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UK PM Boris Johnson in India: Focus on Indo-Pacific, to announce raft of commercial pacts

UK PM Boris Johnson in India: Focus on Indo-Pacific, to announce raft of commercial pacts

Ahmedabad: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrived in Ahmedabad on Thursday morning to start his India visit, and was accorded a grand welcome along the four-km route from the airport to a hotel in the city.

"As I arrive in India today, I see vast possibilities for what our two great nations can achieve together. From next-generation 5G telecoms and AI to new partnerships in health research and renewable energy - the UK and India are leading the world," Johnson was quoted as saying in the statement.

Johnson's two-day visit to India on Thursday is aimed at ramping up the overall ties between the two countries, especially in the areas of defence and security and trade, and he will not lecture India on how to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, people familiar with the development said on Wednesday.

They said a major focus of Johnson's talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on the situation in the Indo-Pacific as the United Kingdom is strongly opposed to any kind of coercion in the region.

As per the reports, the UK and Indian businesses would confirm 1 billion GBP in new investments and export deals - from software engineering to health - that will create nearly 11,000 jobs in the United Kingdom.

The investments will include a R&D centre for electric buses in the UK. It will also include Indian firm Bharat Forge and electric truck manufacturer Tevva Motors expanding and creating 500 new jobs, as well as Indian software firm Mastek investing 79 million GBP to create 1,600 jobs in the UK over three years.

"Negotiating teams will hold their third round of formal talks in India next week," the High Commission statement said.

In Gujarat, he will visit a factory opened by a top British firm as well as a biotech university collaborating with the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Johnson has already visited Mahatma Gandhi's Sabarmati Ashram, where he was gifted rare books, including one by Gandhi and tried the charkha.

After a series of engagements in Gujarat throughout the day, he will leave for Delhi in the evening. Johnson and Modi will hold extensive talks in Delhi on Friday.

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TAGS:Boris Johnson India-UK 
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