hon’ble Mr. James Cleverly on 29 October 2022, during the UNSC CTC Conference held in Delhi and Mumbai from 28-29 October. Discussions included progress on Roadmap 2030, Ukraine conflict and the Indo-Pacific. 

  1. During the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Session in New York, EAM met his counterpart, UK Foreign Secretary Rt. Hon’ble Mr. James Cleverly on 21 September 2022.

  1. Hon'ble Minister of Law and Justice, Mr. Kiren Rijiju, visited London from 3-6 July 2022 and participated in the conference “Arbitrating Indo-UK Commercial Disputes” on 5th July 2022 at Mansion House, London, UK.

  1. Shri Piyush Goyal, Commerce and Industry Minister led a delegation to visit London from 26-27 May 2022 to review the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks. 

  1. On 31 March 2022, the then UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss visited India and had meetings with EAM, Minister of Finance and National Security Adviser.

  1. UK Minister for International Trade, Ms. Anne-Marie Trevelyan, visited India from 12-14 January 2022, and met the Minister for Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goel. India and UK formally launched negotiations for an Interim Agreement towards a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on 13 January 2022 in New Delhi.

In 2021

  1. Ms. Elizabeth Truss, the then UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, visited India from 22-24 October 2021 and met with EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar. During the visit, Ms. Truss also met with the Minister of Finance, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Shri Bhupendra Yadav.

  1. EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar met the then UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Ms. Elizabeth Truss, in New York on 20 September 2021, which was followed by another meeting of the two Ministers on 2 November 2021 during the COP26 Summit in Glasgow. 

  1. COP26 President Alok Sharma visited India from 16-18 August 2021, During the visit, he met with Shri Bhupender Yadav, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and Shri R.K. Singh, Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy (NRE).

  1. During his visit to UK from 9-11 July 2019, External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar participated in the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers' Meeting and had a meeting with the then UK Foreign Secretary, during which wide ranging important issues were discussed.

  1. EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar visited UK from 3-6 May 2021 to attend the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers' Meeting. EAM had a bilateral meeting with the then UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on 6 May (2021). During the visit, EAM also met the UK Home Secretary, Ms. Priti Patel. MoUs on: (i) India-UK Migration and Mobility Partnership (MMP) Agreement, and (ii) India-UK Global Innovation Partnership (GIP), were signed during EAM's visit.

  1. Lord Tariq Ahmad, Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, visited India from 14-20 March 2021. He called on EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar, met with Foreign Secretary and other leaders in Delhi, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

  1. The then UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Ms. Elizabeth Truss, visited India from 5-10 February 2021. The Minister for Commerce and Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal, and Ms. Elizabeth Truss, discussed the India - UK trade and investment relationship.

  1. Mr. Alok Sharma, COP26 President, visited India from 15-17 February 2021. He called on Hon"ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the visit. Mr. Alok Sharma also met with External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar; Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar; Finance Minister St Nirmala Sitharaman; Minister for Power, New and Renewable Energy, Shri. R K. Singh; Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Shri Nitin Gadkari; Railways Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal; G20 Sherpa, Shri Suresh Prabhu; and the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Shri P.K. Mishra.

Important Institutional Dialogues

  1. India-UK Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs): The then Foreign Secretary, Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla, visited the UK on 23-24 July 2021 to conduct a review of India-UK Comprehensive Partnership launched at the India-UK Summit of the two Prime Ministers on 4 May 2021. Foreign Secretary had earlier visited the UK for the India-UK Foreign Office Consultations on 4 November 2020. He held bilateral consultations with UK Permanent Under Secretary, FCDO, Sir Philip Barton. During the visit, the Foreign Secretary called on the UK Home Secretary Ms. Priti Patel; and Lord Tariq Ahmad, Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Foreign Secretary also met Acting National Security Advisor, David Quarrey. Foreign Secretary set out a detailed blueprint of India's Vision of the Indo-Pacific in an address at the premier UK Think Tank, Policy Exchange. 

  1. India -UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) was established on January 13, 2005. A virtual 14th Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting was held on 24 July 2020 headed by Shri Piyush Prakash Goyal, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, and Ms. Elizabeth Truss MP, UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade. The 15th JETCO meeting was held in New Delhi on 13 January 2022 headed by Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister for Commerce and Industry and UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade, Ms. Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

  1. The India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) was established on 4th February 2005. The 11th EFD meeting was held on 2 September 2021 in virtual mode led by Finance Minister of India, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman and Mr. Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of Exchequer, UK. Their Joint Statement highlighted successful collaboration between Oxford University, AstraZeneca, and the Serum Institute of India; agreement to work towards a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA); possibility of signing a Social Security Agreement; progress of the UK-India strategic partnership on GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City), amongst others.

  1. Counter Terrorism Dialogue: The 15th India-UK CT Dialogue was held in London on 4-5 April 2022.

  1. India-UK Cyber Security Dialogue was held in London from 11-12 April 2022. 

  1. UK-India Policy Planning Dialogue was organized from 18-21 July 2022 in London. 

  1. NSA Level Dialogue: UK National Security Advisor Mr. Stephen Lovegrove had a meeting with Indian NSA Mr. Ajit Doval on 21st July, 2022 during his visit to India.

  1. Defence Consultative Group Meeting: Defence Secretary-led a seven-member delegation to UK from 3-5 October 2022.

Economic Relations

  1. India-UK bilateral merchandise trade (Trade in Goods & Trade in Service): India-UK bilateral trade (both goods and services) stood at £25.7 billion during the period from April 2021 - March 2022, registering an increase of 35.2% or £6.7 billion from the same period in 2020-21. Out of the above, India’s total imports from UK amounted to £8.8 billion and India’s total exports to the UK amounted to £16.9 billion. India was the UK’s 12th largest trading partner in this period accounting for 1.9% of UK’s total trade. During the period from April 2021 - March 2022, total bilateral trade in goods (merchandise) was £14.4 billion, of which India’s export to the UK was £9.1 billion while India’s import from UK was £5.3 billion. During the period from April 2021 - March 2022, our total trade in service were £11.3 billion, comprising of India’s export of £7.8 billion and India’s import of services from the UK of £3.5 billion. During the period from April - September 2022, total bilateral trade in goods (merchandise) was £10.09 billion, of which India’s export to the UK was £5.22 billion while India’s import from UK was £4.87 billion. (Source: Department of International Trade, United Kingdom)

  1. Indian investment in UK: India invested in 107 projects and created 8,664 new jobs in the UK to retain the position of second-largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) after the US, according to the Department for International Trade (DIT) inward investment statistics for 2021-2022. The number of projects and jobs increased in comparison to the 2020-21 figures of 99 projects and 4,830 jobs. As per the CII-Grant Thornton India meets UK Report 2022, there are 900 Indian companies operating in the UK, with combined revenues of almost £54.4 billion. Together, they paid over £304.6 million in corporate tax and employed 141,005 people. This figure excludes employees of UK branches of Indian companies. 

  1. UK's investment in India: UK is the 6th largest inward investor in India, with a cumulative equity investment of US $ 32.82 billion (April 2000 - September 2022), accounting for around 5.3% of all foreign direct investment into India. 

Defence Cooperation

  1. Air Marshal Sandeep Singh, PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC, Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS), Indian Air Force visited the UK from 13 to 17 July 2022 and attended the Global Air and Space Chiefs’ Conference (GASCC) - 2022 and Royal International Air Tattooo (RIAT) - 2022. 

  1. UK Youth and Cadets Delegation consisting of two Officers and ten Cadets took part in the Special Youth Exchange Programme organised by the Director General National Cadet Corps from 09 to 17 Aug 2022 and took part in the Independence Day celebrations.

  1. Indian Naval Sail Training Ship Tarangani visited the UK from 14-18 Aug 2022 and Gibraltar from 04 to 07 Sep 22 as part of the Lokayan 2022 deployment to commemorate the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

  1. The 22nd India-UK Defence Consultative Group (DCG) Meeting took place in the UK from 03 to 05 Oct 2022. Dr Ajai Kumar, then Defence Secretary led the senior delegation from India for the DCG Meeting.

  1. UK MOD Delegation headed by Major General David Eastman, Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Capability & Force Design) attended the 12th DefExpo 2022 Exhibition organised at Gandhinagar, Gujarat from 17 to 22 Oct 2022.

Education

  1. Education cooperation is an important pillar of India-UK Bilateral relationship as envisaged under India-UK Roadmap 2030, which was released in May 2021 during Prime Ministerial level virtual Summit.

  1. Since 2015-16, number of first year enrolment of Indian students in the UK Universities have been increasing. Year wise enrolment of Indian students is 14,830 (2015-16), 16,550 (2016-17), 19750 (2017-18), 26,685 (2018-19), 41,815 (2019-20), 52,015 (2020-21). The latest UK Immigration Statistics published on 25 August showed that nearly 118,000 Indian students received a student visa in the year ending June 2022 – an 89% increase from the previous year. 

  1. India and UK signed mutual recognition of academic qualifications Memorandum of Understanding on 21 July 2022, giving a fillip to cooperation in the education sector between the two countries. 

  1. An interactive session with Indian Students was organised by the High Commission of India on India’s soft power and Unity in Diversity on 24 February 2022 at The Nehru Centre (TNC) Auditorium to celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat. This was followed by a Welcome Reception for the newly arrived Indian students in UK that was organised by the High Commission of India on 14 October 2022 at India House and on 3 December 2022 at The Nehru Centre (TNC). 

Health

  1. India-UK bilateral cooperation in mitigating the effects of COVID-19 Pandemic has been significant. The joint research and development of the COVID-19 vaccine, under a licensing agreement between UK-based AstraZeneca and Serum Institute of India, is an unprecedented example of India-UK cooperation in addressing global issues of concern and is bound to lay a solid foundation for our close bilateral partnership across varied sectors.

  1. India-UK Healthcare Conference is being organised in the UK, in association with the High Commission of India, London, since 2019 on an annual basis, the last of which was held in Birmingham from 20-21 September 2021.

People-to-people exchanges

  1. India and UK signed the Migration and Mobility Partnership (MMP) Agreement on 4 May 2021 with the intention to address swifter movement of working professionals between the two countries - an important element of India-UK economic partnership.

  1. On 16 November 2022, PM Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the Young Professional Scheme on the side-lines of G20 Bali Summit. Under the scheme, 3000 visas will be provided every year to graduates between the age of 18-30 to get 2-year visa to live and work in each other’s country. 

Indian Diaspora in UK

  1. The Indian Diaspora in UK is the largest ethnic minority community in the country, including approximately 1.6 million British nationals of Indian origin and about 3,00,000 NRls living in the UK equating to almost 2 percent of the UK population and contributing 6% of the country's GDP. At present there are sixteen Indian origin MPs in the UK Parliament.

  1. As per the report ‘India in the UK: The diaspora effect’ prepared by Grant Thornton and FICCI, there are over 65,000 companies owned by Indian diaspora. The report researched 654 companies with turnover of more than £100,000 per year. Their combined revenue is £36.84 billion, they paid over £1 billion in corporate tax, invested over £2 billion through capital expenditure, and created over 174,000 jobs.