The United Kingdom and India today announced a $1.3 billion private sector investment and commitment to seek a free trade deal. This comes ahead of a virtual meeting between the prime ministers of both countries, Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi.
Johnson had planned to make an in-person visit to India last month to deepen cooperation between the two nations, but had to cancel it due to surging second COVID-19 wave in India. In an official statement, the British PM said like every aspect of the UK-India relationship, the economic links between the two countries make their people stronger and safer.
“In the decade ahead, with the help of new partnership signed today and a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA), we will double the value of our trading partnership with India and take the relationship between our two countries to new highs.”
The British government set out $739.2 million of Indian investment into the UK, including $332.8 million by the Serum Institute for its vaccines and sales business, and $618.5 million of export deals for British businesses. British estimates combined with data from the firms involved, showed that the deals would create more than 6,500 jobs in Britain.
Moreover, the two countries will also finalize an “Enhanced Trade Partnership” that will lift export barriers on goods ranging from British apples to medical devices, and took steps to open up India’s legal services sector to UK firms. This partnership deal is regarded as a step towards a full free-trade agreement that Britain hopes will by 2030 double bilateral trade from its current level of around 23 billion pounds per year.