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.
Sir Tariq Ahmad, UK Foreign Office Minister for South Asia, also said the UK’s relationship with India is at the heart of the UK’s foreign policy and a key partner in one of the world’s largest economies.
Ahmad was speaking at a debate in the Senate on Thursday titled ‘The Importance of Britain-India 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. 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.
“Reducing bureaucracy and high tariffs will make it easier and cheaper for UK companies to sell in India, boosting growth and boosting employment,” he added. rice field.
As part of a review of progress across all areas of bilateral cooperation, including defense, health and climate action, the Ministers also: UK-India FTA.
“As an update, we have now completed six rounds of negotiations for a trade agreement and will begin the next round soon… Several noble lords have spoken about timelines. bottom.
“We assure them that we are working concretely, but that the trade agreements signed are properly considered, not hastily, and that all chapters are thoroughly discussed and mutually beneficial to both countries and their peoples. It’s a profitable deal,” the minister said.
According to official UK government data, bilateral trade between India and the UK now amounts to around £29.6 billion annually.
The two sides officially launched FTA negotiations last January, with former Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing a deadline for signing the Diwali Agreement.
But Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says he will work ‘pacing’ for an FTA that will not ‘sacrifice quality for speed’ after the October deadline has passed amid political turmoil in the UK. I promised
The sixth round of negotiations to finalize the agreement concluded last month, with 28 separate sessions discussing detailed draft treaties across 11 policy areas. The UK government said the goal of the FTA is to reach a deal to reduce tariffs and open opportunities for UK services. It makes it easier for UK companies to sell into the Indian economy, including finance and law.
Verma opened the debate by highlighting the recent establishment of the India (Trade and Investment) All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). APPG supports the 1928 Institute, a British Indian think tank, as its secretariat. She revealed that the bipartisan group plans to bring its first delegation to India in April.
“This group will not only strengthen political engagement and understanding, but will lead this century to strong foundations, strong cooperation and new partnerships,” she said.
Sir Karan Vilimoria spoke of the need for a large Prime Minister’s delegation to India and asked Prime Minister Sunak to lead the delegation “as soon as possible”.
“Today, India is chairing the G20. Today, India has a vision of becoming the second largest economy in the world with a GDP of US$32 billion in the next 25 years,” he said. .
“The Indian Express has left the station. It is now the fastest train in the world and the fastest growing major economy in the world. must be,” he added.