Boris Johnson to visit India in bid to boost trade and defence

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Boris Johnson will meet India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit  (PA Wire)
Boris Johnson will meet India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit (PA Wire)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to meet Narendra Modi during a long-awaited visit to India next week.

The pair will discuss defence, energy security and economic growth on the trip which was delayed by the pandemic.

Mr Johnson will also visit Gujarat where half of the UK’s Indian population originates from.

Ahead of his visit on Thursday, the Prime Minister said: “As we face threats to our peace and prosperity from autocratic states, it is vital that democracies and friends stick together.

“India, as a major economic power and the world’s largest democracy, is a highly valued strategic partner for the UK in these uncertain times.

“My visit to India will deliver on the things that really matter to the people of both our nations – from job creation and economic growth to energy security and defence.”

In Gujarat, Mr Johnson is expected to announce major investment in key industries in both the UK and India.

He is also poised to unveil a new collaboration on science, health and technology.

The PM is expected to use the trip to push forward trade negotiations launched earlier this year.

In April last year, the prime minister was forced to cancel a trip to the south Asian nation after it was added to the UK’s red list amid soaring Covid cases in India.

Instead Mr Johnson said he would speak to the Indian prime minister virtually.

A trip in January 2021 to India was also cancelled due to the UK lockdown.

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