India, UK FTA On The Horizon

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A comprehensive strategic partnership backed up by an ambitious Roadmap 2030 for closer cooperation over the next 10 years were the highlights for India-UK relations this year, which closes with the promise of free trade agreement (FTA) talks scheduled to kickstart in January 2022.

The comprehensive aspect of the partnership was on display at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow hosted by Britain, where Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Boris Johnson enhanced International Solar Alliance (ISA) collaboration with the launch of a pioneering Green Grids Initiative.

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India and UK share the intention to at least double bilateral trade from the current GBP 24 billion a year in 10 years’ time.

“India is, of course, one of our most significant export markets, and I look forward to launching our trade talks soon with them,” UK International Trade Secretary Anne Marie-Trevelyan said recently, as the minister set to lead the FTA charge. The Department for International Trade (DIT) has confirmed that talks are set to kickstart early in 2022, with plans for early harvest agreements also in play.

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“We look forward to launching negotiations early next year. India is projected to become the world’s third largest economy by 2050, and a trade deal will open huge opportunities for UK businesses to trade with India’s GBP 2 trillion economy,” a UK government spokesperson said.

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