UK PM to announce several new commercial deals on India visit

World Thursday 21/April/2022 09:31 AM
UK PM to announce several new commercial deals on India visit

New Delhi: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a slew of commercial agreements and hold bilateral discussions with a focus on the UK and India's trade, investment and technology partnership.

Johnson arrived in Gujarat on Thursday for the start of his two-day visit to India. The British High Commission (BHC), in a statement, said Johnson will use his visit to India to boost "our collaboration with one of the world's fastest-growing economies, slashing trade barriers for UK businesses and driving jobs and growth at home".

The 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, added the BHC in the statement.

The investment agenda includes a new Switch Mobility electric bus R&D centre in the UK and the opening of their Asia Pacific Headquarters in Chennai, generating over 1000 jobs in the UK in India, besides investment from leading Indian manufacturer Bharat Forge and electric truck maker Tevva Motors to expand to a new site in the south-east and create 500 new jobs and Indian software company Mastek investing £79mn to create 1600 jobs over the next three years all over the UK, added the BHC in the statement.

The deals also include business consultancy FirstSource opening new offices in South Wales, the Midlands and cities in the North-East and North-West, Hertfordshire-based firm Smith & Nephew agreeing for a major export deal to sell robotic surgical systems in India, and Northamptonshire business Scott Bader opening a new resins factory to supply top renewable energy companies in south-east Asia, stated the BHC.

According to BHC, the British PM will also welcome OneWeb signing a historic contract for satellite launches with New Space India Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

"OneWeb is an innovative UK-based satellite communications company, which the Government has invested in to put the UK at the forefront of rapidly evolving space technologies. This agreement with India is a significant development for the company's operations," the release said.

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

"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," he added.

Johson will visit a new factory being opened by a top British firm in Gujarat, as well as a biotechnology university working in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh.

"The UK will confirm major new science and tech collaboration, including a Digital Health partnership and a joint investment fund for Indian deep-tech and AI start-ups, supported by the UK and Indian governments; new AI scholarships for Indian students jointly funded by the UK Government's Chevening programme and India's Adani Group; and a £6m investment from AI healthcare specialists Qure-ai to open a Centre of Excellence in the UK," the BHC statement said.

As he moves on to New Delhi on Friday, the UK PM will also use this week's visit to drive progress in negotiations on the landmark UK-India free trade agreement, which is expected to help double trade and investment by 2030, stressed the BHC, adding that the negotiating teams will hold their third round of formal talks in India next week.

The British High Commission said work is already progressing on cutting red tape for businesses following the UK-India Enhanced Trade Partnership launched by both Prime Ministers last year, and today our governments will announce new measures to make it easier to export UK-made medical devices to India.

"This will support UK jobs and create opportunities for British med-tech companies like Redcar-based Micropore Technologies to sell their lifesaving products in India, an import market worth £2.4bn," stated the Commission.