BoJo visit to boost trade & ties

UK PM Boris Johnson

Rama Krishna Sangem


United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s maiden visit to India on April 21 and 22 is expected to boost trade and people to people ties between the two countries. Johnson was to come to India, first as the guest at Republic Day parade on January 26,2021 and three months later to a rescheduled visit. But, both were postponed due to unabated Covid pandemic.

A free trade agreement (FTA) that would double business is on the cards now.

Johnson also the head of G-7 countries is coming to India on a wider agenda – right from boosting bilateral relations to weaning away India from its defence and fuel dependence on Russia. India’s continued trade relations with Russia in the wake of its war on Ukraine since February 24, is not liked by UK or any of G-7 countries. Already, UK foreign and common wealth affairs secretary Liz Truss visited India recently with the same agenda.

Johnson who caught the attention of the world recently through his visit to Kyiv in the war ravaged Ukraine  will share his ground level assessment of the Russian aggression with PM Modi, sources said. Johnson’s photos walking through the streets of Ukrainian capital along with Zelensky won him applause for the courage he showed.  

Johnson will straight land in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on April 21, Thursday and interact with Indian business leaders including top honcho Gautam Adani. Business is first on the business like tour of the British PM. He will discuss the green energy initiatives with the Indian business leaders and increasing bilateral trade – from around $ 36 billion currently, to around  $ 50 billion by 2035. PM Narendra Modi will receive him in Ahmedabad.

In this trade, India is on the negative side – meaning we import more than what we export to UK. Johnson is likely to offer an FTA – between India and UK – that will see India with trade surplus. The visiting PM is hoping that his country will see more jobs and wages to an extent of & five billion in the coming years. This is a win-win for both the countries. India currently trades less with the UK. 

Johnson’s visit aims to ensure India is not with Russia, for any purpose – defence to fuel imports. The UK along with European Union would offer more business to India so that we stay with the US led democracies. This is the crux of  the purpose of Johnson’s visit to India. The US, UK and EU want to divert their manufacturing imports from China to India in the coming days. They are wary of emerging deep friendship between Russia and China.

On April 22, Friday, Boris Johnson will be given ceremonial reception in Delhi’s Rashtrapathi Bhavan.  The official talks that follow will deal with FTA which is likely to be signed soon. If India and UK sign an FTA, that would be a great step for us. Already, India signed FTA (or similar bilateral trade pacts) with Australia and UAE since recently. Vert soon, will sign one with the EU. Then, only the US is due for an FTA.

India is pursuing the path of FTAs with major developed nations so that its goal of emerging a $ 5 trillion economy in next five to six years. India is cautious about joining regional (multi-national) trade agreements as it afraid of China dominating the scene. Green energy, super-critical technologies, semi-conduct chips and pharmaceuticals are some of the areas where UK and India will cooperate.

15 Indian Origin MPs in UK Parliament

Johnson’s visit will also boost people to people relations between both the countries. More visas and business investment opportunities to Indian is likely. Johnson’s visit assumes significance in view of a raging controversy over  his Chancellor of Exchequer (finance minister) Rishi Sunak’s Indian wife, Akshata Murthy’s non-dom (non domicile status)  in Britain. UK’s home secretary Priti Patel too is of India origin.

Now there are 15 MPs in UK Parliament and eight of them are Hindus -five from Conservative and three from Labour party.  Of the total 6.8 crore population of Britain, at least 14 lakh are from Indian origin. Interestingly, half of them, around 70 lakh are of people migrated from Gujarat. Most of Indian diaspora are in professional services like doctors and financial services.

Boris Johnson’s visit is expected to boost cultural ties between the two nations.

Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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Rama Krishna Sangem

Excel India national news magazine is a media startup founded and piloted by Rama Krishna Sangem, a Hyderabad based senior journalist with over three decade experience in the field of media, mostly in print journalism. His rich experience in reporting for both Telugu and English newspapers and heading a TV news channel and some online outfits will be of immense use to this venture. Excel India English news magazine seeks to fill the gap of analytical understanding to our readers who today are confronted with myriad media platforms. Our online version not only offers regular updates and commentary on happenings around us, but also gives larger stories not limited by space constraints of a print magazine. Excel India is ably run by a team of senior journalists committed to values and quality standards in the profession. We urge you all to support and guide us in this endeavour. Reach us at