British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will begin a two-day visit to India today to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Johnson will visit Gujarat and New Delhi this week for the first time as PM. He aims to secure new investment agreements and boost defense, security and technology cooperation with New Delhi. The two sides previously agreed to a UK-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership containing over $692m of Indian investment into the UK and a commitment to a future UK-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Johnson and Modi will use this visit to drive progress in FTA negotiations which move into their third round this month. The deal is estimated to boost the UK’s total trade by more than $36 billion annually by 2035 and increase UK incomes by up to $3.9 billion.
Expect the two leaders to sign several agreements and mandate a timeline for the completion of the FTA. The UK will likely leverage post-Brexit economic opportunities with India’s growing economy to tilt its geopolitical strategy more towards the Indo-Pacific region. Hence, it is likely with their historic ties with India the UK will use the relationship to launch further regional engagement with Indo-Pacific states in the long-term, signaling its commitment to engagement outside the European Union.
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Riley is an Analyst and a regular contributor to the Daily Brief, he focuses on security issues in Europe and the Middle East/North Africa.