UK PM Johnson to visit India in January to strengthen trade ties

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FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks out to meet with Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (not pictured) at Downing Street in London, Britain December 10, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will travel to India in January, his first bilateral visit since taking office, to try to strengthen trade and investment ties and work together on tackling climate change, his office said on Tuesday.

Since leaving the European Union in January, Johnson wants to promote what he calls “global Britain”, hoping to boost ties with countries further afield and attracting new foreign investment to a country badly hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am absolutely delighted to be visiting India next year at the start of an exciting year for Global Britain, and look forward to delivering the quantum leap in our bilateral relationship that Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and I have pledged to achieve,” Johnson said in a statement.

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

Johnson will attend India’s annual Republic Day parade in New Delhi.