Brexit Britain Seeks Free Trade Agreement With India

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Indian Minister Piyush Goyal discusses FTA matters with his British counterpart Secretary of State  Ms Elizabeth Truss. Interim Agreement to allow both the countries to harvest early gains in some select commodities and services … reports Asian Lite News

Brexit Britain and India are keen to strike a deal on trade. They are aiming to launch talks on FTA by November 2021.

The proposed FTA between India & UK is expected to unlock extraordinary business opportunities and generate jobs. Both sides have renewed their commitment to boosting trade in a manner that benefits all.

Mr Piyush Goyal, Indian Minister for Commerce & Industry, Textiles, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution

Two sides looking for an Interim Agreement as a priority and later a Comprehensive Agreement.

The matter came up during the discussions held between Indian Minister Piyush Goyal and his British counterpart Secretary of State, Elizabeth Truss on FTA and other trade matters.

Speaking on the occasion Mr Goyal, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Textiles, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, said that there is tremendous interest in the business community in both countries India & UK about this FTA.

British Minister Truss tweeted sharing talks with Mr Goyal. “Today Piyush Goyal and I launched trade working groups to lay the groundwork for our forthcoming UK-India trade deal, which will boost access to more than a billion consumers; bolster our science and tech industries and support jobs in both countries.”

Mr Goyal said that since the ‘Declaration’ on the launch of Enhanced Trade Partnership, announced by Prime Ministers on 4th May 2021, both countries have made substantial progress on various aspects of the partnership.

The Indian Minister said that there is a keenness to have an early conclusion of negotiations for quick and early economic benefits to businesses on both sides. Shri Goyal added that Substantial work has already been done and extensive stakeholder consultations have been held involving   Industry / Business associations, Export Promotion Councils, Buyers/Sellers Associations, Regulatory Bodies, Ministries/Departments, public research bodies, etc. The consultation paper was also made public for wider participation as well.

Mr Goyal said that BWGs for different tracks have been formed to understand the ambitions, interests and sensitivities of each other to facilitate accelerated progress during negotiations. The meetings of these BWGs are presently in progress and are likely to be completed by September 2021.

He said that he was hopeful that these BWG discussions would help both sides in understanding each other’s policy regimes and would put us in a better position when both sides begin their Joint Scoping discussions, beginning on 1st October 2021, for finalizing the TORs for the launch of negotiations in November.

Mr Goyal said that an Interim Trade Agreement, as the first step of an FTA would allow both of us to immensely benefit from the early gains of the partnership.

Union Minister of Railways and Commerce, Piyush Goyal (Photo: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

In services, certain services of mutual interest may be included in the Interim Agreement through a request offer approach wherein we may include priority sectors that are immediately deliverable. If necessary, we may also explore the signing of few Mutual Recognition Agreements in selective services like nursing and architecture services.

Mr Goyal emphasised the need to strike a balance between commitments & concessions in goods and services.

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