The visit coincides with Round 9 of negotiations this week between officials working on the UK-India free trade agreement (FTA)
By: Chandrashekar Bhat
The UK’s minister for Investment, Lord Dominic Johnson, on Wednesday (26) embarked on a visit to India to strengthen the bilateral investment partnership across technology and life sciences sectors.
He also seeks to build momentum behind ongoing trade talks between the two countries. After arriving in Bengaluru, Johnson is set to visit Pune to meet investors and leading Indian businesses, including Infosys and Zensar, to drum up investor interest in the UK, the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) said.
The visit coincides with Round 9 of negotiations this week between officials working on the UK-India free trade agreement (FTA).
He visited Mumbai and New Delhi in October last year when he met investors and businesses including Apollo Hospitals, Prodapt and Wockhardt.
“From life sciences to AI [artificial intelligence], now is the time to invest in the UK as we are determined to be the undisputed number one investment destination in Europe,” he said. On the eve of the ministerial visit, the DBT described India as a “priority market” for the UK with Johnson’s visit seen as helping to build momentum behind the ongoing FTA negotiations between the two countries.
Jo Johnson, a House of Lords peer, will also use his visit to promote the Global Investment Summit 2023, which will bring together more than 200 CEOs of multinational companies and investment corporations in the UK later this year.
According to the British government, the inaugural Summit in 2021 secured nearly £10 billion of new foreign investment on the day, with this year’s event set to showcase emerging UK success stories in life sciences, deep tech, nuclear fusion and small modular reactors (SMRs), and manufacturing.
The DBT said the UK-India investment partnership is thriving, with more than £28 bn invested in each other’s economies supporting over half a million jobs.
According to official UK government statistics, total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and India was £34 bn in the four quarters to the end of the third quarter of 2022, an increase of 51.7 per cent or £11.6 bn from the four quarters to the end of Q3 2021.
India was the UK’s 12th largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2022, accounting for 2.1 per cent of total UK trade.