London: The United Kingdom and India will take their cooperation to a new level on Tuesday with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his counterpart Narendra Modi announcing an “Enhanced Partnership” that will see current bilateral trade and investments increased by £1billion ($1.39 billion), the UK government said on Monday.
According to the statement, Mr Johnson, who earlier this month canceled a planned official visit to New Delhi due to the surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths in the former British colony, will hold a virtual meeting with Mr Modi later on Tuesday.
The new partnership, which will pave the way for a future UK-India Free Trade Agreement, contains a package of over £553 million ($769 million) of new Indian investments into the UK, including a $333 million investment by the Serum Institute of India (SIII) to support vaccine clinical trials, research and development and possible manufacturing of vaccine in the UK, where more than 6,500 jobs will be created, Sputnik reported, citing the statement.
“Like every aspect of the UK-India relationship, the economic links between our countries make our people stronger and safer,” Mr Johnson said.
According to him, the new partnership and the future free trade agreement will help double the value of the UK’s trading relationship with India and “take the relationship between our two countries to new highs.”
According to official figures, trade between the two countries is already worth around £23 billion ($31.9 billion) a year and supports more than half a million jobs.
The future post-Brexit comprehensive free trade agreement will support hundreds of thousands of jobs and boost both economies by potentially lowering or removing current tariffs on whiskey and automotive as well as on other UK products, and would also create huge benefits for the UK services.