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UK, India To Start Formal FTA Talks Within Months

The UK government has announced that the UK and India will begin formal free trade agreement negotiations later this year after agreeing on the first package to promote bilateral trade and investment.

India, with its large population and growing economy, has been at the top of the London trade deal target list since the UK left the European Union last year.

Under the post-Brexit “Global Britain” strategy, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has signed trade agreements with countries such as Japan and Singapore, shifting foreign policy priorities towards the Asia-Pacific region. I will.

Britain’s Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss said India and the United Kingdom would begin negotiations on the agreement “in the fall” following the announcement of a preliminary “enhanced trade partnership” agreement.

“We want to complete these negotiations as soon as possible,” she told Sky News in a series of broadcast interviews promoting a € 1 billion ($ 1.4 billion, € 1.2 billion) partnership package.

“Of course, FTAs ​​(free trade agreements) will take longer. This is an immediate benefit for both countries and will facilitate work here in the UK and India,” Truss added.

She said the two countries are looking for an “early victory” to reduce trade barriers from FTAs, and that the UK wants to reduce or eliminate tariffs on various exports to India, from cars to whiskey. It was.

Comments come later on Tuesday prior to a virtual negotiation between Johnson and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

This follows Johnson’s two postponements of his official visit to India last month due to the worsening coronavirus situation.





British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold virtual negotiations on Tuesday after countries announce the start of free trade negotiations later this year.
Pool / Justin Thalys

The announcement of the partnership with India includes lowering trade barriers to some UK exports such as fruits and medical devices.

It also includes an investment in the UK by the vaccine maker Serum Institute of India, which could eventually increase vaccinations in the UK.

Johnson’s office said the deal prior to the FTA negotiations expected to create more than 6,500 jobs.

However, as Modi promotes the agenda of “Made in India” and “Independent India,” there are signs that India may hesitate to sign broader trade agreements.

Last year he was suddenly stunned to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement between 15 Asia-Pacific countries, as New Delhi was afraid of disadvantages in the agriculture, dairy and services sectors. did.

Former US President Donald Trump, despite his friendship with Modi, despised India as the “tariff king” of tariffs on imported goods and hampered trade negotiations.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume between India and the EU later this month, eight years after the 16-round negotiations stalled.

Trade negotiations are also reportedly set to resume with Canada shortly after the four-year gap.



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