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Boris Johnson in India, indicates easier visas in trade transaction push: 10 facts

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives in India on a two-day visit

New Delhi:
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson landed in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad this morning as part of his two-day visit to India. He will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow, where both are expected to discuss trade and defense, among other things.

Here is your 10-point cheatsheet for this great story:

  1. Mr Johnson has indicated that he is ready to offer more visas to India in exchange for this year by concluding a free trade agreement that could promote annual bilateral trade of billions of pounds, the news agency Reuters reported.

  2. While speaking on the plane en route to India, Mr. Johnson indicated that he was ready to be more accommodating on an issue that could stifle the talks. “I have always been in favor of talented people coming to this country,” Mr Johnson told reporters. “We are short on the measure of hundreds of thousands of people in our economy and we need to have a progressive approach and we will.”

  3. Mr Johnson will later visit Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad. He will probably also meet with businessman Gautam Adani. Then the British Prime Minister flies to Vadodara, where he will visit a plant of the heavy machinery company JCB. From there, he will head to Gandhinagar’s Gujarat International Finance Tec-City or GIFT City. He will go to Delhi in the evening.

  4. The UK has said it will not try to “read” India over its neutral position at the UN on the Ukraine war or India’s decision to increase Russian oil imports. However, the UK has been trying to persuade India to reduce its dependence on Moscow since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

  5. Mr Johnson’s visit is likely to give a new impetus to the proposed free trade agreement between India and the United Kingdom, boost Indo-Pacific co-operation and strengthen defense ties. A big focus of mr. Johnson’s talks with Prime Minister Modi will focus on the situation in the Indo-Pacific, as the UK is strongly opposed to any form of coercion in the region.

  6. Regarding the Ukraine crisis, the news agency PTI quoted comments from the British Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, during her visit to India last month, saying that Mr. Johnson will also follow the same line and will not lecture India on his response to the Russian invasion and that he will set out the UK’s perspective on it and listen to New Delhi’s views.

  7. Both sides are making efforts to conclude the free trade negotiations by the end of this year. Issues related to market access for apples, medical devices, shrimp and legal services have almost been resolved, describing them as good signs for the next phase of discussions.

  8. The aim is to have something lasting for the next 25 years, while emphasizing the importance the UK attaches to its ties with India.

  9. The India-UK relationship was elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership during the India-UK virtual summit held in May last year between Prime Minister Modi and Mr. Johnson was held.

  10. At the summit, the two parties adopted a 10-year roadmap to expand, among other things, ties in the key areas of trade and economy, defense and security, climate change and people-to-people connections.

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