The UK government announced the start of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with India on Thursday, calling it a “great opportunity” to put British enterprises in front of the Indian economy’s “queue.”
Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, said an FTA would “push the country’s historic cooperation with India to the next level,” citing Scotch whisky, financial services, and cutting-edge renewable energy as examples of major sectors that would gain.
The first round of discussions is likely to begin next week, making it the UK’s shortest commencement of formal talks between negotiating teams following a launch, according to the British government.
“A trade agreement with India’s burgeoning economy would benefit British businesses, employees, and consumers significantly. The UK’s autonomous trade policy is creating jobs, improving wages, and pushing innovation across the country as we take our historic partnership with India to the next level “Johnson remarked.
“From Scotch whiskey distilleries to financial services and cutting-edge renewable technologies, the UK has world-class firms and expertise to be proud of. We’re taking advantage of the opportunity presented by the Indo-expanding Pacific’s economies to solidify our position on the world stage and create jobs and growth at home “he stated.
Johnson’s statement came as Anne-Marie Trevelyan, his Secretary of State for International Trade, prepared to meet with Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi for the 15th UK-India Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) to review progress on the UK-India Enhanced Trade Partnership, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Johnson agreed to last May.
“An agreement with India is a fantastic opportunity to put UK businesses ahead of the pack as the Indian economy continues to grow fast,” Trevelyan said.
“India will be the third-largest economy in the world by 2050, with a middle class of about 250 million people. We want to open up this enormous new market for our fantastic British producers and manufacturers in a variety of industries, from food and drink to services and automobiles “she stated
“As an independent, deal-making nation, the United Kingdom is expanding its economic horizons and developing better ties with the world’s fastest-growing economies. India marks the start of our ambitious five-star year of UK trade, and it will demonstrate how the agreements we reach will benefit economies across the globe and help level the playing field in all of the UK’s regions “Before her two-day visit to India ends on Thursday, the minister is scheduled for bilateral talks with senior Indian Cabinet ministers.
An FTA between India and the United Kingdom is being promoted in the United Kingdom as having enormous benefits for both nations, with the potential to expand bilateral trade by up to GBP 28 billion per year by 2035 and raise salaries by up to GBP 3 billion across the UK.
A deal with India would also be a “significant step ahead” in the UK’s post-Brexit goal to refocus trade on the Indo-Pacific, which is home to half the world’s population and 50% of global economic growth.