NEW DELHI: India and the United Kingdom are bound together with strong ties of history and culture. In recent times, the bond has strengthened further.
In May 2021, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a renewed commitment to a 2030 Roadmap. The historic agreement was to bring the two countries – their economies and people – closer.
It was intended to boost cooperation in areas that matter to both countries. This included health, climate, trade, education, science and technology, and defence. It was a commitment to strengthen the friendship between India and the United Kingdom over the next decade.
The new incumbent at 10 Downing Street, Rishi Sunak, too has spoken on the prospects of a bilateral trade treaty. Both the leaders assumed office when their respective countries were facing instability. Both are committed in bettering the lot of respective citizens. Meanwhile, the Free trade Agreement (FTA) is expected to be finalised this year.
Sunak has stated how an India-UK FTA would boost the financial services sector. UK Trade Department minister Greg Hands told the British Parliament on October 26: “We have already closed the majority of chapters and look forward to the next round of talks shortly.”
According to India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, “With the UK, our approach is let’s focus on what is acceptable to both the countries and let us not allow sensitive issues to scuttle our discussions.”
The relations between the two countries are, indeed, seeing the dawn of a new era.