Boris reaches India with deals worth £1 b

Boris Johnson is on a two-day visit to India; the visit was scheduled for last year but was postponed after a Covid outbreak…reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a number of commercial agreements as part of a ‘new era’ in bilateral trade and investment ties during his visit to India, the UK High Commission said shortly before he landed in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad.

The High Commission said UK and Indian businesses would confirm 1 billion GBP in new investments and export deals – from software engineering to health – that will create nearly 11,000 jobs in the United Kingdom.

The investments will include a R&D centre for electric buses in the UK. It will also include Indian firm Bharat Forge and electric truck manufacturer Tevva Motors expanding and creating 500 new jobs, as well as Indian software firm Mastek investing 79 million GBP to create 1,600 jobs in the UK over three years.

“Negotiating teams will hold their third round of formal talks in India next week,” the High Commission statement said.

“As I arrive in India today, I see vast possibilities for what our two great nations can achieve together. From next-generation 5G telecoms and AI to new partnerships in health research and renewable energy – the UK and India are leading the world,” Johnson was quoted as saying in the statement.

“Our powerhouse partnership is delivering jobs, growth and opportunities for our people, and it will only go from strength-to-strength in the coming years.”

Boris Johnson is on a two-day visit to India (scheduled for last year but postponed after a Covid spike in the UK) and will meet prime minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Friday after concluding his engagements in Gujarat today.

The two leaders are expected to talk on expanding ties in key sectors, including defence and trade, besides exchanging views on the Ukraine crisis. Sources, however, said the UK will not look to lecture India on its position in this war.

Johnson landed in Ahmedabad this morning, where he was greeted by Gujarat chief minister Bhupendrabhai Patel and governor Acharya Devvrat.

In Gujarat, he will visit a factory opened by a top British firm as well as a biotech university collaborating with the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Johnson has already visited Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram, where he was gifted rare books, including one by Gandhi and tried the charkha.

Gautam Adani hosts Boris

The PM met industrialist Gautam Adani on Thursday in Ahmedabad. According to sources quoted by news agency PTI, the two discussed, among other things, key sectors such as energy transition, climate action, aerospace and defence collaboration.

With India set to invest $300 billion by 2030 to modernize its armed forces, sources said collaboration in the defence sector was one of the key focus areas of the meeting between Mr Adani and Johnson.

Discussions revolved around how Adani Group and British companies can collaborate to co-design and develop aerospace and defence technologies as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, the agency reported.

Adani also announced an academic facilitation program for young Indians through Chevening Scholarship, one of the most prestigious international scholarships offered by the UK government.

He also invited the British Prime Minister to the India-UK Climate Science and Technology Summit, to be held in London on June 28.

The Adani Group Chairman had met Johnson in October last year at the Global Investment Summit in London where the two leaders had reiterated their commitment to ongoing transition to clean energy.

After the meeting on Thursday, Johnson left for Halol industrial area near Vadodara where he will visit a factory of British equipment manufacturer JCB.

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