India and UK Hold Foreign Office Consultations, Review Progress of Roadmap 2030
On the economic front, both sides expressed their aspirations for the early conclusion of a balanced and comprehensive India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which would help to further intensify the economic engagement between the fifth and sixth-largest global economies.
The 15th India-UK Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) were held on 16 January 2023 in New Delhi, marking a significant milestone in the bilateral relations between the two countries. The Indian delegation was led by Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Foreign Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs. The British side was led by Sir Philip Barton, Permanent Under-Secretary, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). The last FOC was held in November 2020 in London.
During the FOC, both countries discussed various key issues of mutual interest and concern. The discussions primarily focused on trade and economic cooperation, defence and security, science and technology, people-to-people relationship, health, and climate change. Both sides acknowledged the progress made in the implementation of Roadmap 2030, despite the restrictions imposed by the Covid-pandemic.
The Indian and UK delegations also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest, including Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Indo-Pacific, the Commonwealth, and the United Nations. The UK appreciated India’s contribution to the UN Security Council in 2021-22 as a non-permanent member and reiterated its support for UNSC reforms. The UK also commended India’s priorities as the President of G20 this year and looked forward to its participation.
On the economic front, both sides expressed their aspirations for the early conclusion of a balanced and comprehensive India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which would help to further intensify the economic engagement between the fifth and sixth-largest global economies. Both countries also formalized the Young Professional Scheme, which was exchanged on the occasion of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on 09 January 2023 in London and would be launched on 28 February 2023.
The 15th India-UK FOC successfully strengthened the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries. Both sides agreed to maintain regular exchanges at political and senior official levels and hold the next FOC in London in 2024.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team