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PM Modi holds virtual summit with British counterpart Johnson

UK PM Boris Johnson announces 1bn pounds worth of trade, investment

Prime News, International and National, New Delhi, May 5:- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (May 4) held a virtual summit with his British counterpart Boris Johnson with an aim to further bolster bilateral ties in a range of areas including healthcare and trade, as the United Kingdom Prime Minister announced GBP 1 billion worth of UK-India trade and investment.

Image courtesy: Twitter handle of the United Kingdom Prime Minister

The two leaders discussed the Covid-19 situation and ongoing cooperation in the fight against the pandemic, including the successful partnership on vaccines. Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Johnson for the prompt medical assistance provided by the UK in the wake of the severe second wave of Covid-19 in India. Prime Minister Johnson appreciated India’s role in extending assistance to the UK and other countries over the last year, including by way of supply of pharmaceuticals and vaccines.

A new India-UK ‘Global Innovation Partnership’ was announced at the virtual summit that aims to support the transfer of inclusive Indian innovations to select developing countries, starting with Africa. Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation on new and emerging technologies, including digital and ICT products, and work on supply chain resilience. They also agreed to strengthen defence and security ties, including in the maritime, counter-terrorism and cyberspace domains.

India and the UK also launched a comprehensive partnership on migration and mobility that will facilitate greater opportunities for the mobility of students and professionals between the two countries.

According to a statement from Johnson’s office, “more than 6,500 new jobs will be created around the UK thanks to the one billion pounds of new UK-India trade and investment announced by the Prime Minister today.”

The package contains over 533 million pounds of new Indian investment into the UK, which is expected to create more than 6,000 jobs in vital and growing sectors such as health and technology, Downing Street said.

This includes a GBP 240 million investment by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in the UK into its vaccine business and a new sales office in the country, expected to generate new business worth over USD 1 billion, it added.

The two sides are also expected to unveil an ambitious 10-year roadmap to further broaden ties at the end of the summit.

Ahead of the summit, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Sunday said the meet will be an important opportunity to elevate the multi-faceted strategic ties and enhance cooperation on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

“A comprehensive roadmap 2030 will be launched during the summit, which will pave the way for further expanding and deepening India-UK cooperation over the next decade across five key areas,” the MEA had said.

Johnson was scheduled to visit India late last month. But days before the visit, he called it off in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

In January too, Johnson’s planned trip to India to participate in the Republic Day parade as the chief guest was cancelled following a surge in COVID-19 infections in the UK.

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and British Home Secretary Priti Patel signed a migration and mobility partnership agreement.

Jaishankar is currently on a four-day visit to the UK to attend a meeting of foreign ministers of G7 countries.

“A fruitful meeting this morning with Home Secretary @pritipatel. Signed the Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement that would facilitate legal travel and encourage talent flows. The living bridge between India and the UK will get stronger as a result,” he tweeted. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)

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