The 15th India-UK Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) were held on 16 January 2023 in New Delhi. The Indian delegation was led by Shri Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Foreign Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs and the British side was led by Sir Philip Barton, Permanent Under-Secretary, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). Last FOC was held in November 2020 in London.
India and the UK share a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, with the adoption of Roadmap 2030 for Future Relations. The FOC provided an opportunity to review the progress made in the implementation of Roadmap 2030 despite the restrictions imposed by the Covid-pandemic. Both sides discussed issues like trade & economic cooperation, defence & security, science & technology, people-to-people relationship, health and climate change. It was appreciated that letters formalizing the Young Professional Scheme were exchanged on the occasion of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on 09 January 2023 in London and the scheme would be launched on 28 February 2023. Both sides aspire to early conclusion of a balanced and comprehensive India-UK FTA that may intensify the economic engagement between the fifth and the sixth biggest global economies.
India and the UK exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest, including – Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Indo-Pacific, Commonwealth and United Nations. UK appreciated India’s contribution at UN Security Council in 2021-22 as a non-permanent member and reiterated its support for UNSC reforms. UK commended India’s priorities as President of G20 this year as it looked forward to its participation.
Both sides agreed to maintain regular exchanges at political and senior official levels and hold the next FOC in London in 2024.