British PM all set for India visit
In her first overseas tour, British PM Theresa May is all set to lead a major business designation to India in an attempt to foster trade ties with the most sustainable and growing economy in the world of today. Britain cannot officially open any negotiations or even enter into any partnership with India. However, the visit is seen as significant as it will send a strong signal about the keenness of Britain to establish trade ties outside of European Union.
She will address a conference with leading Indian businessmen and is also due to hold talks with the Indian PM. The leaders have already agreed on bilateral cooperation over a number of sectors like technology, finance, trade and investment. Many businessmen, James Dyson-the vocal supporter of Brexit campaign, Liam Fox who is the head of department of international trade will be part of the delegation.
Britain had voted to leave EU in referendum in June and cannot begin negotiations on any bilateral trade deals till Brexit has actually happened which cannot take place before 2019. India seeks very favourable ties with Britain post-Brexit as the long pending India-EU free trade agreement hasn’t moved ahead despite exhaustive efforts from EU. The primary attraction for both the nations is the historic ties with India in addition to the huge Indian diaspora in UK. India is also credited as being the fastest growing economy in the world having overtaken China for over a year. Also, IMF has projected the GDP growth by 7.6 percent in the 2016-17 financial year. However, the trade volume between both the nations have remained low measuring upto 14 billion dollars last year which is even lower than the trade between India and Germany.
May will also have to tread carefully on the visa issue which has deep appeal among the Indian public. Indian government will seek easing on visa restrictions although immigration is more than just a political issue in Britain.
Although any trade deal cannot be reached as of now, the talks will clear the air on many issues and help both the nations seek a common path.
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