The prime minister has announced new trade and investment deals with India worth £1bn. This includes over £533m of new investment from India into the UK, which will create about 6,000 jobs.
“The economic links between our countries make our people stronger and safer,” said Mr Johnson and the new partnership will “pave the way” for a future UK-India Free Trade Agreement.
The deal, announced ahead of a virtual meeting with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will include a £240m investment by the Serum Institute of India. The company will run clinical trials, research and ultimately the manufacturing of vaccines. Serum has already started phase one trials in the UK in partnership with Codagenix of a one-dose nasal vaccine for coronavirus.
Further Indian investment will create 1,000 new UK jobs at each of the health and tech firms Infosys, HCL Technologies and Mphasis. As well as approximately 667 jobs at Q-Rich Creations, 500 jobs at Wipro and 465 at 12 Agro.
Meanwhile, British businesses have secured export deals with India worth more than £446m, which are expected to create more than 400 British jobs. This includes a £200m deal involving CMR Surgical creating 100 new UK jobs.
Mr Johnson stated, “Each and every one of the more than 6,500 jobs we have announced today will help families and communities build back from coronavirus and boost the British and Indian economies.”
Trade Secretary Liz Truss stated that the jobs would be created “within the next year or so”.
She said those commitments were “very different” from a free-trade arrangement. That will be negotiated by the two governments in the coming autumn. Part of the discussions will be about lowering tariff barriers, for example there are huge tariffs on some products with whisky and cars both being over 100%, so these need to be addressed. They will also be looking at creating agreements on “digital and data” all with the aim of promoting trade between countries.
Trade between the UK and India is currently worth about £23bn per year supporting more than half a million jobs in the UK but with these new trade agreements the government is looking to double that investment by 2030.
Ms Truss also stated that there would likely be changes in the UK immigration rules. With the UK relaxing immigration rules between India and the UK. She said “We’ve already made significant steps in improving the immigration regime with the post-study work visa. We have seen a massive rise in Indian students coming to the UK.”
“Business mobility is a key part of trade. Particularly as the UK and India are both very strong in services, you need to make sure you’re able to get your professionals over to the country,” Ms Truss added.