Boris Johnson will visit India next month to strengthen post-Brexit ties

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Boris Johnson will fly to India in the new year - GETTY IMAGES
Boris Johnson will fly to India in the new year – GETTY IMAGES

Boris Johnson will visit India next month in what will be his first major bilateral trip since he became Prime Minister, as he prepares to refocus attention on the Indo-Pacific after Brexit

The Prime Minister will make the journey in January in order to strengthen the relationship, which supports jobs and investment across the UK, and reinforces Mr Johnson’s commitment to Global Britain. 

The UK’s trade and investment relationship with India is worth around £24 billion a year and supports more than half a million jobs, while 842 Indian companies exist in the UK with a combined turnover of £41.2 billion. In India, there are more than 400 British companies. 

Mr Johnson said he was “absolutely delighted” that 2021 would start with a visit to India, as what would be “the start of an exciting year for Global Britain”. 

He said he looked forward to “delivering the quantum leap in our bilateral relationship that Prime Minister Modi and I have pledged to achieve”. 

“As a key player in the Indo-Pacific region, India is an increasingly indispensable partner for the United Kingdom as we work to boost jobs and growth, confront shared threats to our security and protect our planet,” he said. 

David Cameron and Theresa May visited India, which is a key economic partner - PA
David Cameron and Theresa May visited India, which is a key economic partner – PA

During the visit, Mr Johnson will follow John Major in 1993 to become the second British leader since Indian independence to attend its annual Republic Day parade in New Delhi as Guest of Honour.

During the pandemic the two countries have worked closely together, with 11 million face masks and 3 million packets of paracetamol having been sent from India throughout 2020. 

Meanwhile the Foreign Secretary met Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in New Delhi on Tuesday to set out the UK’s ambition for a strengthened UK-India relationship over the next decade. 

Dominic Raab said: “As COP26 President and G7 President next year we will work closely with our Indian friends, as they return to the UN Security Council, to boost trade, promote peace and work together as a force for good throughout the Indo-Pacific.”

He added that the two countries “can deliver an Enhanced Trade Partnership next year, combine our cyber security expertise to protect our citizens and join forces to protect global health and promote things like vaccine production”.

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