THE UK prime minister Boris Johnson has said that the year 2021 will be an important one for UK-India ties.

He made this comment while discussing global and bilateral issues, including collaboration on Covid-19 vaccine, climate change, and trade and investment flows with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Friday(27).

Johnson stressed the UK’s commitment to the wider Indo-Pacific region, ahead of the first deployment of the HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier group to the region next year.

“The leaders discussed the work the UK and India are doing together across trade, climate change, defence, security and health,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

“The leaders discussed joint efforts to find treatments and vaccines for coronavirus, and welcomed the collaboration between the countries’ leading scientists. They looked forward to next month’s climate ambition summit, which will be an opportunity to reinvigorate the global efforts against climate change ahead of the COP26 summit next year.”

The UK will host the 26th UN climate change conference-COP26-in Glasgow next year.

Both the countries held a series of virtual dialogues in 2020, including most recently the 10th UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) held in October.

According to a statement both the leaders have pledged to improve bilateral trade and investment flows between the countries.

“Both leaders welcomed the extensive work already happened in this regard and shared an ambition for deepening the economic relationship,” the Downing Street spokesperson said. ”

The importance of the Indo-Pacific region was among the key areas of focus during the visit of Indian foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla to the UK in early November.

Shringla expressed hope that Britain would follow France, the Netherlands and Germany in finalising its Indo-Pacific strategy.