The visit of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to India from April 25 will be an opportunity to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the face of the upcoming epidemic through health infrastructure development and joint investment in vaccine research.
This will be Johnson’s first major trip outside Europe after the re-election of the Conservative government in the UK elections in December 2019. The last UK Prime Minister’s visit to India was made by Theresa May in November 2016.
A visit to India will be shorter than a trip originally planned for four to five days and will not include stops in Mumbai and Pune due to the Covid-19 situation. Most of Johnson’s involvement, including his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be on April 26.
India-UK cooperation in efforts to reduce Covid-19 last year emerged as “a silver lining for bilateral relations”, and Johnson’s visit will be an opportunity to strengthen bilateral cooperation in addressing the upcoming epidemic through health infrastructure development, joint research funding and vaccine development , the rapid exchange of health workers and the strengthening of existing institutional linkages and cooperation in the health sector, the Indian High Commission in London said in a statement.
Working in this field could lead to a successful co-creation, production and distribution of the Oxford-Astra Zeneca vaccine, it said.
The trip is also expected to increase cooperation in areas ranging from defense and security to the Indo-Pacific region and the western Indian Ocean, trade and investment and climate change.
In the post-Brexit period, the UK has been working to secure improved trade cooperation with India as a step towards a possible deal between the two countries, the statement said. The flow of trade and co-investment has seen steady and sustained growth in recent years, and India and the UK are committed to contributing to and leading global recovery efforts.
“India and UK are expected to agree on Roadmap 2030 for future relations. The vision for 2030 is for renewable and powerful human relations, trade reform, investment and technology cooperation, improved security and security cooperation and closer ties to regional problems, including the Indian Ocean Region and the Indo-Pacific, ”the statement said.
In March, the UK published its integrated review on security, defense, development and foreign policy, highlighting the reorganization of relations with the Indo-Pacific. Johnson’s visit is expected to focus on dialogue and cooperation between the two countries to find the full potential for improved cooperation in the region, the statement said.
The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November, and has been very close to India’s International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI). A concerted effort by India and the UK to reduce climate change will be a highlight of Johnson’s visit.
Given the significant contribution to the dispersal of Indians in the UK, Johnson’s visit is also expected to contribute to the continuation of order and the liberation of international migration between the two countries.