Narendra Modi and Boris Johnson may take trade ties to next level at virtual summit


Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson are expected to achieve a breakthrough, at the virtual summit on Tuesday, in taking trade ties to the next level in the post-Brexit era, besides giving shape to the bilateral Indo-Pacific partnership.

A comprehensive Roadmap 2030 will be launched at the summit, which will pave the way for expanding and deepening India-UK cooperation over the next decade across five key areas – people-to-people relationship, trade and prosperity, defence and security, climate action and healthcare — officials told ET.

Besides, the two PMs are expected to give a concrete shape to the Indo-Pacific partnership ahead of the UK Navy’s carrier group in India this autumn, said people aware of the matter.

India has welcomed a greater interest and attention that the UK is devoting to the Indo-Pacific region. The UK wants to align its vision with New Delhi’s vision to aim for a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. It wants to expand its influence among countries in the Indo-Pacific region to try to moderate China’s global dominance, according to a document laying out post-Brexit foreign and defence policy priorities. The document was released in March.

Mobility is another area which will get priority in Tuesday’s summit as the UK is actively seeking Indian investments besides cooperation with skilled Indians. The G-7 Summit in June where India has been invited by the UK as a guest country will also figure in discussions at the Modi-Johnson summit. Johnson has twice postponed his India trip this year due to Covid. While he postponed his trip for the January 26 Republic Day celebrations owing to the Covid-19 situation in the UK, the second wave of the pandemic in India forced postponement of his trip last week.

Meanwhile, the UK will send 1,000 more ventilators for use in India’s hospitals. This is in addition to 200 ventilators, 495 oxygen concentrators and three oxygen generation units announced by the UK.


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