Jaitley says India and Britain may create joint sub-fund under National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) ….reports Asian Lite News
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that India and Britain are exploring the possibility of creating a joint sub-fund under the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).
“Officials from both India and UK are jointly exploring creation of an India-UK sub-fund under the NIIF umbrella. We look forward to implementation of this task expeditiously and positively in near future,” Jaitley said during his meeting with visiting British Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox.
Jaitley said government accords high priority to investment in infrastructure, manufacturing and service sectors.
NIIF, India’s first Rs 40,000 crore sovereign wealth fund, has been set up for attracting investments for infrastructure development in the country. Financial Times, London has adjudged NIIF as the most innovative structure in Asia Pacific under finance category.
Jaitley further said that the Union Cabinet has approved a new model text for the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), the new text of which has already been shared with the British government in April this year.
The Finance Minister also raised the issue of proposed Brexit implications on the Indian businesses and working professionals in Britain.
He also mentioned a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Britain depending on terms and conditions of its withdrawal arrangement from the EU.
Fox, who is currently on a three-day visit to New Delhi and Mumbai from August 28-30 to boost bilateral commercial ties, said: “UK is interested in forging deeper trade and investment arrangements with India.”
India and the UK discussed ways to boost bilateral trade in a new scenario following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU).
Talks were held here between Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox, following which Sitharaman briefed mediapersons.
“UK is very keen on deepening our trade relationship, but formal talks can only start after they complete the process of exiting from the EU,” she said.
She said that both countries have decided to set up a joint working group which can go into the details of “what is the kind of economic and commercial relationship which can be built”.
To a question about the possibility of a bilateral free trade agreement, the minister said there is a possibility of an FTA.
“But obviously, UK is still a part of the EU. Only when they come out can formal talks on such matters begin.”
There is an India-UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting which is also expected to take place before the end of 2016, Sitharaman said.
Following the Brexit — Britain’s exit from EU — vote in June, the British Business Secretary Sajid Javid had met Sitharaman here in July.
Bilateral trade between the countries stood at $14 billion in 2015-16, as compared to $14.33 billion in 2014-15.