UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to arrive in India on Thursday for a two-day visit to deepen the long-term partnership for peace and prosperity with a fellow leading democracy. Johnson will begin from Ahmedabad in Gujarat on April 21 to meet with leading business group leaders and discuss the UK and India’s thriving commercial, trade and people’s links. This will be the first time a UK Prime Minister will visit Gujarat, India’s fifth-largest state and the ancestral home of around half of the British-Indian population in the UK.
On Friday morning, Johnson will attend a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan and later a wreath-laying at the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi. The UK Prime Minister will then travel to New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Modi on April 22 where the leaders will hold in-depth talks on the UK and India’s strategic defence, diplomatic and economic partnership, aimed at bolstering close partnership and stepping up security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.
UK Prime Minister will also hold talks with External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar. On the same afternoon, the two sides will issue a press statement at around 1 pm at Hyderabad House. According to the British High Commission statement, Johnson will use the visit to drive progress in the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations launched earlier this year as a deal with India is predicted to boost UK’s total trade by up to 28 billion pounds annually by 2035 and increase incomes across the UK by up to 3 billion pounds.
Last year, Johnson and PM Modi agreed on a UK-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, announcing more than 530 million pounds in investment into the UK and committing to a deeper bilateral relationship across trade, health, climate, defence and security, and connecting our people. India was also identified as a priority relationship for the UK in the 2021 Integrated Review and was invited by the UK as a guest to last year’s G7 in Carbis Bay.