UK prime minister Boris Johnson visited a newly opened JCB factory in Gujarat’s Halol, hours after he arrived in India for his two-day visit.
Johnson, along with Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel, inaugurated a new plant of the UK-based Joseph Cyril Bamford Excavators Ltd (JCB).
The UK prime minister will announce a raft of commercial agreements, hailing a new era in trade, investment and technology partnership between UK and India.
Johnson will use his visit to India to boost Britain's collaboration with one of the world's fastest growing economies, slashing trade barriers for UK businesses and driving jobs and growth at home, according to a statement issued by the UK government.
UK and Indian businesses will confirm more than £1 billion in new investments and export deals today in areas from software engineering to health, creating almost 11,000 jobs across the UK, it said.
The deals include a new Switch Mobility electric bus R&D centre in the UK and the opening of their Asia Pacific headquarters in Chennai; investment from Bharat Forge and electric truck maker Tevva Motors to expand to a new site in the UK and create 500 new jobs; Indian software company Mastek's investment worth £79mn to create 1,600 jobs over the next three years all over the UK; and business consultancy FirstSource opening new offices in the UK among others.
The UK prime minister will also welcome OneWeb signing a contract for satellite launches with New Space India Ltd., the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
"The UK will confirm major new science and tech collaboration, including a Digital Health partnership and a joint investment fund for Indian deep-tech and AI start-ups, supported by the UK and Indian governments; new AI scholarships for Indian students jointly funded by the UK Government’s Chevening programme and India’s Adani Group; and a £6 million investment from AI healthcare specialists Qure-ai to open a Centre of Excellence in the UK," the UK government said. As part of the deal announcements, British online food delivery startup Deliveroo will set up its largest technology hub outside of the UK in Hyderabad.
On Friday, Johnson will travel to New Delhi for talks with prime minister Narendra Modi on economic, security and defence collaboration.
Work is already progressing on cutting red tape for businesses following the UK-India Enhanced Trade Partnership launched by both prime ministers last year, and today our governments will announce new measures to make it easier to export UK-made medical devices to India. This will support UK jobs and create opportunities for British med-tech companies like Redcar-based Micropore Technologies to sell their life saving products in India, an import market worth £2.4 billion.
Earlier in the morning, billionaire Gautam Adani, who is also India's richest person, hosted Johnson at the headquarters of Adani Group. "Delighted to support climate and sustainability agenda with focus on renewables, green hydrogen and new energy. Will also work with UK companies to co-create defence and aerospace technologies," Adani tweeted.
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