UK PM Boris Johnson to visit India next month; Indo-Pacific, Defence and COVID Vaccines to be the focus

By Financial express

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that he is going to visit India next month to “strengthen our friendship with World’s Biggest Democracy.” This will be his first trip overseas since Britain left the European Union trade and market regime.

The exact dates of the visit have not been announced officially by either side. The visit of the UK premier comes ahead of the G-7 meeting in June, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a special guest.

Agenda of the visit
No official agenda of the visit has been announced. However, according to sources, officials from both sides are in the process of firming up the agenda. The focus of the visit is going to be building partnership with the UK in various sectors including Maritime Security, Joint production in defence, Cyber Security, Climate Change, trade, education, vaccine production, health, migration and mobility. The two sides will also talk about regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Trade Deal
As reported earlier, before the global pandemic the bilateral trade between the two countries saw a vibrant 11 per cent increase. Both sides are working on firming up a proposed Free Trade agreement (FTA).

British Scotch whisky to enter India soon?
UK is a very important trade partner for India. Post Brexit, India has been considering a Free Trade agreement with Britain, as that market is attractive for service providers from India. The bilateral trade between India and the UK has touched USD 15.48 billion in 2019-20.

Based on the final outcome of discussions between the two countries on the FTA, as part of an Early Harvest Programme in lieu of matching benefits, there are reports that India is expected to give a greater market access to Scotch whisky from the UK.

Last December, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had extended an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to participate in the G-7 meeting slated for June.

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