Boris India Visit: Trade, Health, Mission 2030 On Table

By Naveen Kapoor

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit India from April 25 on his first major visit to a non-European country since the re-election of the Conservative government in UK general elections held in December 2019.
According to informed sources, India and UK are set to agree on a roadmap 2030 for future relations.

The 2030 vision is for revitalized and dynamic connect between people, re-energised trade, investment and technological collaboration, enhanced defence and security cooperation and closer engagement on regional issues including the Indian Ocean Region and the Indo-Pacific.

The India-UK Partnership in climate action, clean energy and healthcare is geared for mutual benefit and a better world.

The visit of PM Johnson is expected to positively transform the partnership across a wide spectrum of areas including defence and security, the Indo-Pacific and Western IndianOcean Region (WIOR), trade and investment, healthcare, climate change and people-to-people ties.

The UK had on March 16 this year published its once-in-a-generation Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign policy.

In the review, there is a significant reorientation of the external relations of the UK to the Indo-Pacific and the visit is expected to bring focus on dialogue and bilateral cooperation to realize the full potential of enhanced cooperation in this region.

While presenting the Integrated Review in Parliament, the UK Prime Minister said he will travel to India to “strengthen (UK’s) ties with the world’s largest democracy”.

Official sources said that India-UK collaboration in the COVID-19 mitigation efforts over the last year has emerged as the silver lining in the bilateral relationship.

They said that building upon the success achieved in the joint development, manufacture and distribution of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine, the visit will provide an opportunity to further consolidate the India-UK joint partnership in addressing future pandemics through health infrastructure development, joint investment in research and development of vaccines, swifter exchanges of healthcare professionals and strengthening existing institutional links and partnerships in the health sector.

In the post-Brexit engagement, UK has been working on securing as an initial step an Enhanced Trade Partnership with India and moving towards a possible bilateral Free Trade Agreement in the future. The bilateral trade and investment flows have witnessed steady and sustained growth in recent years. India and the UK, as major economies, are committed to contribute and lead global post-pandemic economic recovery efforts.

UK will be hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021. It has been supportive and closely associated with India’s initiative of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).

Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership in the fight against climate change, PM Johnson had said that he looks forward to discussing the shared vision of a sustainable future and many other issues with his Indian counterpart.

“‘We have a shared vision for a sustainable future for our nations and global community and I very much look forward to discussing this and many other issues with Prime Minister Modi on my upcoming visit to India,” Johnson had said while addressing the International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (ICDRI) in March this year.

Joint efforts of India and the UK in climate change mitigation are a key priority for PM Johnson.

The Indian diaspora remains one of the most economically productive communities in the UK and there is wide appreciation of the positive contribution made it.

The visit of the UK Prime Minister is expected to see progress on further streamlining and liberalising migration and mobility of nationals between the two countries. (ANI)

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