Bearing in mind the sensitivities of both countries, India and the UK have decided to settle their differences and agreed to an early end to negotiations towards a free trade agreement (FTA).
UK Secretary of State for International Trade Kemi Badenok said on Tuesday that her Indian counterpart Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush as the two countries launched their sixth round of FTA talks in the capital after a hiatus of more than four months.・I met with Goyal.
In an interview with CNBC TV18, Badenoch said the two sides want to finish negotiations as soon as possible, but that it must be the “right deal.”
Goyal and Badenok also urged negotiators not to waste time on unsolvable issues and to work on issues that could be of mutual benefit to both countries.
“We already know this is not something we can work on forever. There are many things to do, including elections. We’ve already seen things, so we don’t want them to get in the way,” Badenok said.
“We asked our negotiators to pick up the pace to work quickly and not waste time on negotiations where both sides are unlikely to move forward. We need to find a location with a suitable landing zone that is mutually beneficial for us,” she added.
Badenok also said that both India and the UK are negotiating FTAs with a number of countries and all of these countries are considering the standards to be set in this FTA. “So an ambitious, balanced and quality deal is key,” she said.
The minister’s comments are very important as the two countries have already missed the Oct. 24 or Diwali deadline to finalize the deal as several issues remain unresolved. In addition, political turmoil in the UK and elections in major Indian states further delayed negotiations.
Both sides claim to have reached conclusions in 16 of the 25 chapters, including India’s demand for liberalization of immigration policy, Britain’s demand for lower tariffs on whiskey and automobiles, and India’s liberalization of law, construction and financial services. Important issues such as are not yet resolved.
An official at the Ministry of Industry and Trade said March 2023 is being kept as an internal target for finalizing the trade deal.
The two ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the ongoing India-UK FTA negotiations, according to an official Ministry of Commerce statement.
“Ministers, with the aim of resolving differences in a spirit of mutual reconciliation, based on the principle of reciprocity and respect for each other’s sensitivities, for a balanced, mutually beneficial, fair and equitable outcome. , asked the negotiating team to cooperate.”