India and the United Kingdom (UK) launched “Roadmap 2030” in India-UK virtual summit of leaders held on 4 May 2021. The roadmap is intended to elevate bilateral ties between India and the UK to a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership”.
India’s Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi and UK Prime Minister Mr Boris Johnson launched the Roadmap which will focus on five key areas of cooperation – people-to-people relationship, trade and prosperity, defence and security, climate action, and healthcare. India and the UK also agreed to enhance cooperation on new and emerging technologies, including Digital and ICT products, and work on supply chain resilience. The leaders also resolved to strengthen defence and security ties, including in the maritime, counter-terrorism and cyberspace domains.
Both leaders discussed the COVID-19 situation and cooperation in fighting the pandemic. Mr Modi thanked Mr Johnson for the medical assistance provided by the UK after the recent surge of cases in India. India had supplied the UK with pharmaceuticals and vaccines when the latter was struggling with the surge last year.
India and the UK launched ‘Enhanced Trade Partnership’ (ETP) to enhance trade cooperation and double the bilateral trade by 2030. With a new roadmap in place, both countries will negotiate a comprehensive and balanced Free Trade Agreement, including consideration of an Interim Trade Agreement for delivering early gains. As per the joint statement released after the summit, the enhanced trade partnership between India and UK is expected to generate several thousands of direct and indirect jobs in both the countries.
“Global Innovation Partnership” launched at the summit aims to transfer inclusive Indian innovations to select developing countries. This transfer will start with Africa.
Both countries also launched a comprehensive partnership on migration and mobility with the signing of India-UK comprehensive Migration and Mobility Partnership (MMP). This initiative is aimed to facilitate greater opportunities for the mobility of students and professionals between the two countries. The UK has around 1.6 million India diaspora.
On the climate change front, India and the UK agreed to announce a green grids initiative at COP26 scheduled later this year at Glasgow. The initiative will promote climate resilient infrastructure through a new facility for Small Island Developing States under the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. Both countries will also launch a India-UK Partnership on Forests.
India will take part in the G7 meeting at the invitation of the UK which is hosting this year’s G7 leaders summit. The 47th G7 summit is scheduled from 11-13 June 2021 in the UK.