Mr Johnson unveiled a new £1 billion agreement with India’s President Narendra Modi which he says will create 6,500 British jobs, with the two due to formalise arrangements during a virtual meeting today. However, Nayan Gala, co-founder of venture capitalist firm JPIN VCATS, suggested Mr Johnson’s announcement had the potential to deliver vastly bigger benefits for both sides.
He said: “It’s great to see that the UK and Indian governments have agreed to this trade partnership.
“India is a 21st century powerhouse and the UK-India trading relationship is already worth almost £24 billion, with 383 Indian companies in the UK employing more than 82,000 people.”
Mr Gala added: “The ETP will help to fuel economic recovery in a post-Brexit, post-Covid UK and really allow the UK to benefit from the immense growth India is about to experience in the coming decade.
“A free trade deal with India could be as high as £50-100 billion and will open the door to 1.3 billion potential customers for UK businesses, and provide opportunities for business improvement, consolidation, foreign expansion and diversification in a rapidly growing market.”
With India currently in the grip of a surge in coronavirus cases, the British Asian Trust has raised over £1.6 million in the last week through its emergency appeal, while BOC Ltd has donated 5,000 empty oxygen cylinders, the first of which were transferred to Chennai today by the Indian Air Force.
Mr Johnson commented: “Like every aspect of the UK-India relationship, the economic links between our countries make our people stronger and safer.
“In the decade ahead, with the help of the new Partnership signed today 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.”
Alex Ellis, High Commissioner to India added: “Trade and investment between the UK and India is already significant, creating jobs and growth in both countries.
“Today our Prime Ministers have set an ambitious target of doubling trade by 2030 and announcing £1 billion of new trade and investment.
“I will work tirelessly with our Indian friends and partners in the public and private sector to fulfil our leaders’ ambition.”
The ETP will create immediate opportunities for businesses across industries, including: a commitment for mutual recognition of Seafarers’ Certificate of Competency; an independent risk-based decision-making process for suitable listing and re-listing of new and de-listed Indian fishery establishments and phased reduction in shrimp sampling protocol; and a taskforce under a new healthcare pillar which will provide opportunities for Indian nurses and nursing associates seeking to train and work for the NHS.
Trade between the UK and India is already worth around £23 billion a year, supporting more than half-a-million jobs.
- The £1 billion package of new UK-India trade and investment includes:
- Over £533 million of new Indian investment into the UK, in vital and growing sectors such as health and technology
- British exports to India worth more than £446 million. This includes CMR Surgical exporting its next-generation ‘Versius’ surgical robotic system, which helps surgeons perform minimal access surgery, being rolled out to hospitals in India.
- £200 million of these deals will support low carbon growth.
The package of measures announced today will create more than 6,500 new jobs around the UK.
India is on track to be the world’s third-largest economy by 2030.
The ETP is intended to double the value of UK-India trade by 2030, as well as signalling the two countries’ shared intent to begin work towards negotiations on a comprehensive FTA.