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India’s economic and political influence in the world is growing. It has enormous dynamism and potential.
India is critical to HMG’s objectives; from development, regional stability and trade and investment to energy security, climate change, counter terrorism and reform of the global international systems.
The government is committed to a special relationship with India, one that reflects our deep and historic ties and recognises India’s strategic importance.
This is underpinned by strong people-to-people links. Over 1 million people travel between the UK and India every year. Between 1.5m and 2m people of Indian origin live in the UK, the largest ethnic group. They make a significant contribution to the UK economy and enrich British society with their traditions, culture and diversity.
Partners in business
Trade and investment flows between the UK and India are two-way and continue to expand rapidly. The UK is by far the most popular business destination in Europe for Indian companies. 700 out of the 1200 Indian firms in the EU operate from the UK. Tata is the largest single manufacturing company in the UK.
Bilateral trade was £11.5 bn in 2009 and £ 12.6 bn in 2008 (Source: BIS Economics & Statistics Directorate, UK). In 2009, UK exports to India (goods and services)were £ 4.7 bn (£4,687mn) and imports from India were £ 6.8 bn (£6,763mn).
The UK is the largest European investor in India and the fourth largest internationally (after Mauritius, Singapore and the US) with £3.87bn of FDI stock in 2008. Indian FDI stock in the UK stood at £3.43 bn at the end of 2008.
The two biggest acquisitions for India globally involve the UK: Vodafone’s £7.3bn ($11bn) acquisition of Hutchison in 2007 and Tata’s £8bn ($12bn) acquisition of Corus in the same year.
Partners in the Knowledge Economy
Together, the UK and India are leaders in ensuring that knowledge sectors drive inclusive economic growth in the 21st century.
There is an increasingly close partnership across all stages of learning, from support to primary school children, between UK and Indian Universities, to research into the most advanced technologies. UK skills providers and their Indian partners help deliver vocational training to young Indians.
International education is worth over £5bn each year to the UK, part of a total of £28bn generated by the UK’s international education and skills sector. Over 40,000 Indian students enrolled for higher education courses in the UK in 2009, the second largest number after China.
There are over 80 collaborative UK-India programmes leading to UK degrees or awards in India. There are some 5,000 Indians studying for UK degrees in India.
India is one of the British Council’s biggest operations. In 2009-10 British Council administered over 210,000 UK exams in India. These were primarily English language tests and professional qualifications. The Council’s Project English aims to ensure that teachers and students of English have access to materials they need. The Project will train 3000 master teachers of English, and eventually reach 750,000 English teachers in India.
Up to 700 scholarship awards are offered to Indians by UK institutions each year, including 50 FCO-sponsored Chevening scholars. The 2006-11 UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) has linked 475 schools and higher education establishments in the UK and India.
UK and India researchers collaborate in a wide range of areas, including key issues of global concern. The Research Councils (RCUK) Office in India and the UK Government Science and Innovation Network promote this work. In 2010, agreements were reached for up to £70m of joint-funded research in key areas including renewable energy, water, food security and health.
Partners in development
The UK works with the Government of India to reduce poverty and meet the Millennium Development Goals. DFID provided £285 million in aid to India in 2009-10, of which 44% went to national government programmes; 41% to the states of Bihar, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh; and 15% to multilaterals and civil society organisations. DFID graduated from its programme in Andhra Pradesh in 2010.
This partnership has delivered real impact in India. Since 2003, it has put 60 million additional children into school and provided 1 million new classrooms and teachers. Since 2005, it has helped save one life every 30 minutes (17,000 each year). Between 2008-10, it has provided 13 million people with access to improved sanitation.
Partners in security
Both the UK and India have suffered serious terrorist attacks over the years and are among the strongest proponents of international co-operation to counter terrorism and extremism.
The UK and India are strategic partners in this field. Bilateral operational links are expanding and deepening, in particular in the run-up to the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and the 2012 London Olympics. The UK and India are sharing best practice in planning and preparedness in crisis management.
The UK-India defence relationship has never been stronger. The bilateral programme of exercises, exchanges, training courses and high-level visits across all Services continues to accelerate. The defence equipment co-operation is in good shape and includes supply of AW101 helicopters and Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers.
Partners on global issues
The UK strongly supports India’s candidature for a Permanent Seat on the UN Security Council and will continue to work with India to achieve this.
The UK and India are partners in the G20 and worked closely together to promote a global recovery after the 2008-9 financial crisis.
Migration is an important part of the UK-India relationship. The UK has its largest visa operation in India – with close to 425,000 visa applications made in 2009. The aim of the visa system is to allow the admission of genuine visitors, workers and students, whilst preventing abuse of the UK’s immigration system.
UK and India have a shared priority to prevent irregular migration and associated exploitation, and to effect the timely return of illegal migrants. We are working well together to achieve these objectives
The UK looks forward to celebrating the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October. The UK will be represented at the highest level by HRH the Prince of Wales.
The UK has full confidence in India’s commitment to deliver safe, secure and successful Games. British and Indian police and security officials are co-operating closely in the run-up to and the hosting of the events.
Last updated: 16 July 2010