India, UK Launch Negotiations For Free Trade Agreement, Trade Opportunities Deliberated Upon

India, UK Launch Negotiations For Free Trade Agreement, Trade Opportunities Deliberated Upon

New Delhi: India and the United Kingdom (UK) launched negotiations on an ambitious Free Trade Agreement on Thursday (January 13), at the 15th India-UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee.

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan met in New Delhi to formally start talks on a deal that could create huge benefits for both countries.

India is one of the biggest and fastest-growing economies in the world.

A bold new deal would put UK businesses at the front of the queue to supply India’s growing middle class, forecast to increase to a quarter of a billion consumers by 2050, according to a statement by the UK government.

India is set to become the world’s third-biggest economy by 2050, with a bigger population than the United States and European Union combined, the statement said.

After Thursday’s meeting, Piyush Goyal tweeted, “Held a productive discussion with Secretary of State for International Trade @AnnieTrev at the India-UK Joint Economic & Trade Committee.

Deliberated on enhanced market access, greater multilateral cooperation & full support to ongoing FTA negotiations between 🇮🇳 & 🇬🇧”

At the India-UK Joint Economic & Trade Committee, deliberations were held over an array of trade opportunities of mutual interest benefitting both India and the UK.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan said that India and the UK aim for the agreement to be a future-facing deal, news agency ANI reported. “We aim for this to be a future-facing deal, accelerating the business that we do together in cutting-edge sectors that’re reshaping the global economy,” she said.

“We aim to double trade between our countries by the end of this decade. This is part of the UK’s ambitious agenda to strengthen our strategic and economic partnership with India as it continues to cement its rightful place as an economic superpower,” the UK Secretary of State for International Trade added.

Goyal said those who understand agreements recognise that both sides have to win in a free trade agreement. “Our efforts will be to bring new avenues of growth for both countries. We’ll expand trade between the countries to increase employment for both,” the Minister said.

Goyal said they have decided to set a timeline to focus on mutual benefits for both sides. “We’ve decided to set a timeline to focus on mutual benefits for both sides. We look forward to working with UK to conclude interim agreement & a final free trade agreement at the earliest. Our prime focus is on building a substantive agreement,” Goyal said at the meeting.

The agreement is expected to create huge benefits for both India and UK and is expected to boost the total trade in the UK by up to £28 billion a year by 2035.

The visit to India by representatives of UK demonstrates their tilt to Indo-Pacific, and marks the beginning of a ‘5-star year of trade’, according to the statement.

The deal has the potential to almost double UK exports to India. Also, investment from Indian firms already supports 95,000 jobs across the UK.

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