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India-UK likely to sign FTA deal by October end: Report

Mint | 11 October 2023

India-UK likely to sign FTA deal by October end: Report

India and the United Kingdom are expected to sign a proposed free-trade agreement (FTA) deal at the end of October 2023, according to a report published by Economic Times.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has earlier reiterated his commitment to closer India-UK ties across different sectors, including a FTA, between the two countries.

According to official UK Department for Business and Trade (DBT) figures, UK-India bilateral trade was worth an estimated 36 billion pounds in 2022.

A 30-member official delegation from the UK started the next round of negotiations for a free trade agreement with the Indian team here on Monday to close remaining issues so that the two countries conclude the talks soon, an official has said.

Both countries have recently concluded the 13th round of negotiations. A team led by Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal was in London last week to give an impetus to the talks, PTI reported.

The ’rules of origin’ provision prescribes that minimal processing should happen in the FTA country so that the final manufactured product may be referred to as goods originating in that country.

Under this provision, a country that has inked an FTA with India cannot dump goods from some third country in the Indian market by just putting a label on it. It has to undertake a prescribed value addition in that product to export to India. Rules of origin norms help contain the dumping of goods.

The investment treaty is being negotiated as a separate agreement between India and the UK, as per PTI reports.

Earlier, Badenoch had reviewed progress on the trade talks with her Indian counterpart, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, during a visit to India in August coinciding with Round 12 of the FTA negotiations.

The bilateral trade between India and the UK increased to USD 20.36 billion in 2022-23 from USD 17.5 billion in 2021-22.

 source: Mint