The negotiations, according to the UK side, will be aimed at reaching a deal to lower tariffs and expand market access for UK services, notably financial and legal ones. For the Indian side, talks with the British side are ongoing in the field of commerce in products, which includes the sale of passenger cars.
The UK is prepared to begin the sixth round of free trade agreement negotiations with India on Monday with the arrival of its trade secretary in the capital.
To fortify relations between the two nations and rekindle discussions on an ambitious bilateral trade treaty, Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and his British counterpart Kemi Badenoch will hold trade talks in person for the first time.
Expectations for an FTA in the UK
The negotiations, according to the UK side, will be aimed at reaching a deal to lower tariffs and expand market access for UK services, notably financial and legal ones. British companies are attempting to enter the rapidly growing Indian market, which is anticipated to overtake China as the third-largest economy in the world by 2050 with a middle-class population of 250 million.
The UK minister will speak with the business moguls during her weeklong visit to India in order to better comprehend their requirements for a contemporary economic partnership between the UK and India. Kemi Badenoch, the secretary of state for international trade, arrived and stated, “I am delighted about the potential we may generate for British business. Both nations have come to the table with the very greatest objectives and a readiness to work together toward a mutually beneficial arrangement.
“India and the UK are the fifth and sixth largest economies in the world, and given our shared history, we are in a prime position to strike an agreement that will improve our £29 billion trading relationship while also generating employment and encouraging growth.”
The UK High Commission in India states that “UK businesses are already benefiting from the blossoming trading relationship,” and that “strong development in the Indian economy is predicted to enhance UK exports to India by over £9 billion by the middle of the next decade.”
Indian hopes for the FTA
Anupriya Patel, a minister of state for commerce and industry, said parliament on December 9 that the UK side is currently negotiating with regard to the trade in commodities, including passenger vehicles.
Since January 13 of this year, the two nations have been discussing a free trade agreement. It is important to remember that in a free trade agreement, two nations agree to either drastically cut or do away with customs fees on the majority of commodities that are traded between them.
The UK side has been asking for reductions in taxes on the automotive industry. The two nations had set a deadline of Diwali (October 24) for the end of the FTA negotiations, but the political climate in the UK hindered the process. The discussions also stalled over the issues of immigration, cars, intellectual property, and the alcoholic beverage industry.