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India-UK FTA likely to be closed by March 2023

Mint | 15 November 2022

India-UK FTA likely to be closed by March 2023

The trade deal between India and Britain which was initially postponed from October to December due to political and economic crisis in the UK is now expected to be closed by March. A source from the commerce ministry said on Tuesday that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the United Kingdom (UK) and India is expected to be closed by March 2023.

The trade agreement between India and Britain, which aims to double bilateral trade by 2030, could not be completed by late October, the initial target for concluding the talks. The talks were initially supposed to be finished by October but somehow got delayed.

It will soon be decided whether these discussions will occur at the ministerial level or the secretarial level.

The source stated that the FTA between India and the UK should be completed by March 2023. India should prioritise lowering tariffs on manufactured goods to benefit industries like the automotive industry, according to West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, a member Conservative Party.

A government source claims that 14 of the trade agreement’s 26 chapters have been completed, and the visiting UK delegation will attempt to reach an agreement on the more specific details of the remaining chapters.

In a call with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi last month, Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak—the first leader of Indian descent in the nation—expressed his hope for the trade agreement’s completion.

Earlier today at the G20 Summit in Bali, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared that his country would take its time to craft "right" free trade agreements with other countries and would not compromise quality for expediency in future trade agreements.

According to earlier reports, the British representatives were likely to travel to India in December to wrap up the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations after missing the Diwali deadline due to unprecedented economic and political crises in the United Kingdom.

(With inputs from ANI)

 source: Mint