Maiden visit of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to India

The Rt Hon’ble Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was on an official visit to India from 21-22 April 2022, on the invitation of the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. This is his first visit to India as Prime Minister of UK.

Prime Minister Johnson was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on 22 April, 2022, where he was received by Prime Minister Modi. PM Johnson later visited Raj Ghat to lay a wreath and pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. Later, Prime Minister Modi held bilateral consultations with the visiting Prime Minister at Hyderabad House and also hosted a banquet in his honour. Earlier, External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, called on the UK Prime Minister.

In the bilateral talks, the two Prime Ministers appreciated the progress made on the Roadmap 2030 launched at the Virtual Summit in May 2021 and reiterated their commitment to pursue a more robust and action oriented cooperation across the full spectrum of bilateral relations. They appreciated the progress in ongoing FTA negotiations and implementation of the Enhanced Trade Partnership and agreed to conclude a comprehensive and balanced trade deal by the end October 2022. The FTA would pave the way for doubling of bilateral trade by 2030.

Both leaders agreed to transform defence and security cooperation as a key element of India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and discussed opportunities for defence collaboration including on co-development and co-production for meeting the needs of Armed Forces of both the countries. Both sides issued a Joint Statement for further intensifying cooperation on Cyber Security particularly in the areas of cyber governance, cyber deterrence and safeguarding critical national infrastructure. They also agreed to closely cooperate on countering the persistent threat of terrorism and radical extremism.

The leaders also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest including cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, Afghanistan, UNSC, G20 and Commonwealth. India welcomed the UK joining Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative under Maritime Security pillar and agreed to enhance engagements in the Indo-Pacific region. The two leaders also discussed the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict. Prime Minister Modi expressed deep concern at the mounting humanitarian crisis and reiterated his call for immediate cessation of violence and return to direct dialogue and diplomacy as the only way forward.

PM Modi congratulated Prime Minister Johnson for successful organization of COP26 last year. They reiterated commitment to ambitious climate action to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and in implementing the Glasgow Climate Pact. They agreed to enhance cooperation on rapid deployment of clean energy including off-shore wind energy and green hydrogen and work closely for early operationalisation of the Global Green Grids-One Sun One World One Grid Initiative (OSOWOG) under ISA and the IRIS platform under CDRI which were jointly launched by India and UK at COP26.

Two MoUs on implementation of India-UK Global Innovation Partnership and on the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) were exchanged during the visit. Through the Global Innovation Partnership, India and UK have agreed to co-finance up to £ 75 million to support the transfer and scale up of climate smart sustainable innovations to third countries. The novel GIP Fund created under this Partnership will also aim to raise additional £ 100 million from the market to support Indian innovations.

The following announcements were also made – (I) Strategic Tech Dialogue – Ministerial-level dialogue on new and emerging communication technologies such as 5G, AI etc. (II) Collaboration on Integrated Electric Propulsion – Co-development of technology between the two Navies.

Prime Minister Johnson had earlier on April 21 started his visit from Ahmedabad, Gujarat where he visited Sabarmati Ashram, JCB plant at Maswad Industrial Estate, Vadodara, and the Gujarat Biotechnology University in GIFT City, Gandhinagar.

Prime Minister Modi invited Prime Minister Johnson to India in 2023 for G20 Summit under India’s Presidency. Prime Minister Johnson reiterated his invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit UK. Prime Minister Modi accepted the invitation.

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