New Delhi [India], May 25 (ANI): The UK on Tuesday (local time) kickstarted 14-week consultation preparation for trade negotiations with India to seek views from the public and businesses.
UK Trade Secretary Liz Truss kicked off preparations for a trade deal with India. “We’re firing the starting gun on a free trade deal with India – the world’s largest democracy, fifth biggest economy, a nation of 1.4 billion people and a huge market for British goods like whisky, cars and services,” said Truss.
“We want an agreement that pushes new frontiers in industries of the future and helps us build a greener, more innovative and more services-led economy that will deliver higher-paying jobs across the country,” she added.
Responding to the trade deal negotiations, UK International Trade Minister, Ranil Jayawardena said, “India is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and we share much in common, so we’re natural partners. A trade deal will break down barriers, making it easier for British businesses to sell their wares in India – and secure more investment, better jobs, higher wages, more choice and lower prices here at home.”
The deal will open new opportunities for iconic industries like whisky and boost trade in science and services, creating jobs across the country.
A British High Commission (BHC) release stated that the UK wants a deal that will slash barriers to doing business and trading with India’s 2 trillion pound economy and market of 1.4 billion consumers. This includes removing tariffs of up to 150 per cent on whisky and 125 per cent on British-made cars.
Wide input from consumers and businesses across all sectors will help the UK craft a deal that includes closer cooperation in future-focused industries such as science, technology and services and creating high-value jobs across the country. Formal negotiations are expected to begin later this year, read BHC statement.
The UK also aims to make it easier for services firms to operate in the Indian market, boosting the UK’s status as an international services hub. India’s growing middle-income population and highly connected youth will be the target consumers for the type of goods and services the UK excels in, the statement added.
Before negotiations start, the UK and India must complete a pre-negotiation scoping phase – a period of engagement with businesses and the public. The public consultation, which runs to August 31, includes a questionnaire that will gather information from participants about their experiences and priorities when doing business with India, read the statement.
The consultation follows the Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) agreed at the virtual meeting between the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on May 4, where they launched a ‘2030 Roadmap’, which will provide a framework for UK-India relations.
The partnership sets the ambition to double the value of UK-India trade by 2030 and declares the two countries' shared intent to begin work towards negotiations on a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.
India is by far the largest market the UK has committed to negotiating a trade deal with till date. (ANI)