January 21st, London
Negotiations between the UK and India towards an ambitious free trade agreement (FTA) are “well advanced” and the next round of negotiations will start soon, the UK Foreign Office minister said here. told his peers in a parliamentary debate, the deal could boost the country’s economy.
The UK’s Foreign Secretary and Chief of Staff for South Asia, Sir Tariq Ahmad, said the UK’s relationship with India is at the heart of Britain’s foreign policy and a key partner in one of the world’s largest economies.
Ahmad was addressing a debate in the Senate on Thursday titled ‘The Importance of British-Indian Relations’.
He confirmed that negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) are “well advanced” and the next round of negotiations is expected to begin soon.
“It is true that the UK-India relationship is at the heart of UK foreign policy as we build and strengthen this relationship,” Ahmad said.
“As one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies, India is an important partner for the UK…We are also considering lowering non-tariff barriers on medical devices to benefit UK exporters. and an ambitious and balanced free trade agreement,” he said.
A strong trade deal with India could boost the UK economy by billions of pounds in the long term and help families across the country, he said.