Vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII) is slated to invest in facilities in the United Kingdom (UK) and might even go on to manufacture vaccines in the country, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday, 3 May. This announcement comes ahead of virtual talks between Johnson and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, 4 May.
Further, Johnson announced a new UK-India trade and investment worth £1 billion. This includes an investment of £240 million by Adar Poonawalla’s SII for it’s vaccine business in Britain.
Meanwhile, the virtual summit between Johnson and Modi will see the roll out of a new Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) that is expected to create room for a future free trade agreement, reported Hindustan Times (HT). More than 6,500 new jobs are, as a consequence, expected to be created in the UK.
SII’s £240 Million
UK Prime Minister’s Office has said that the SII will be investing £240 million for its vaccine business and a new sales office in Britain that is expected to create a “large number of jobs”.
Downing Street was, further, quoted by PTI as saying that Serum Institute's investment will support clinical trials, research and development and "possibly" manufacturing of vaccines, to help the UK and the world defeat the coronavirus pandemic and other deadly diseases.
Further, SII is believed to have already begun phase one trials for a one-dose nasal COVID-vaccine in the UK.
The UK-India Trade Deal
The 1 billion worth of trade, an investment finalised by the British government with India, is reportedly creating more than 6,500 jobs in Britain.
As per PTI, the ETP aims to double the value of UK-India trade by 2030 and declare a shared intent to begin work towards a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Johnson, in his statement, reportedly said: “Like every aspect of the UK-India relationship, the economic links between our countries make our people stronger and safer.”
Further, Johnson claimed that each and everyone of the 6,500 plus jobs that have been announced, will help families and communities “build back” from COVID-19 and boost the British and Indian economies.
The trade and investment package contains over 533 million pound of new Indian investment into the UK, including that of SII.
Downing Street also, as per PTI, said that “with almost 1.4 billion people, India's population is bigger than the EU and US combined and by far the largest market the UK has committed to negotiating a trade deal with to date.”
Further, as per PTI, the ETP is slated to create immediate opportunities for British businesses in India.
(With inputs from Hindustan Times and PTI.)