UK, India to boost partnership; free trade agreement talks on
The United Kingdom on Thursday announced that talks over a free trade agreement (FTA) with India have commenced. UK's International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan met with India's Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal to begin negotiations on the agreement. The first round of formal talks is scheduled to begin next week, making it the quickest start of formal negotiations after a launch.
Why does this story matter?
The FTA would take the long-standing relationship between both the countries to the next level, said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. By 2035, the agreement may increase bilateral trade by up to Rs. 2.8 trillion per year. The deal would also be a "big step forward" in the UK's post-Brexit goal to refocus trade on the Indo-Pacific—home to 50% of global economic growth.
British businesses, workers, consumers to benefit: Johnson
"A trade deal with India's booming economy offers huge benefits for British businesses, workers, and consumers," said Johnson. Financial services, Scotch whiskey, and cutting-edge renewable technologies are among the key sectors expected to benefit, he said. "We are seizing the opportunities offered in growing economies of the Indo-Pacific to cement our place on the global stage and deliver jobs and growth," said Johnson.
India to become 3rd-largest economy by 2050: UK Secretary
Trevelyan met Goyal in New Delhi for the 15th Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting on Thursday to discuss the UK-India Enhanced Trade Partnership's development. "A deal with India is a golden opportunity to put UK businesses at the front of the queue as the Indian economy continues to grow," Trevelyan said. She said India will be the world's third-largest economy by 2050.
Held a productive discussion with Trevelyan: Goyal
India UK's crucial economic partner: FICCI
UK's eagerness and speed demonstrated the value placed on India as a crucial economic partner, said FICCI President Sanjiv Mehta. FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) is an Indian non-governmental trade association and advocacy group. "Emphasis on promoting new frontiers in the future is noteworthy," Mehta told The Times of India. "This will help both countries to build more sustainable economies."
Relationship between India and UK
In 2019-20, the India-UK merchandise trade was worth $15.45 billion. From April to August 2020, India's merchandise exports to the UK totaled $2.33 billion, while imports totaled $1.47 billion. India also invested in 120 projects and created 5,429 new employment in the UK in 2019, making it the second-largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) behind the United States.Share this timeline