Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: UK India Relationship in 2022

Alpesh Patel Thursday 06th January 2022 02:09 EST

The UK-India Relationship in 2022

The UK-India relationship moved closer in 2021, but what will 2022 bring?


Trade & Economics

In May 2021, the UK and India agreed on an Enhanced Trade Partnership. The summit between Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi aims to double bilateral trade to £50bn by 2030. However, further talks are set for 2022 to discuss a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries.


A UKRI report underlined the impact of a closer economic relationship between the UK and India. Co-investment of £330m in joint projects has led to a further investment of £440 from public bodies, non-profits, and other commercial entities.


Furthermore, the British High Commission in India has announced calls for bids for planning and implementing the UK-India Economic Policy Collaboration Program for 2021/22. Finance ministers laid out much of these steps at the 11th UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue in September 2021.


The downstream effect of strengthening the UK and India's bonds can be felt across several areas. UK start-up, Han Airways, is planning UK to India flights, starting late 2022.


Additionally, the prestigious Chevening Scholarship programme is open for the 2022-33 academic year, supporting Indian graduates to study for a masters degree at top UK universities.



While some of this activity is about securing trade relations in a post-Brexit world, the geopolitical relevance of India cannot be ignored. China and Russia are a considerable threat. The UK sees India as an ally in the region.


Narendra Modi has been making several moves to strengthen relations across Asia too. For the first time since 2018, he has invited the Central Asian countries as chief guests for Republic day.

Environment & Social

The Cop26 summit saw agreement between the UK and Indian over climate change action. Further to this, the UK plans to invest over £1bn in green and renewable projects in India.


Sport & Culture

Of course, 2022 will bring some healthy UK-India rivalry when the postponed fifth Test series match between the nations finally happens in July of Edgbaston, July 2022.


After a difficult 2021 for the Indian people, investment and growth are a priority. But there is a lot of hope that India will remain the fastest-growing worldwide economy. Thanks to these closer ties, the UK will be all the better for it.


Certainly since I was asked to join the UK India Roundtable back in 1999 to advise both Prime Ministers on closer ties, I see more of a push from the UK than ever for closer ties. This is due not just to commerce -that push had always been there, but because of the security and defence concerns. The British naval carrier strike group visit to India was more evidence of that.


Of course many barriers, hurdles, misunderstandings remain in all areas. It is beholden on all of us to make this relationship closer.

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter