Boris Lands in India


British 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, news agency PTI reported the UK High Commission as saying Thursday 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.