British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who is on a two-day visit to India will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday to hold in-depth talks on the UK and India's strategic defence, diplomatic and economic partnership, aimed at accelerating close partnership and stepping up security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.
Boris Johnson reached Delhi late on Thursday night, where Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar received him at the Airport. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will begin the day by attending a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan and later a wreath-laying at the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat. The UK Prime Minister will also hold talks with External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar.
On the same afternoon, the two sides will issue a press statement at around 1 pm at Hyderabad House. Prime Minister Johnson arrived in Gujarat on Thursday for the start of his two-day visit to India. During Boris Johnson's visit, UK and Indian businesses are going to confirm more than 1 billion pounds in new investments and export deals today in areas from software engineering to health, creating almost 11,000 jobs across the UK, the British High Commission said in the statement.
The investment agenda includes a new Switch Mobility electric bus R&D centre in the UK and the opening of their Asia Pacific Headquarters in Chennai, generating over 1,000 jobs in in India, besides investment from leading Indian manufacturer Bharat Forge and electric truck maker Tevva Motors to expand to a new site in the south-east and create 500 new jobs and Indian software company Mastek investing 79 million pounds to create 1600 jobs over the next three years all over the UK, added the British High Commission in the statement.
The deals also include business consultancy FirstSource opening new offices in South Wales, the Midlands and cities in the North-East and North-West, Hertfordshire-based firm Smith & Nephew agreeing for a major export deal to sell robotic surgical systems in India, and Northamptonshire business Scott Bader opening a new resins factory to supply top renewable energy companies in south-east Asia, stated the British High Commission. According to British High Commission, the British PM will also welcome OneWeb signing a historic contract for satellite launches with New Space India Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
According to a statement by British High Commission, Prime Minister Johnson will use the visit to drive progress in the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations launched earlier this year as a deal with India is predicted to boost UK's total trade by up to 28 billion pounds annually by 2035 and increase incomes across the UK by up to 3 billion pounds. Last year, Prime Minister Johnson and PM Modi agreed on a UK-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, announcing more than 530 million pounds in investment into the UK and committing to a deeper bilateral relationship across trade, health, climate, defence and security, and connecting our people. India was also identified as a priority relationship for the UK in the 2021 Integrated Review and was invited by the UK as a guest to last year's G7 in Carbis Bay.
The third round of negotiations will begin next week and the two sides are keen to double bilateral trade by 2030. The United Kingdom is also looking to increase its footprint in defence production in India. British Prime Minister's visit to India beginning comes amid the rising importance of the Indo-Pacific and India's centrality in the region with the two countries set to further intensify cooperation across the full spectrum of bilateral ties. The Russia-Ukraine conflict is expected to figure in the bilateral talks with Prime Minister Johnson putting forth UK position and listening to the Indian perspective while not lecturing India, sources told an Indian news agency. They also said the two sides understand and respect each other's position on Ukraine and it will be part of the discussion.