New trade and investment agreements worth $1.39 billion have been revealed by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson with India. It involved more than $741 million in new investment from India in the UK, estimated to generate 6,000 jobs.
UK-India partnership to boost both countries' economy
The latest relationship would pave the way for a potential UK-India Free Trade Agreement. "Our people are stronger and safer because of our economic links," Boris Johnson said.
The Serum Institute of India will spend $333.68 million in clinical trials, research, and potentially vaccine production as part of the contract announced ahead of a virtual meeting with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In collaboration with Codagenix, Serum has begun phase one trials of a one-dose nasal vaccine for coronavirus in the United Kingdom.
According to the BBC, health and technology companies Infosys, HCL Technologies, and Mphasis will each generate 1,000 new jobs in the UK due to Indian investment deals. Q-Rich Creations will generate 667 jobs in the UK, 500 at Wipro, and 465 at 12 Agro.
"Every one of the over 6,500 jobs we've announced today will help families and societies recover from the COVID-19 while also boosting the British and Indian economies," Johnson said. In recent years, the UK has exported more goods to Belgium and Sweden than India.
However, the UK government believed that strengthening relations with one of the world's most populous and fastest-growing economies could have enormous long-term benefits, especially as tensions with China rise. It claimed that this announcement, which improved access to India for British fruit and medical product manufacturers and Indian vaccine producers investing in the UK, is just a glimpse of what could be done.
Economists warned that reaching a comprehensive agreement with Delhi that lowers tariffs and non-tariff barriers would be difficult. For instance, India is likely to want the UK's entry visa conditions for its workers and students to be relaxed. The European Union, Australia, and New Zealand have disagreed with India on free trade.
However, when that country deals with the economic fallout from the pandemic and the growing challenge from China, it might now take a more realistic path to broker a deal. Meanwhile, British companies have signed export agreements worth more than $620 million with India, which are projected to create more than 400 jobs in the UK.
They included a $278 million contract with CMR Surgical, which will create 100 new jobs in the UK. The company's next-generation 'Versius' surgical robotic technology, which aids surgeons in performing limited access surgery, will be available in Indian hospitals. According to the government, trade between the UK and India is now worth about $31.98 billion a year, creating more than half a million jobs.
UK and India is a step closer to a trade deal
The two countries will now finalize the "Enhanced Trade Partnership," which will remove export barriers for everything from British apples to medical products. Also, it will take action to open up India's legal services market to UK businesses, StraitTimes reported.
The partnership agreement is seen as the first step toward a complete free-trade agreement, with Britain hoping to double bilateral trade to about $31.98 billion per year by 2030. "With the assistance of a new Partnership signed today and a robust Free Trade Agreement, we will double the value of our trading alliance with India over the next decade and drive our relationship to greater levels," Johnson said.
India is the UK's second-largest FDI investor, and the UK remains one of the largest G20 investors in India, with a total investment of approximately GBP 21 billion. They develop an economy of 2 million more people within or dependent on their indigenous supply chains, as per Business Today via MSN.
All of this is sustained by a combination of Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) reforms and World Trade Organization (WTO) laws. Indeed, this parallel and current interest in each other's peoples and economies must serve as a solid basis for establishing a rules-based structure of economic ties between India and the UK in the coming years, resulting in mutually beneficial prosperity.