Trade and investment worth £1 billion are to be announced on Tuesday during a virtual summit meeting between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, including a £240 million investment by the Serum Institute of India in the United Kingdom.
The two prime ministers were due to meet in January and April, but the Covid-19 pandemic prevented Johnson from travelling to New Delhi on his first post-Brexit foreign visit as the UK seeks to forge new trade ties and global path for itself outside the European Union.
Officials said the £1 billion package will include over £533 million of new Indian investment into the UK, which is expected to create more than 6,000 jobs in vital and growing sectors such as health and technology; £200 million of these deals will support low-carbon growth.
The Indian investment includes £240 million by the Serum Institute of India in its vaccine business and a new sales office in the UK, which is expected to generate new business worth over $1 billion, £200 million of which will be invested into the UK.
The Serum Institute's investment will support clinical trials, research and development and possibly manufacturing of vaccines. The institute has already started phase one trials in the UK of a one-dose nasal vaccine for coronavirus, in partnership with Codagenix Inc.
The officials added that British businesses have also secured new export deals with India worth more than £446 million.
The summit is intended to impart new vigour in the UK-India ties with deeper relationships across trade, health, climate and defence, including an Enhanced Trade Partnership, which is expected to eventually lead to a free trade agreement.
"Like every aspect of the UK-India relationship, the economic links between our countries make our people stronger and safer. Each and every one of the more than 6,500 jobs will help families and communities build back from coronavirus and boost the British and Indian economies," Johnson said.
"In the decade ahead, with the help of the new partnership and a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, we will double the value of our trading partnership with India and take the relationship between our two countries to new highs," he added.
Trade between the UK and India is worth around £23 billion a year. The two prime ministers intend to double the value by 2030. The UK wants India to lower or remove tariffs such as those of up to 150 per cent on whisky and up to 125 per cent on automotives and other British products.
The UK also wants removal of barriers to the Indian legal services sector that prevent British UK lawyers from practising international and foreign law in India, a step that could significantly increase UK legal services exports and UK legal services imports from India.
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