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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson begins India visit from Gujarat; The free trade pact is high on the agenda MIGMG News


New Delhi: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is scheduled to visit India for bilateral talks aimed at strengthening strategic defense and diplomatic and economic partnership, will arrive in Ahmedabad on Thursday, April 21. On a two-day visit to India, Johnson will meet the Prime Minister. Narendra Modi in Delhi on Friday.

Johnson’s trip will focus on advancing negotiations between the two countries on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which was launched on January 13 this year. This will be the third round of talks on the FTA. The two countries had held the second round of negotiations on March 17, 2022.

Johnson first evening in the UK to visit Gujarat

It will be the first time for a British Prime Minister to visit Gujarat, the fifth largest state in India and the ancestral home of nearly half of the UK’s British and Indian population.

With Johnson’s visit to India, the leading democracies hope to deepen their long-standing partnership for peace and prosperity. The UK Prime Minister will begin his journey by meeting with leaders of India’s leading business group and discussing the burgeoning commercial, trade and people-to-people ties between the two countries.

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Why Gujarat

The Downing Street statement said the chief minister of Gujarat was expected to announce major investments in key industries both in the UK and India, boosting jobs and growth at home, as well as new collaborations in cutting-edge science, health and technology.

Moreover, Johnson’s visit to Gujarat indicates an attempt to attract the lucrative dairy industry in the state, which has expressed concerns about the FTA. According to reports, there have been concerns in the local market that subsidized dairy products and processed foods from the UK could negatively impact producers in India.

When FTA negotiations began in January, Trade Minister Piyush Goyal said India and the UK had agreed to avoid “sensitive issues” and focus on areas where there was more integration. For India, agriculture and dairy products are sensitive sectors in the trade talks.

Prime Minister Modi Johnson meets on Friday

On Friday morning, Johnson will attend a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan after which he will lay a wreath 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 are scheduled to hold in-depth talks on the UK-India strategic defence, diplomatic and economic relations, with the aim of strengthening the close partnership and stepping up efforts. Security Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Region.

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The British Prime Minister will also meet and hold talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, after which the two sides will issue a press release around 1pm at Hyderabad House.

Pay for the FTA

Johnson will also use the visit to advance progress on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations that began earlier this year, according to a British High Commission statement. The boost comes as a deal with India is expected to boost total British trade by up to £28 billion a year by 2035 and increase income across the UK by up to £3 billion.

In 2022, Johnson and Prime Minister Modi agreed on a comprehensive strategic partnership between the United Kingdom and India. The two leaders announced an investment of more than £530 million in the UK and a commitment to a deeper bilateral relationship across trade, health, climate, defense and security, connecting our peoples.

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 at the G7 last year at Carbis Bay.

(with ANI input)

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