India and UK Launch Free Trade Agreement Negotiations

The Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday, launched the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with the United Kingdom along with Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK Secretary of State for International Trade in New Delhi. 

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry in a statement said that FTA is expected to facilitate the target of doubling bilateral trade between India and the United Kingdom by 2030, set by PM Modi and Boris Johnson in May 2021.

Piyush Goyal said, “Both India and UK are vibrant democracies, with a partnership built on our shared history and rich culture. The diverse Indian diaspora in the UK, who act as a “Living Bridge” and dynamism to the relations between the two countries.”

The Minister said that the FTA with the UK is expected to provide certainty, predictability and transparency and will create a more liberal, facilitative and competitive services regime.

“The FTA negotiations with the UK are expected to increase our exports in Leather, Textile, Jewellery and processed Agri products. India is also expected to register a quantum jump in the export of marine products through the recognition of 56 marine units of India.”

The Minister said that the Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) on pharma could provide additional market access. There is also great potential for increasing exports in service sectors like IT/ITES, Nursing, education, healthcare, including AYUSH and audio-visual services. India would also be seeking special arrangements for the movement of its people, he added.

The Minister assured that subsequent to the unveiling of FTA, the two nations would proactively and regularly engage with each other, for deliberating on the scope and coverage of the trade deal. 

Observing that UK was a major trade partner of India with substantial bilateral volume of trade in goods and services, Goyal said, “The cooperation extended across areas like tourism, tech, startups, education, climate change, etc. and that the two nations were looking forward to a mutually beneficial trade deal with balanced concessions and market access package in a wide range of sectors.”

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