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Experts positive on India-UK FTA deal

The Tribune - 26 October 2022

Experts positive on India-UK FTA deal

The India-UK free trade deal, which has missed the Diwali deadline, is likely to get the much-needed impetus with Rishi Sunak taking over as Britain’s first Indian-origin Prime Minister as experts see political stability in the UK giving momentum to negotiations.

India and Britain launched negotiations for the free-trade agreement (FTA) in January with an aim to conclude talks by Diwali but the deadline was missed due to a lack of consensus on issues.

Sunak, in his previous role as Chancellor of the Exchequer, had expressed support for the FTA as he saw enormous opportunities for both countries in the fintech and insurance sectors.

According to the experts, political stability in the UK now would help fast-track the negotiations for the pact, which could potentially double bilateral trade by 2030.

The total trade between India and the UK stood at USD 17.5 billion in 2021-22. Sunak, 42, on Monday took over as Britain’s first Prime Minister of Indian origin.

"It is very positive news for India. The development will definitely help in giving much-needed momentum to the talks," Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Vice Chairman Khalid Khan said.

However, Biswajit Dhar, Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, said the new UK prime minister would like to first focus on domestic issues and set the economy in order. "Trade deals do not happen when there is a crisis. They happen when the economy is performing well," Dhar said.

 source: The Tribune