India and UK's Commitment to FTA Sparks Hope for Economic Growth

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal confirmed that both India and the UK remain committed to a proposed free trade agreement (FTA). Recent remarks from the UK government have been promising, with both nations eager to finalize an agreement that includes numerous sectors like goods, services, and investments.


Devdiscourse News Desk | New Delhi | Updated: 10-07-2024 17:35 IST | Created: 10-07-2024 17:35 IST
India and UK's Commitment to FTA Sparks Hope for Economic Growth
Piyush Goyal
  • Country:
  • India

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal announced on Wednesday that India and the UK are dedicated to establishing a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries.

Goyal mentioned that initial comments from the UK's newly elected government are highly encouraging.

'The Labour Party is as committed as the Modi government to the FTA,' he told reporters.

UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer spoke with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, expressing readiness to finalize an agreement that benefits both nations.

The leaders agreed to aim for an early conclusion of the India-UK FTA negotiations, which began in January 2022. Talks stalled during the election cycles of both countries.

In an FTA, trading partners significantly reduce or eliminate customs duties on a wide range of goods, while also easing norms to promote trade in services and investments.

Ongoing issues remain, particularly in goods and services sectors. Indian industries seek greater access to the UK market for skilled professionals in IT and healthcare, as well as duty-free access for various goods.

The UK is requesting reduced import duties on products such as Scotch whiskey, electric vehicles, and lamb meat, along with enhanced opportunities for UK service providers in India.

Additionally, the nations are negotiating a bilateral investment treaty (BIT), covering 26 chapters including goods, services, and intellectual property rights.

Bilateral trade between the two countries rose to USD 21.34 billion in 2023-24 from USD 20.36 billion in the previous fiscal year. The Labour Party's manifesto has also pledged to secure the FTA.

(Disclaimer: With inputs from agencies.)

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