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Opinion

Boris Johnson accepts India’s invitation, will be the main guest of the Republic Day parade

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson accepted India’s invitation to be the main guest on Republic Day on January 26, the second UK Prime Minister to attend the event after John Major in 1993, and has invited India to join the UK G7 summit next year.

Downing Street announced Tuesday that Johnson will travel to India in January 2021 to strengthen a key strategic relationship supporting employment and investment in the UK as part of his first major bilateral visit since taking office, and the first since UK exit from the EU. .

An official spokesperson said the trip will kick off a significant year for ‘global Britain’, when the UK will host both the G7 Leaders Meeting and the COP26 Summits, as well as a global education conference aimed at girls go to school, and an event to mark the first meeting of the UN General Assembly in London in 1946.

Johnson has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to accept his invitation and invite India to attend the UK G7 Summit as one of three invited nations along with South Korea and Australia, as part of Johnson’s ambition to work with a group of like-minded democracies. promote shared interests and address common challenges.

The Prime Minister will use his visit to India to further our cooperation in areas that are important to the UK and that will be priorities for our international engagement throughout 2021, from trade and investment to defense and security, health and climate change, ”the statement said, adding that the visit underscores his commitment to intensify the UK’s engagement with the Indo-Pacific region.

The UK and India are major investors and markets for each other’s economies and our growing trade and investment relationship is worth around £ 24bn a year, supporting more than half a million jobs.

There are 842 Indian companies in the UK with a combined turnover of £ 41.2 billion, creating jobs in all four corners of the UK.

That includes 19,500 people employed by Tata Consulting Services in places like Peterborough, Liverpool and Edinburgh; around 5,700 people in Warrington, Derby, Cardiff, Derry / Londonderry and Belfast working for business support company Firstsource Solutions, which will soon open a new office in Middlesbrough; and 1,200 people employed by Accord Healthcare Ltd in Newcastle and Barnstaple to manufacture and supply drugs to the NHS.

Johnson said: “I am absolutely delighted to visit India next year at the start of an exciting year for the global UK, and I look forward to taking the quantum leap in our bilateral relationship that Prime Minister Modi and I are committed to achieving.”

“As a key player in the Indo-Pacific region, India is an increasingly indispensable partner for the UK as we work to boost jobs and growth, address shared threats to our security and protect our planet.”

The statement said that as the “world’s pharmacy”, India supplies more than 50% of the world’s vaccines, with more than 1 billion doses of the UK’s Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine being manufactured at the Serum Institute in Pune .

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