UK and India strike £1bn trade deal that will create 6,000 jobs, PM says

3 May 2021, 23:17 | Updated: 3 May 2021, 23:21

File photo of Boris Johnson meeting Narendra Modi at the 2019 G7 Summit in France
File photo of Boris Johnson meeting Narendra Modi at the 2019 G7 Summit in France. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Britain and India have struck a £1 billion trade deal that is expected to create more than 6,000 jobs, Boris Johnson has announced.

The package contains more than £533 million of new investment from India to the UK and looks to further strengthen ties between the two nations.

It is also expected to create more than 6,000 new jobs in sectors such as health and technology.

The UK Prime Minister will join his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in a virtual meeting on Tuesday after being forced to cancel his planned visit to Delhi amid the south Asian country's worsening Covid-19 outbreak.

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Some £240 million will be invested in Britain by the Serum Institute of India, which will support clinical trials, research and possibly the manufacturing of vaccines.

Downing Street added that British businesses have secured export deals worth more than £446 million, which is set to create more than 400 British jobs.

During the virtual talks, the two leaders are expected to agree on an enhanced trade partnership, which No 10 said will pave the way for a future UK-India free trade agreement.

Read more: Hospitals overrun as India records world's highest daily Covid cases

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Mr Johnson said: "Like every aspect of the UK-India relationship, the economic links between our countries make our people stronger and safer.

"Each and every one of the more than 6,500 jobs we have announced today will help families and communities build back from coronavirus and boost the British and Indian economies.

"In the decade ahead, with the help of new partnership signed today and a comprehensive free trade agreement, we will double the value of our trading partnership with India and take the relationship between our two countries to new highs."

The PM's visit - to foster close ties as part of Britain's foreign policy "tilt" towards the Indo-Pacific - was first scheduled for January, but was delayed due to the UK's winter wave of coronavirus infections.

A four-day trip was then scheduled in April before being cut back to just one day in Delhi, before being postponed indefinitely last month, with India subsequently added to the UK's travel red list.

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