The UK government said Thursday that the sixth round of negotiations between India and the UK to finalize a free trade agreement (FTA) ended last week, with 28 separate sessions to discuss detailed draft treaties across 11 policy areas. was announced to have taken place.
The UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) has released a joint results statement confirming that the latest round, launched by UK Trade Secretary Kemi Badenok and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on 12 December, closed last Friday. did. The seventh round of talks, which will take place in the UK, is “expected to take place in early 2023”.
“Technical discussions were held across 11 policy areas in 28 separate sessions, including detailed draft treaty discussions for these policy areas,” the DIT statement said.
As with the five previous formal-level rounds, the DIT said the latest round was conducted in a hybrid fashion, during which many UK officials traveled to New Delhi for negotiations, while others traveled virtually said to have attended
The joint outcome statement states: Mr Piyush Goyal, Honorary Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, welcomed the latest meeting and discussed broader trade and investment opportunities between the UK and India.
“On 16 December 2022, the UK and the Republic of India completed the sixth round of negotiations towards a UK-India FTA.”
According to official UK government data, bilateral trade between India and the UK now amounts to around £29.6 billion annually. The two sides formally launched his FTA negotiations earlier this year, with former Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing a deadline for signing the Diwali Agreement. But Prime Minister Rishi Sunak vowed to work “at pace” towards an FTA that would not “sacrifice quality for speed” after the October deadline passed amid political turmoil in the UK. promised.
The UK government has said the goal of the FTA is to reach an agreement by reducing tariffs and opening up opportunities for UK services such as finance and law, making it easier for UK companies to sell into the Indian economy. .