Thursday, December 2News That Matters

New £1bn trade agreement with India could create more than 6,500 jobs

The prime minister has announced new trade with India that could create more than 6,500 jobs.

Boris Johnson said the deal was worth £1bn and paves the way for a free trade agreement between the two countries.

Mr Johnson and India’s prime minister Narendra Modi are to meet on Tuesday, although the talks will be held virtually after Mr Johnson was forced to cancel a visit to India due to the country’s devastating coronavirus outbreak.

The trade agreement includes more than £533m in investment from India, which is expected to create more than 6,000 jobs in sectors including health and technology.

This includes investment by the Serum Institute of India which will support clinical trials, research, and possible manufacture of vaccines. This is worth £240m.

British businesses have also secured export deals with India worth more than £446m, expected to create more than 400 British jobs.

Mr Johnson said: “Like every aspect of the UK-India relationship, the economic links between our countries make our people stronger and safer.

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“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.

“In the decade ahead, with the help of 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.”

Mr Johnson’s first visit to India was scheduled for January but was delayed because of the UK’s winter wave of coronavirus.

Another trip had been planned in April, but this was postponed indefinitely last month.