India, Britain launch talks on free trade deal

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India and Britain have formally started talks to pursue a free trade deal that is expected to boost their trade to billions, making it one of the most ambitious talks to take place since Brexit.

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New Delhi – India and Britain on Thursday began talks on a free trade deal that is expected to boost bilateral trade worth billions of dollars in one of the most ambitious talks to be held post-Brexit.

Britain’s International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan meets Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, in New Delhi. Officials said the actual talks would begin next week.

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“This is my first significant deal this year as Britain embarks on its independent journey after Brexit,” Trevelyan told reporters.

He said that both the countries have a unique opportunity to build ties in trade. The defence, climate and health sectors as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Goyal said the free trade agreement, which is expected to be finalized in a year, will double the trade between the two countries by 2030.

Both sides expect the deal to benefit a number of industries, from food and drink to cutting-edge renewable technology.

The Indian minister said the two sides will also work on an interim agreement to accelerate efforts to capture the low-hanging fruits in goods and services, tourism, startups, education and climate change.

A UK government statement said the free trade agreement could potentially double Britain’s exports to India and increase two-way trade to $38 billion annually by 2035.

Asked whether the British government was willing to ease visa restrictions on Indians visiting the country, Trevelyan said the approach was to see how British and Indian businesses and efforts to reinvigorate the two countries’ civil ties be benefited in

“The Indian diaspora in the UK is a bridge between the two countries and it can add a lot of dynamism to their relationship,” Goyal said.

“A deal with India is a golden opportunity to put UK businesses at the forefront of the queue, as the Indian economy continues to grow rapidly,” Trevelyan said, adding that the UK is one of Asia’s third-largest economy with a growing middle class. I was keen to tap into. ,

Since leaving the European Union in 2016, the UK has focused its trade policies in the Indo-Pacific. India, once a British colony, is seen as a favorable place given the uncertainties over relations with China.

“This is my first significant agreement this year as the UK begins its independent journey after Brexit,” Trevelyan said.

A British statement issued ahead of the meeting said investments from Indian companies are already helping 95,000 jobs across the UK.

Britain is keen on a deal that lowers barriers to trade and trade, including cutting tariffs on exports of British-made cars and Scotch whisky.

In an interview with the Financial Times newspaper on Thursday, Trevelyan said “everything is on the table for discussion”, including broadening visa access for Indian students and skilled workers. She said she wants a deal done by early 2023.

According to India’s foreign ministry, India and the UK are focusing on five key areas, people-to-people contacts, trade, defense and security, climate action and health.

India and the UK have extensive ties with prior investments in 120 projects to become the second largest source of foreign direct investment after the United States in 2019. Trade between the two countries stood at $15.45 billion in 2019-20.

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