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HomeDiplomacyUK PM talks ‘powerhouse partnership’ with India, says New Delhi-Moscow relationship ‘different’

UK PM talks ‘powerhouse partnership’ with India, says New Delhi-Moscow relationship ‘different’

Boris Johnson Thursday announced joint investments by UK and India to the tune of 1 billion pounds across IT, health and electric vehicles sectors on first day of two-day India trip.

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New Delhi: United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson Thursday announced joint investments by the UK and India to the tune of 1 billion pounds across IT, electric vehicles and health sectors on the first day of his two-day India trip.

Johnson, who landed in Gujarat early Thursday, said “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”.

On the Russia-Ukraine war, and the criticism India has faced from Western countries for abstaining on UN votes against Russia, Johnson said New Delhi’s relationship with Moscow is different to that between his country and Russia.

“As I think everybody understands, India and Russia have, historically, a very different relationship, perhaps than Russia and the UK have had over the last couple of decades. We have to reflect that reality, but clearly, I’ll be talking about it to Narendra Modi,” he said, while lauding India’s condemnation of killings in Bucha.

This is Johnson’s first visit to India as UK’s Prime Minister. He was expected to visit India earlier — he was even announced as the chief guest of the 2021 Republic Day parade — but the visit got delayed due to the Covid pandemic.

‘11,000 new jobs in UK’

Johnson said the investment made in areas from software engineering to health will generate as many as 11,000 new jobs across the UK.

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

He also said that businesses across the UK will “slash trade barriers” in order to generate more jobs in his own country and also in India.

“UK and Indian businesses will confirm more than £1 billion in new investments and export deals today in areas from software engineering to health, creating almost 11,000 jobs across the UK,” said a statement issued by UK Prime Minister’s Office.

The £1 billion investment, according to the UK PMO, will be spread across 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 the UK and in India.

Investments will also be made by Bharat Forge and electric truck maker Tevva Motors to expand to a new site in the south-east, it said.

Indian software company Mastek is investing £79 million to create 1,600 jobs over the next three years all over the UK, the UK PMO said.

Also Read: Message in a milk bottle: Why UK PM Boris Johnson is in Gujarat before meeting Modi in Delhi

India, UK likely to announce defence deals, discuss FTA

India and the UK are likely to discuss amplifying their defence cooperation Friday when Johnson meets Prime Minister Modi for a bilateral meeting in New Delhi, sources said.

While in Gujarat, Johnson said “there’s opportunity for us to deepen our security and defence partnership”.

“As you know, the UK is making an Indo-Pacific tilt in our integrated review of our national defence and security strategy… That’s the right thing to do given the huge portion of the world economy and the growth of the world economy that can be found in this area,” he said.

“India & UK both share anxieties about autocracies around the world, we’re both democracies and we want to stick together.”

In Ahmedabad, Johnson met Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani to discuss defence and aerospace technologies.

“Honoured to host @BorisJohnson, the first UK PM to visit Gujarat, at Adani HQ. Delighted to support climate & sustainability agenda with focus on renewables, green H2 & new energy. Will also work with UK companies to co-create defence & aerospace technologies. #AtmanirbharBharat,” Adani said in a tweet.

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)

Also Read: ‘Let’s stick together against autocratic states’ — message Boris Johnson is bringing to Modi


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