The official confirmation this week about Boris Johnson’s India visit coincides with his country recalibrating its foreign and defence policy to tilt toward the Indo-Pacific region.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to launch a new trade pact on his visit to India on April 26, his first major international visit after the United Kingdom left the European Union. Johnson’s visit to New Delhi – the United Kingdom has indicated he would like to travel to Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai as well — is seen to underline the importance of the Indo-Pacific region which the UK says, is “critical to our economy and security”.
“The British Prime Minister’s itinerary in India is yet to be finalised,” a senior government official said, pointing that Boris Johnson was keen to travel to the four cities after wrapping up the formal engagements in New Delhi on April 26.
Johnson, who had spoken warmly about PM Modi at an international conference this week and hailed his “fantastic leadership”, was scheduled to be in the national capital as the chief guest at the Republic Day parade in January. But he had to cancel the trip at the last minute after a new strain of the Sars-CoV-2 virus led to a surge of coronavirus cases in his country.
PM Johnson, who was down with Covid-19 last year, was given the first dose of the vaccine on Friday. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer headquartered in Pune, one of the four cities on his itinerary.
The official confirmation this week about Boris Johnson’s India visit coincides with his country recalibrating its foreign and defence policy to tilt toward the Indo-Pacific region. India, along with other Asian powers such as Japan and South Korea, is key players in Britain’s new foreign policy calculus.
“The region is already critical to our economy and security; is a focal point for the negotiation of international laws, rules and norms; and will become more important to UK prosperity over the next decade,” Britain’s integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy, ṭhe most comprehensive since the end of the Cold War, said.
Boris Johnson had been working on this approach months in advance. Like when his government sounded out India, before Johnson’s November 27 phone call with PM Modi, that he was open to travelling to Delhi to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade.
Or when his government announced in December that it was going to send its biggest warship, the 65,000-tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth, to the Indo-Pacific region on her maiden deployment in 2021. The review, which referred to China’s increasing assertiveness, noted that much of the UK’s trade with Asia depends on shipping that goes through a range of Indo-Pacific choke points.
Local media reports indicate that the £3 billion ( ₹27,177 crore) Royal Navy aircraft carrier, which can carry up to 40 fighter jets, spent much of this week at an ammunition jetty in western Scotland for loading operational stores to prepare for this deployment to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and East Asia.
Apart from cementing the Indo-Pacific pivot, officials said trade is likely to remain a key focus point of Boris Johnson’s discussions in view of Brexit.
Britain is keen to deepen economic ties with India, the second-largest investor in the British economy, and has been trying to persuade New Delhi for a two-step free-trade deal. India is the UK’s sixth-largest trading partner outside the European Union. In 2019-20, UK-India bilateral trade increased by over 11 per cent to nearly 24 billion pounds. The UK was the largest European market for India’s goods exports in the 2019-20 financial year.
Officials said an Enhanced Trade Partnership between the two countries, reviewed in February at a ministerial level, would be launched during Johnson’s trip to India. “We have been undertaking steps to remove barriers to trade and the hope is that an Enhanced Trade Partnership will lead to a positive free trade agreement (FTA) with India in future,” Lord Tariq Ahmad, minister for the commonwealth in the foreign, commonwealth and development office, said in January. “The ultimate goal is an FTA”.
The two sides are also expected to try to finalise trade pacts in areas such as pharmaceuticals, fintech, chemicals, petroleum and food products, described by officials as early harvest deals, to give bilateral trade a hard push.
PM Modi and PM Johnson are also expected to talk about cooperation in science and technology, health, and the G7 Summit to be held in June in Cornwall’s Carbis Bay. PM Modi, along with the leaders of Australia and South Korea, has been invited to this year’s summit as “guests”. The UK, US, Germany, France, Canada, Italy and Japan make up the G7.
The Serum Institute of India is one of the key suppliers of the coronavirus
A delayed shipment of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine from India is behind a cut in the UK’s supply starting later this month, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
Change in approach but…
Indian officials underline that there has been a discernible change in London’s attitude towards New Delhi under the Boris Johnson administration, particularly in the context of India’s concerns over terrorism, security and interference in its internal affairs. This change in approach came through, an Indian official said, when foreign secretary Harsh Shringla briefed his UK counterpart in November last on Indian concerns around terror emanating from Pakistan. Or when UK Homeland Secretary Priti Patel conveyed to New Delhi that London would not allow a repeat of the anti-CAA protests.
But New Delhi was upset when lawmakers participated in a debate on farm laws and criticised the Indian government on account of pressure from a large number of the Indian diaspora, many of them from Punjab. New Delhi summoned the British envoy Alex Ellis to lodge a protest against what it said was an “unwarranted and tendentious” debate in the UK Parliament.
New Delhi is also concerned at the pace at which the extradition proceedings are moving in the case of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya and diamantaire Nirav Modi. Officials said India and Britain signed an extradition treaty in 1992. But so far, only one extradition has taken place from the UK to India under the arrangement – Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, who was sent back to India in October 2016 to face trial in connection with his alleged involvement in the post-Godhra riots of 2002. Officials said Mallya and Nirav Modi, on the other hand, were using all legal and political tools to ensure that they are not extradited.
The Indian govt is also concerned over a continuing effort by MPs with a large proportion of their electorate from Mirpur in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, to further Islamabad’s agenda by claiming human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir issue to target New Delhi.
Mastermind JPIN announces the first close of its maiden SME focus...
Mastermind JPIN Capital Partners Fund announces the first close of its maiden…Read More
Startup investment bank JPIN launches strategic funds for India
JPIN, a startup investment bank, is aiming to invest in 10-15 growth-stage startups with…Read More
How incubators, investors help startups at different stages? A Co...
A startup may even need to pivot from its original course, and…Read More
The Looming Global Recession And Indian Startup Landscape
With the rest of the world grappling with the aftermath of a…Read More
Funding Winter Hits Fintech Sector, Average Ticket Size Drops 58%...
The ongoing funding winter has cast a dark shadow on the fintech…Read More
Desire to Invest in Sustainable Tech Slumps
UK investors’ desire to invest in sustainable technology has slumped in the…Read More
How India has Overtaken Britain as the Fifth Largest Economy
India surpassed Britain to become the world’s fifth largest economy in the…Read More
Non-UK Fund Managers Smile On LSE Listing Route – Survey
A study of institutions investing in alternative assets such as private debt,…Read More
London Stock Exchange battles to stay relevant as pound hits reco...
With Friday’s mini-budget marking the biggest tax cut since 1972, the Truss…Read More
How much will scale-up companies rely upon Family Offices for inv...
As reported in Citywire recently, Gaurav Singh, founder of global start-up investment banking platform…Read More
Opinion: Why LSE needs a post-Brexit shake up
By Nayan Gala, founder of investment banking platform JPIN On top of…Read More
Innovators look to family offices to plug investment gap
Venture capitalists are increasingly turning to family offices for funding, according to…Read More
Post-Brexit shake-up crucial for London Stock Exchange to remain ...
On top of an energy shortage, soaring inflation and a looming recession,…Read More
Sustainable startups achieving 16% increase in valuations compare...
In spite of a few challenging years in the global markets, climate…Read More
Inflation reaches record high: UK firms must rely on internationa...
UK inflation has risen to 10.1% in July, the first time it’s…Read More
How Family Offices, UHNW Investors Can Play The India-UK Trade Theme
We talk to a firm that helps family offices gain access to…Read More
Post-Brexit cross-border trade & investment calls for strong...
In a post-Brexit world, there is an increasing number of opportunities for enterprise-level companies…Read More
The Drivers of India’s Booming Cleantech Market
The Indian renewable energy sector is the fourth most attractive renewable energy…Read More
Driving efficiencies in payment technology
Finding the right payment method can help ease the way when expanding…Read More
LSE backs new review into UK fintech industry amidst sharp fundin...
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is backing a new review into the…Read More
JPIN hires financial veterans Parul Jain and Rajiv Kapahi to soli...
JPIN, building the world’s most trusted start-up investment banking platform, appoints financial…Read More
British chain Pret A Manger to launch in India, marking milestone...
This comes as economic powerhouse recorded $82.3bn worth of deals in Q2, despite…Read More
Severe Skills Shortage Stunts UK Greentech Ambitions
The Race To Net Zero Greentech innovation is now at the forefront…Read More
UK Businesses Lag Behind Indian Counterparts With AI Adoption
84% of Indian Businesses Have Adopted AI A report has emerged from UK-based…Read More
Meet Gaurav Singh and Nayan Gala – Founders at Global Investment ...
Gaurav: “With over ten years of experience in providing transaction advisory services…Read More
India completes record quarter of M&A deals amidst global sl...
India has recorded a record-breaking $82.3bn for pending and completed mergers and…Read More
Fourth round of trade talks: Government edges closer to ‘Golden O...
UK trade secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, is meeting with India’s trade chief, Piyush…Read More
JPIN concludes its sector-focused Global Investor Meet on fintech
JPIN’s total collective fundraising target is US $ 35 Mn Startups from…Read More
What Do Investors Seek In a Startup?
From a distance, a startup can appear to be a dream come…Read More
JPIN launches strategic funds with a combined valuation of US$150...
Funds comprise a US $130 Mn JPIN Global Fund in United Kingdom…Read More
UK’s High Potential Individual Visa Scheme Goes Live
The new programme is in some ways a revival of a similar…Read More
UK to launch review into labour market to combat skills
The UK government has announced plans to lead a review into the…Read More
Cheers! Boris’ India trade deal will work ‘beautifully’ with Scot...
India is the second largest importer of Scotch Whisky by volume, with the equivalent of more…Read More
JPIN launches funds worth $150 mn to promote startups in India, w...
JPIN, an investment bank for start-ups, has launched two strategic funds for promoting start-ups showing potential…Read More
JPIN Sets Up $20 Mn India-Focussed Fund To Back Startups
London-based venture capital company, JPIN has launched an India-focussed strategic fund, JPIN India…Read More
UK trade with non-EU countries continues to grow following Brexit
Following the extended effects of Brexit on the UK economy, figures from…Read More
India trade deal has trillions of ‘untapped potential’...
Following the PM’s visit to India last week, hopes have been raised of a possible free…Read More
UK edges closer to £28 billion free-trade deal with India
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has begun his two-day visit to India, in…Read More
JPIN Study Shows 43% of Investors want Green Technology
New research from the global startup investment JPIN shows 43% of UK…Read More
JPIN launches CleanTech pitch day with collective fundraise quant...
With a sustained growth of ESG at a global level, JPIN is…Read More
UK looks to India as booming fintech sector sets stage for Unicor...
India’s fintech ecosystem has continued to thrive within the past year, with…Read More
When Creators Turn Angels
The Creator economy has revolutionized the way we consume media. Once a…Read More
JPIN launches partnership with GC Angels to grow Manchester network
Leading global startup investment bank, JPIN, has announced a new strategic partnership with GC Angels…Read More
Union Budget 2022: What health care, tourism and other sectors ex...
All sectors of industry have high hopes for this year’s Union Budget…Read More
London Stock Exchange and financial services could benefit from I...
India’s Direct Overseas Listing Policy set to be announced later this month…Read More
How startup ecosystem and India Inc responded to Union Budget 2022
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented Union Budget 2022 on Tuesday, which touched upon all aspects…Read More
PM’s announcement of National Startup Day boosts entreprene...
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced that January 16 will be…Read More
JPIN Venture Catalysts Ltd (JPIN) announces strategic investment ...
JPIN Venture Catalysts Ltd (JPIN) announces strategic investment in The Social Loan…Read More
Closer trade ties with India can help the UK to navigate post-Bre...
The Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t been kind to brick-and-mortar businesses in the UK,…Read More
Good call! Truss phones Indian minister as Britain eyes huge £100...
LIZ Truss has boosted hopes of a trade deal with India, the…Read More
JPIN VCATS completes fundraising round for Expertrons
Startup investment bank for the emerging markets JPIN VCATS has completed a…Read More
Relaxation of Indian listing regime to boost flotations on London...
JPIN VCATS’ founder, Nayan Gala, expects India’s booming startup scene to take…Read More
Ex-Chairman of the London Chamber of Commerce, Subhash V Thakrar ...
Ex-Chairman of the London Chamber of Commerce Subhash V Thakrar has joined…Read More
How do you like those apples? UK’s deal with India is already bea...
BRITAIN’s enhanced cooperation deal signed with India is already bearing fruit, Liz…Read More
Former KPMG Partner and ex-TiE President joins JPIN VCATS’ adviso...
JPIN VCATS, as the largest investment corridor and venture capital firm for…Read More
UK boosted by digital Singapore and ‘Gigafactory’
On Thursday, Nissan confirmed the go-ahead to build a £1 billion ‘gigafactory’…Read More
£700bn market: UK’s digital trade talks with Singapore unde...
The UK and Singapore launched negotiations this week on a new ambitious…Read More
IPO frenzy gives investors confidence to back emerging markets, s...
In early 2021, after months of volatility, Covid-19 vaccines started to offer…Read More
JPIN VCATS partners with a global investment leaders to raise USD...
JPIN Venture Catalysts Ltd (JPIN VCATS), India’s specialist co-investor network has partnered…Read More
In Boris Johnson’s April 26 visit to unlock opportunities, a trad...
The official confirmation this week about Boris Johnson’s India visit coincides with…Read More
A passage to India? British fintech firms turn to the sub-continent
India represents arguably the greatest market opportunity in the world, particularly for…Read More
A UK-India Trade Deal could create a Modern Silk Road, with finte...
The historic Silk Road connecting Europe with the Middle East and Asia…Read More
Go east young man – should U.K. startups be setting their s...
The volume of goods moving from the U.K. mainland to the European…Read More
A UK-India Trade Deal could create a Modern Silk Road, with finte...
The historic Silk Road connecting Europe with the Middle East and Asia…Read More
EU trade back to normal despite Remainer gloomsters claims –...
Statistics from britain’s ports have shown that it took the uk and…Read More
Trade Relations Continue With India As Brexit-Boost Looks Likely ...
Late last week, the uk’s international trade secretary, liz truss, arrived in india…Read More
Huge potential in India: UK closes in on £100billion trade deal a...
Brexit britain is closing in on a bumper trade deal with india…Read More