Boris Johnson, PM Modi to discuss ties amid 'global challenges'
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is scheduled to visit India this week amid the changing global dynamics following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Johnson is expected to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss bilateral ties amid global challenges as well as economic investments in key industries. Notably, his visit was long overdue, having been canceled twice earlier owing to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
- The United Kingdom prime minister's visit is significant in many ways since it will happen during the country's rift with India's long-time ally Russia over the Ukraine war.
- The UK also seeks to take advantage of post-Brexit trade opportunities with India's growing economy.
- Johnson's visit is expected to focus on reducing the prices of essential commodities, creating jobs, and providing opportunities for UK businesses.
Johnson is likely to announce investments in crucial sectors in both the UK and India, aimed at boosting jobs and growth. New collaborations in science, health, and technology are also expected. He'll arrive in Ahmedabad on Thursday and meet PM Modi in Delhi on Friday. The British High Commission stated they will hold bilateral talks amid "global economic challenges and threats from autocratic states."
Reports suggest that the Russia-Ukraine crisis would be a major topic of discussion during the Johnson-Modi meeting. Also, last month, both PMs reportedly agreed to forge a solid relationship between India and the UK in various areas, including trade and security. Meanwhile, both nations are even working on a joint statement likely to encompass agreements in a range of areas—like education, defense, and security.
The British High Commission also stated Johnson would utilize his visit to take forward the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations, which began earlier in 2022. According to the British High Commission, the FTA with India is expected to boost the bilateral trade "by up to £28 billion annually by 2035 and increase wages across the UK by up to £3 billion."
Ahead of his India visit, Johnson stated it was critical for democracies and allies to stand together. He was talking about the growing global threats to peace and prosperity from "autocratic states," probably referring to Russia's actions. "India, as a major economic power and the world's largest democracy, is a highly valued strategic partner for the UK in these uncertain times," he stated.
"My visit to India will deliver on the things that really matter to the people of both our nations — from job creation and economic growth, to energy security and defense," Johnson further said about his upcoming visit.