UK PM Boris Johnson will visit Ahmedabad next week on a two-day visit to India. With this, he will become the first Prime Minister of Britain to visit Gujarat. According to 10 Downing Street, during his visit to India, Johnson will hold "in-depth talks" with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. Johnson's first visit to India will begin on April 21 from Ahmedabad in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Modi. Downing Street said in a statement on Saturday that during this time there will be announcements of investment in major industries of both India and Britain.
According to the statement, Johnson will then leave for Delhi to meet Modi on April 22, where the two leaders will hold in-depth talks on the strategic defence, diplomatic and economic partnership between the India-UK. According to officials of both the countries, Johnson will also use his visit to India to make progress in the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks that started between India and Britain at the beginning of the year. Johnson said that my visit to India will live up to the things that matter to the people of both countries. These include issues ranging from job creation and economic development to energy security and defence.
He said that since we are facing threats to our peace and prosperity from dictator countries, it is important that democratic and friendly countries remain united. As a major economic power and the largest democracy, India is a very valuable strategic partner for Britain in these times of uncertainty. In Ahmedabad, Johnson is scheduled to meet leading industrialists to discuss the strong commercial and business ties between India and Britain. Gujarat, the country's fifth-largest state, was selected for Johnson's visit to India because it is the ancestral land of almost half of the British-Indians living in Britain.
In a statement issued by 10 Downing Street, it was said that in Gujarat, the Prime Minister can announce major investments in key industries of Britain and India, which will boost employment generation and development in both countries. Apart from this, new cooperation can also be announced in the field of cutting edge science, health and technology. According to the statement, "The PM will then visit New Delhi on Friday (April 22) to meet his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi. During this time the two leaders will hold in-depth talks on the Strategic Defence, Diplomatic and Economic Partnership between Britain and India, aimed at strengthening our close partnership and advancing security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
The third round of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks, which enter the third round later this month, could result in an agreement that is expected to increase Britain's total annual trade to £28 billion by 2035. Earlier in the week, it emerged that in the first two rounds of talks, 4 of the 26 chapters have been agreed upon, while "significant progress" has been made on the remaining 22 chapters of the FTA. In the talks, both the leaders are expected to set a deadline to complete this process. PM Modi and Johnson had earlier met on the sidelines of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November 2021.