New Delhi [India], February 7 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar received a call from United Kingdom Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and discussed the agenda of India's G20 Presidency.
Taking to Twitter, Jaishankar said, "Received a call from UK Foreign Secretary @JamesCleverly. Reviewed our bilateral relationship and discussed the agenda of India's G20 Presidency."
Notably, India and UK are working to conclude a Free Trade Agreement. Earlier, Britain's High Commissioner Alex Ellis highlighted that after covering a lot of ground now the question is down to not just the technical details but political will on both sides to push for an early conclusion of the deal.
In the latest episode of ANI 'Podcast with Smita Prakash', the British High Commissioner underlined the benefits of the India-UK free trade deal, which he says is underpinned by the mutual trust between the two countries.
"We are getting towards the end of this negotiation I would say. It's a long ascent up to any mountain, then you go through the valley for a long time, then you go up to the base camp, and then you do a short sharp ascent. That's what we are trying to do. Both countries want to do the deal and that's a big change," he said in response to a question on the FTA.
In late January, Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan, while addressing the London-based think tank Asia House said that the UK is working to conclude a Free Trade Agreement with India.
"I re-negotiated world-class, modern, and expansive free trade agreements and two new ones with Australia and New Zealand last year, and am working to conclude an FTA with India," Trevelyan said.
The FTA, which aims to double bilateral trade by the year 2030 was expected to conclude by Diwali last year but the deal did not go through because the meeting was postponed.
The ties between India and the UK are often described as a Living Bridge, a dynamic economic force of people, businesses, and ideas. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi drives forward plans to make India a developed nation within the next 25 years and the UK forge deeper trade relationships around the globe, our connections are growing stronger every day.
India and UK have concluded six rounds of negotiations for a trade deal and will begin the next round very soon. Notably, India and UK began the negotiations for the Free Trade Agreement between the two nations in January 2022.
The UK-India free trade agreement is well-advanced. Although trade at the moment is worth pounds 29.6 billion, India is only the 12th largest trading partner of the UK.
The UK has signed trade deal agreements with 71 counties since its exit from the European Union in the year 2020. (ANI)