UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrived at Ahmedabad in Gujarat on Thursday for a two-day visit to India with a focus on stepping up cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, giving momentum to negotiations on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries as well as enhancing defence ties.
The UK PM started his visit from Ahmedabad where he is scheduled to meet leading business group leaders and discuss the UK and India’s thriving commercial, trade and people’s links.
Johnson’s visit to India is the first visit of a UK PM to Gujarat, India’s 5th largest state and the ancestral home of around half of the British-Indian population in the UK.
During his two-day visit, Johnson will attend a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday and later he will attend a wreath-laying at the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi.
The UK Prime Minister will then travel to New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Modi on April 22 where the leaders will hold in-depth talks on the UK and India`s strategic defence, diplomatic and economic partnership, aimed at bolstering close partnership and stepping up security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.
The UK Prime Minister will also hold talks with External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar.
According to a statement by the British High Commission, Johnson will use the visit to drive progress in the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations launched earlier this year as a deal with India is predicted to boost UK`s total trade by up to 28 billion pounds annually by 2035 and increase incomes across the UK by up to 3 billion pounds.
The third round of negotiations will begin next week and the two sides are keen to double bilateral trade by 2030.