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UK and India seek to strengthen ties as geopolitical events change the world order

New Delhi, India / © Laurentiu Morariu

The UK-India relationship is going through a fundamental change as global events are set to change the world order and the balance of power.

India, which gained its independence from Britain in August, 1947 has become a leading democracy on the world stage, demonstrating its strength in a variety of industries from tech to agriculture. And although historically, there has been friction between India and the UK dating back to the days of the empire, that history is about to change once more as the UK leaves the European Union’s customs area.

For the first time in more than 40 years, Britain will be an independent nation, outside of the EU customs area, and forging new trade deals with countries around the world.

India and the UK are among the closest culturally due to their historic ties, but now there is an opportunity to strengthen their mutual interests and improve their bilateral trading relationship.

And it’s not just trade that’s important for Indian and UK exports, it’s the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region.

Over the past several years, the the U.S. has been moving towards an increasingly isolationist stance, leaving its traditional allies looking elsewhere for strategic defence and trade cooperation. Due to the ongoing tensions in the South China Sea, and India’s recent border clashes with Chinese troops, the country is seeking to play a bigger role on the international stage, and form closer defence partnerships, such as with regional allies including Japan.

While the UK and India have maintained good relations over the years, there is now a big opportunity to forge a comprehensive free trade agreement, further visa relaxations for business growth and defence cooperation among other areas in the mutual interests of both nations.

Could this be the new ‘Golden Era’ for UK-India relations?