Published 22 April 2022
- Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP paid an official visit to India at the invitation of Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi on 21-22 April 2022. This is his first visit to India as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and follows his Virtual Summit with Prime Minister Modi in May 2021 where both leaders agreed to elevate India-UK relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, underpinned by a shared commitment to democracy, fundamental freedoms, multilateralism and a rules-based international order. The visit is also taking place at a significant time as the two countries celebrate 75 years of bilateral ties and India is commemorating the 75th anniversary of her Independence.
- Prime Minister Modi held delegation level talks with Prime Minister Johnson in New Delhi on 22 April 2022, where they welcomed the intensification of bilateral engagements since the Virtual Summit and the positive momentum in cooperation across the full spectrum of bilateral relations. As the world recovers from the COVID-19 Pandemic, both leaders reiterated the need to focus on sustained economic recovery and work towards building national resilience and trusted partnerships to mitigate external disruptions.
- Both Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the progress in implementation of the ambitious Roadmap 2030 for India-UK future relations that was launched at the Virtual Summit, and appreciated its regular review by External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar and UK Foreign Secretary, Ms Elizabeth Truss. They further mandated their teams to identify high-impact projects for time-bound implementation in each of the pillars of the Roadmap. Both leaders also expressed their desire to steer bilateral relations towards a Vision 2047 for shared security and prosperity of their people and the planet.
Trade and prosperity
- The leaders welcomed the strong resilience shown by economies of India and the UK and the positive growth in bilateral trade showcasing the potential to double trade by 2030, as envisaged in the Roadmap 2030. They expressed satisfaction at the progress made under the Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) and called for early resolution of all pending market access issues in a balanced manner. They looked forward to finalising the mutual recognition of qualifications and a framework for nursing staff and agreed to continue cooperation on outstanding areas related to social security arrangements and legal services.
- The two leaders welcomed the launch of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations in January 2022 in New Delhi. They noted with satisfaction that good progress had been made already, and that the agreement of an FTA would unlock the full potential of the trade and commercial relationship, boosting jobs, investment and exports. They set a target to conclude the majority of talks on a comprehensive and balanced Free Trade Agreement by the end of October 2022.
- They acknowledged the increasing investment flows between the two nations, and welcomed the progress made in the 11th Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD), recalling commitments to cooperate closely on COVID-19 recovery, climate finance, services trade and multilateral engagement. They looked forward to further cooperation through the EFD, including intensifying cooperation in financial services, banking, insurance, fintech, green bonds, sustainable finance and capital market sectors and to promote collaboration between regulators and stakeholders. They specifically highlighted the successful India-UK collaborations between GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, India’s first International Financial Service Centre) and the UK’s financial services ecosystem and agreed to develop greater linkages between the two countries’ financial markets. They noted the successful resolution of recent taxation issues as a positive step to further strengthen investor confidence on both sides.
- Prime Minister Modi welcomed the UK’s commitment to public finance to the tune of USD 1 billion investment through British International Investment (BII) (previously CDC Group), the UK’s Development Finance Institution, into climate related projects in India over the period of 2022-2026. They expressed satisfaction at the success of India-UK Green Growth Equity Fund, anchored by India’s National Investment & Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), in mobilising additional USD 425 million to support green infrastructure projects in India, and agreed to build on ten years of successful collaboration under India-UK development capital investment partnerships. Prime Minister Modi welcomed the UK’s guarantee for USD 1 billion World Bank lending to support India to develop green infrastructure.
- Both leaders also welcomed the finalisation of the India-UK Global Innovation Partnership (GIP) implementation arrangements in the field of trilateral development cooperation, wherein India and UK will co-finance up to USD 100 million over 14 years to support the transfer and scale up of climate-smart inclusive innovations from India to third countries in Asia, Africa and the Indo-Pacific and accelerate the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals.
- The two leaders reaffirmed their desire to strengthen India-UK civil nuclear cooperation, and welcomed the UK’s renewed collaboration with Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) for jointly promoting research and training on nuclear energy studies, radioactive applications, nuclear security and safety. They looked forward to the early conclusion of negotiations on a renewed and strengthened UK-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement. They also expressed the shared interest of the two countries in advancing nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. They noted the productive discussions held at the Space consultations in 2021 to advance bilateral civilian cooperation including on space trade, commerce and international initiatives in the field of outer space including at the UN.
- They agreed to deepen cooperation at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on their shared goals, including restoring confidence and trust in the multilateral system. Both sides reiterated their commitment to sustained engagement through the UK-India Multilateral Trade Dialogue and other mechanisms, as appropriate. The two countries looked forward to a successful 12th WTO Ministerial Conference and reaffirmed their commitment to the fundamental principles of the WTO, free and fair trade, and the reform of the WTO.
Defence and security
- Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Johnson reiterated their commitment to transform defence and security cooperation as a key pillar of the India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and enhance engagements in support of a free, open and secure Indo Pacific. They welcomed the progress made on their commitments in the 2030 Roadmap. They recalled the successful visit of UK’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG) to India in October 2021 and the first tri-service exercise between UK and Indian forces, the inclusion of the UK’s Liaison Officer in India’s Information Fusion Centre, and the first annual UK-India Maritime Dialogue.
- They agreed to deepen co-operation, including by quickly resolving legacy issues and intensifying cooperation as trusted partners under the India-UK Defence and International Security Partnership framework. They welcomed the finalisation of the Letter of Arrangement between the UK’s Defence Science & Technology Laboratory and India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation to help deliver advanced security capabilities through joint-research, co-design, co-development and joint production of defence technology and systems – particularly in key and emerging military technologies. In that regard they welcomed the establishment of a Joint Working Group on India-UK Electric Propulsion Capability Partnership with the goal of fostering military and industrial collaboration in maritime Electric Propulsion systems.
- The leaders noted the importance of robust defence industrial collaboration for manufacturing of defence equipment, systems, spare parts, components, aggregates and other related products and key capabilities, under the Make-in-India program through co-development, indigenisation, transfer of technology and setting up of joint ventures for meeting the needs of the Armed Forces of India and other countries. They noted cooperation in key areas of strategic collaboration including Modern Fighter Aircraft and Jet Engine Advanced Core Technology. Both sides agreed to work bilaterally and with key partner countries to facilitate highest level access to technology to Indian industry. Prime Minister Modi welcomed the UK announcement of an ‘open general export license’ to facilitate technology engagement with India, and the open opportunity for India to participate in the UK’s aviation and naval shipbuilding programmes.
- The leaders agreed that the finalisation of the Logistics and Training MoUs will deepen understanding and trust and enable further collaboration and cooperation between the two nations. They agreed to expand cooperation in the maritime domain and called for early conclusion of the Maritime Information Exchange Arrangement on dark and grey shipping. They also called for increased engagements on critical and emerging domains of defence including space, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cyber.
- The two Prime Ministers looked forward to the convening this year of the Defence Ministerial Dialogue, which would be an important step to ensure that all the necessary framework agreements are in place.
- Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a free, open, peaceful and secure cyberspace and welcomed the progress under the enhanced UK-India cyber security partnership to tackle shared cyber threats including to critical national infrastructure. They outlined commitment, in a Joint Cyber Statement, to deepen cooperation across cyber governance, deterrence and strengthening cyber resilience.
- Both leaders expressed zero tolerance for terrorism in all its forms – and for all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism or provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups – whatever their motivation may be. They called upon all countries to work together to root out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupt terrorist networks and their financing channels, and halt cross-border movement of terrorists. They reiterated their condemnation of terrorist attacks in India and the UK, including the Mumbai and Pathankot attacks. They emphasised the importance of perpetrators of terrorist attacks being systematically and expeditiously brought to justice, and agreed to work together to take concerted action against globally proscribed terrorist entities and individuals.
- They expressed satisfaction on the ongoing cooperation through the Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism (JWG-CT), including with regard to information and intelligence sharing on terror entities and individuals. Within this framework, they agreed to constitute a sub-group on countering extremism in order to further enhance cooperation between the two sides in ensuring that all possible actions are taken against groups and individuals based in or operating out of either country, seeking to incite violent extremism and terrorism and who are involved in financing such activities.
Climate and clean energy
- Both leaders underlined their firm commitment to taking ambitious climate action in pursuit of the goals of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and agreed to cooperate closely in fulfilling respective climate action commitments announced at the 26th Conference of Parties (COP) in Glasgow in November 2021. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their personal commitment to accelerate the clean energy transition. They reiterated the need for developed countries to meet their climate finance goals including delivering on the $100bn and doubling adaptation finance by 2025. Both leaders reiterated the importance of implementing the Glasgow Climate Pact in full, and expressed hope that the Breakthrough Agenda would bolster collective efforts towards a just and accelerated transition.
- Prime Minister Johnson appreciated India’s international leadership on ISA (International Solar Alliance), CDRI (Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure) and the clean industry transition. The two leaders welcomed the global Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG) and the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS) platform under CDRI, both of which were jointly launched by India and the UK at COP 26. Prime Minister Modi welcomed UK’s fresh support for ISA, and both the leaders agreed to advance efforts to identify concrete projects for early operationalisation of the GGI-OSOWOG, to be agreed by the time of the Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation Ministerial in September 2022. The Prime Ministers also welcomed the participation of ISA in the Energy Transition Council. They looked forward to championing these initiatives under the upcoming Indian G20 Presidency.
- Both leaders appreciated the progress made by the India-UK Sustainable Finance Forum and, in this context, welcomed the launch of the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI) partnership to mobilise private capital at scale for low-carbon, climate resilient development.
- The Prime Ministers acknowledged that current global energy price volatility underscored the importance of domestic and international energy security and the clean energy transition. They welcomed progress on offshore wind energy; and on electric mobility since the signing of the Zero Emission Vehicles Declaration. They agreed to strengthen collaboration, including through the Joint Declaration of Intent between India’s National Institute of Wind Energy and the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. They also noted a $200 million guarantee by GuarantCo for Axis Bank, to accelerate India’s transition to Electric Vehicles. They appreciated the ongoing cooperation on the development and deployment of affordable green hydrogen for both countries, including through the India-UK Science and Innovation Partnership on Green Hydrogen and joint work on a Green Hydrogen Hub.
- Both Leaders reaffirmed their intention to agree an ambitious and effective Global Biodiversity Framework at the second part of the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) of the Convention on Biodiversity. The leaders welcomed the establishment of a joint working group under the UK-India Forests Partnership, and looked forward to closer collaboration on forests and land use. Following both leaders’ endorsement of Ocean 30by30 and alongside cooperation under the UK’s Blue Planet Fund they agreed to a range of partnerships to strengthen scientific collaboration on the Earth System Sciences including joint deep sea research on marine biodiversity.
- Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Johnson expressed deep pride and appreciation of their nations’ close cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, as Governments, civil societies, businesses and diaspora communities mobilised in unprecedented ways to share emergency relief supplies during each country’s times of need.
- Both Prime Ministers recalled the highly successful collaboration on the AstraZeneca/Oxford University Vaccine with the Serum Institute of India (SII). They agreed to closely work together to strengthen the global response to future health emergencies and advance the ambitious plan to develop vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics in 100 days, including on vaccine development under the framework of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) initiative. They welcomed the launch the Indian arm of the RECOVERY global clinical trial of COVID-19 therapeutics with the support of the Indian Council of Medical Research, and a new UK-India partnership through the Fleming Fund to tackle anti-microbial resistance. They welcomed recent investments by SII in the UK, focused on vaccine research, development and manufacturing.
- They welcomed the collaboration between National Health Authority and English National Health Service in the area of digital health including associated technologies. They looked forward to convening of the Ministerial Dialogue on Health later in the year, to agree an India-UK Action Plan on Health and Life Sciences and enhance collaboration in the fields of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, pandemic preparedness, digital health, anti-microbial resistance, and health worker mobility.
Connecting our countries and people
- Both leaders celebrated the deep and vibrant people-to-people ties between the two countries, fostered by the living bridge of 1.6 million strong Indian diaspora in the UK, and agreed to further strengthen this special bond. In this context, they reviewed the progress of the India-UK comprehensive Migration and Mobility Partnership (MMP) in facilitating migration, addressing illegal migration and streamlining the returns process. Both leaders agreed on the importance of regular engagement between the relevant authorities to facilitate effective operational cooperation on extradition and related matters. They also announced their intention to cooperate on establishing mechanisms for sharing information on Criminal Records, preferably before March 2023.
- They welcomed the “India/UK Together” programme, marking India’s 75th year of independence through promotion of the rich cultural ties between both countries, and the additional fully funded scholarships which would enable 75 Indian students to study in the UK in India’s anniversary year. They looked forward to deepening collaboration on cultural heritage and the creative industries.
- The leaders emphasised their shared commitment to an enhanced partnership in science, tech, education, research and innovation and looked forward to the next ministerial Science and Innovation Council (SIC) to be held in London later this year. They welcomed the signing of the Joint Declaration of Intent on Digital and Technology and looked forward to finalising arrangements for the India-UK Strategic Tech Dialogue this year, to increase support for our tech sectors and steer closer cooperation on critical and emerging technologies. India and the UK agree to jointly work towards promotion of collaboration on AI to deliver economic and social benefits to both countries, and improve the application of AI to solve societal challenges.
- The leaders emphasised the need for close collaboration between the higher education sectors of the two countries and welcomed the ongoing efforts to establish transnational education programmes in both countries.
- Both leaders agreed that the UK and India should continue to promote cooperation across our democratic institutions, including parliament and the judiciary. They welcomed the launch of the India-UK Strategic Futures Forum.
- Both leaders recognise the importance of bilateral Air Services to optimising connectivity, choice and value for money. Both sides agreed to convene further discussions during 2022 on updates to the bilateral Air Services Agreement between the UK and India.
Regional, global and multilateral cooperation
- The leaders expressed in strongest terms their concern about the ongoing conflict and humanitarian situation in Ukraine. They unequivocally condemned civilian deaths, and reiterated the need for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a peaceful resolution of the conflict, which was having severe implications across the globe, in particular for developing countries. They emphasised that the contemporary global order has been built on the UN Charter, international law and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. They reaffirmed their willingness to provide humanitarian aid for the people of Ukraine.
- They underlined their shared vision of an open, free, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region in which countries are free from military, economic, and political coercion. They committed to work together with partners and relevant regional organisations who share this vision, to promote respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, rule of law, transparency, freedom of navigation and overflight, the centrality of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, unimpeded lawful commerce, and peaceful resolution of disputes. They agreed that conflict anywhere posed a threat to freedom everywhere, and reiterated the vital importance of Indo-Pacific region in the current global context. Both leaders reiterated their strong support for ASEAN centrality in the Indo-Pacific. Prime Minister Modi welcomed UK’s decision to join the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) and co-lead the pillar on Maritime Security to promote regional coordination and cooperation for securing and protecting the Indo-Pacific maritime domain.
- Both leaders agreed on the importance of democratic countries working in partnership for their mutual security and resilience. They emphasised the need for all countries to seek peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, without resorting to threat or use of force or any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo.
- On Afghanistan, both sides expressed their serious concern about the humanitarian situation, violations of human rights and the hampered access of girls and women to education. Both Prime Ministers called on the Taliban to allow girls to return to secondary school. Prime Minister Modi acknowledged the role of the UK in co-hosting the UN Afghanistan Conference for the humanitarian response on 31 March. Prime Minister Johnson acknowledged the role played by India in providing medical and food grain assistance to the people of Afghanistan. The Leaders reaffirmed the importance of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2593 (2021) which unequivocally demands that Afghan territory not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing terrorist acts and called for concerted action against all terrorist groups, including those sanctioned by the UNSC. Both sides agreed to continue to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and reiterated the need for a representative and inclusive political system in support of a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan.
- Both leaders appreciated the regular dialogue on multilateral issues and growing cooperation in the UNSC. Prime Minister Johnson appreciated India’s significant contribution as member of the UNSC for the term 2021-22 including Prime Minister Modi’s leadership in bringing the important issue of maritime security to the Council. Prime Minister Johnson reaffirmed the support of the UK for India’s permanent membership of a reformed UNSC. The leaders called for the initiation of text-based negotiations with the aim of achieving concrete outcomes within a fixed timeframe. Prime Minister Johnson also reiterated the support of the UK for India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
- Both sides reaffirmed the salience of G20 in addressing diverse global issues and agreed to work together closely during and in preparation for India’s Presidency of the G20 in 2023.
- Both leaders also agreed on the need to re-energise the Commonwealth, revitalising its agenda and institutions to support the needs and expectations of all its Member States, in particular to promote inclusive and sustainable development. The leaders looked forward to working closely together for a successful Commonwealth Summit in Kigali later this year.
- Reflecting shared values and principles, and growing strategic convergence, both leaders resolved to advance the India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership through annual exchange of visits at the Prime Minister level. Prime Minister Johnson thanked Prime Minister Modi for the warmth and hospitality extended to him and members of his delegation during his visit to India and extended an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit the UK at his earliest convenience.