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UK PM Boris Johnson on a Two-Day Visit to India

British PM Boris Johnson arrived in Gujarat on the 21st of April and was received by Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar at the Delhi Airport. This comes long after his long-pending trip to India which was delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Boris Johnson began his trip to India by holding in-depth talks on the UK and India’s strategic defence, diplomatic and economic bilateral ties, aimed at bolstering close partnership and stepping up security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. 

During his visit to Gujarat on Thursday, Boris Johnson opened JCB’s new export-focused factory in Halol, the establishment of this factory is significant for strengthening the company’s manufacturing unit in Gujarat. The factory is set up at an investment of £100 million (over Rs 990 crore) and it will focus on fabricating parts for global production lines. Built on a site of 47-acres, the new factory is expected to be capable of manufacturing 85,000 tonnes of steel every year.

The UK Prime Minister is looking forward to striking new economic deals between Britain and India worth almost over £1 billion in areas including science, engineering and health. Johnson also met Gautam Adani, Chairperson of the Adani Group, who, later in a tweet said, “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.”

UK PM Boris Johnson ahead of meeting with PM Modi discussed the agenda of his talk in a tweet, saying the discussion would cover, “climate change to energy security to defence, the partnership of our democracies is vital as the world faces growing threats from autocratic states.” India and the UK are looking forward to the implementation of a 10-year long ground plan which was adopted at the summit, held last year. The summit held in 2021 aimed at expanding bilateral ties in key areas of economy and trade, security and defence, climate change and social connections. 

After he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, UK PM Boris Johnson said that the two countries have always had a mutual interest in keeping the Indo-Pacific region free, safe and open. Meanwhile, commemorating the British PM’s visit to India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the two leaders had also discussed global developments and the need for dialogue and diplomacy between the two countries regarding the ongoing crisis. 

Foreign secretary, Harsh Vardhan Shringla has reported that, during the bilateral talks, PM Modi & UK PM Boris Johnson held discussions on the ongoing FTA negotiations. Both sides agreed on the corporation on energy, green hydrogen, trade relations and defence. Commemorating the 75th year of India’s independence, Boris Johnson tweeted:

“As India celebrates its 75th year of independence, I’m hugely optimistic about the depth of the friendship between our countries, and the security and prosperity it can deliver for our peoples for generations to come.”