UK to start negotiations for trade agreement with India this year

United Kingdom (UK) has stated its aim to start negotiations for a trade agreement with India by the end of 2021.

Key points

  • Currently India and UK are in the pre-negotiation scoping phase of the Free Trade agreement (FTA).
  • Negotiations will start by the end of year 2021.
  • The trade deal with India will help in boosting British exports with lower tariffs. It will also increase the investment opportunities.
  • As of 2019, the bilateral trade is valued at 23 billion pounds.
  • Post Brexit, trade deal with India is the key target of UK.

Background

After exiting the European Union in 2020, Britain is working towards securing its trade deals and strengthening its ties with nations in Indo-Pacific region comprising of fastest-growing economies.

India-UK interim trade deal

UK government is planning for some quick “interim” trade deal with India. This would include tariffs cut on products like Scotch and whisky. This trade deal will also comply with the World Trade Organisation charter. Under the interim trade deal, Indian producers like that of rice could get greater access to the UK market.

India-UK bilateral trade

Bilateral trade between India and UK stood at 18.3 billion in the year 2020. It was lesser than trade of 23.3 billion pounds in 2019.  India and UK have also launched a new Enhanced Trade Partnership. It opened ways for future Free Trade Agreement. Currently, India is the largest market with which the UK has committed to negotiating any trade deal. India is the second largest investor in the UK economy. About 842 Indian companies in the UK, are employing more than 110,000 people. Combined revenue of Indian companies has increased by 87% in the last five years.

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