India-UK 2 plus 2 Foreign and Defence Dialogue was held in New Delhi. The two sides discussed possibilities to boost collaboration, particularly in areas of trade and investment, defence, critical and emerging technologies, civil aviation, health, energy, culture and strengthening people connections.
What is 2 plus 2 dialogue?
- The 2 plus 2 dialogue is a mechanism to discuss and review all aspects of the India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
- According to the External Affairs Ministry, both countries expressed satisfaction with the regular high-level political exchanges and interactions which have provided guidance and momentum to India-UK multifaceted ties.
India-UK Roadmap 2030
- The 2030 roadmap agreed by India and UK in May 2021 is a practical plan to transform the relationship between the United Kingdom and India.
- Both the countries expressed happiness on the progress made in diverse areas of India-UK Roadmap 2030 including political exchanges, economic cooperation, defence and security, people-to-people ties, as well as regional and multilateral cooperation.
- Both the countries exchanged assessments about recent international developments including in the Indo-Pacific region, given their shared vision for peace, stability and prosperity and for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
- Both the countries also considered the possibility of enhancing collaboration in areas of counterterrorism, and maritime security.
India – UK Bilateral Relationship
- India and the UK have a strong and multi-dimensional strategic partnership. After India's economic reforms in the early 1990s, which propelled the Indian economy towards high growth, both countries have taken numerous initiatives to expand their bilateral relations.
- India's multifaceted relationship with the UK intensified with the up-gradation to a Strategic Partnership in 2004. To further enhance their trade and investment relations, they formally launched negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) in January 2022.
- Trade in goods and services between the UK and India from April 2021 to March 2022 was worth USD 32.7 billion.
- Of this amount, exports from India to the UK contributed USD 21.5 billion, while imports from the UK to India accounted for USD 10.2 billion.
- Therefore, India has a trade surplus relationship with the UK. It is worth noting that the UK is the seventh largest export destination for India, while India is the second largest source of FDI for the UK.
- Exports to UK
- The exported goods include ready-made garments, textiles, gems and jewelry, engineering goods, petroleum and petrochemical products, transport equipment and parts, spices, manufactures of metals, machinery and instruments, drugs and pharmaceuticals, and marine products. In addition to these goods, Indian IT services are in high demand in the UK, making it the largest market in Europe for this service sector.
- Imports from UK
- Precious and semi-precious stones, metals, ores, scraps, engineering goods, professional instruments (excluding electronics), non-ferrous metals, chemicals, and machinery.
- The United Kingdom's population consists of approximately 2.86% Indians, according to the UK Census 2021. The total Indian population in the UK is around 1.9 million or 19 Lakh. Additionally, the UK is the largest source of European remittances sent to India.