Boris Johnson has announced a £1 billion trade package with India, but he lags behind the European Union in negotiating a post-Brexit trade agreement with the coronavirus-ravaged region.
The prime minister said on Tuesday, ahead of a virtual meeting with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, that trade and investment deals with India will create 6,500 jobs in the UK, with a focus on health, technology, and vaccine production.
This includes a £240 million investment from India's Serum Institute, which will fund clinical trials, testing, and likely vaccine manufacturing.
Following disputes over tariff rules for car parts and free movement rights for professionals, negotiations between India and the European Union were suspended in 2013, but both sides have prioritized resuming talks.
Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, and Modi met on Monday to discuss the agreement, with von der Leyen writing on Twitter that “there is strong momentum to deepen our strategic ties on trade, digital, climate change, and multilateralism.”
“I am excited by the possibility of deepening our trade and investment relations,” she said.