UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday met industrialist Gautam Adani at the global headquarters of the Adani Group in Ahmedabad. It is noteworthy that it is the first time a serving Prime Minister of the UK is visiting Gujarat. Adani and Johnson discussed a range of bilateral matters aimed at further strengthening India-UK ties, a press release by the Adani Group informed. The duo focused their discussions on several key thrust areas, like energy transition, climate action, aerospace & defence, and developing human capital.
Last year, Boris Johnson had met Gautam Adani at the Global Investment Summit in London where they had reiterated their commitment to the ongoing transition to clean energy. The United Kingdom, led by Johnson, has laid out its ambition to develop 50 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030, 70 GW of solar power by 2035 and 10 GW of low carbon hydrogen production by 2030. The UK will also build up to 24 GW of nuclear power by 2050, by adding 8 new reactors by 2030. The UK PM expects his government’s energy security strategy to create over 480,000 clean jobs by the end of this decade. In line with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to make India a Net Zero Emissions country by 2070, the Adani Group has committed to invest $70 billion, which will contribute 40GW of Solar and Wind capacity, produce 2 million tonnes of green hydrogen annually, equivalent to 40% of India’s 2030 production target of 5 million tonnes a year. Furthermore, three companies of the Adani Group – Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone, Adani Transmission and Adani Green Energy – have signed up for the SBTI 1.5 Degree pathway.
However, the most significant discussion between Johnson and Adani remained about collaboration in the defence sector. With India set to invest $300 billion by 2030 to modernize the armed forces, Gautam Adani’s goal is to develop deep OEM capabilities and work towards making India an export hub for defence. Both sides will explore how the Adani Group and reputed British companies can collaborate – as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative – to co-design and develop aerospace and defence technology, as informed by Adani Group’s statement.
At the meeting, Gautam Adani also announced an academic facilitation programme for young Indians through the Chevening Scholarship, one of the most prestigious of the UK government’s international scholarships. As part of the programme, the Adani Group will provide £200,000 through 5 scholarships for Indian graduate students to study in the UK for a master’s degree.
The Adani Group Chairman also invited the British Prime Minister to the upcoming India-UK Climate Science and Technology Summit being supported by the conglomerate. The summit is scheduled to be held in London on the 28th of June this year.