British PM Johnson signals visa flexibility with India to win trade deal

  div classBodysc17zpet90 cdBBJodivpBy Andrew MacAskillp

  pAHMEDABAD, India Reuters – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated he was ready to offer more visas to India in return for this year clinching a freetrade deal that could boost annual bilateral trade by billions of pounds.pdivdivdiv classBodysc17zpet90 cdBBJodiv

  pSpeaking on the plane on his way to the worlds secondmost populous country, Johnson signalled he was ready to be more accommodating on an issue that could have stalled the talks.p

  p“I have always been in favour of talented people coming to this country,” Johnson told reporters. “We are short to the tune of hundreds of thousands of people in our economy and we need to have a progressive approach and we will.”p

  pBritain has made getting a trade deal with India one of its postBrexit priorities as ministers, free from the European Unions common trade policy, look to gear policy towards fastergrowing economies around the IndoPacific region.p

  pIndia wants greater opportunities for Indians to live and work in Britain. Any trade deal will likely be contingent on relaxing rules and lowering of fees for Indian students and professionals going to the country.India and former colonial power Britain already share strong trade ties, and more than a million people of Indian origin live in Britain after decades of migration.p

  pBritain wants to tap into the wealth of Indias middle classes and their appetite for premium British products such as Scotch whisky. They also hope that India can become a customer of its green technology and that service trade can also be strengthened.Britain has said the trade deal could almost double British exports to India, and by 2035 boost total trade by 28 billion pounds 38 billion per year. Total trade in 2019 was worth 23 billion pounds, according to British statistics.p


  pp Reporting by Andrew MacAskill Editing by Bradley Perrettp

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