NEW DELHI: After India and the UK launched formal negotiations for the free trade agreement on Thursday, Union Minister of Commerce and Trade Piyush Goyal said that the agreement will expand cooperation in tourism, technology, startups, education, climate change, etc.
“The terms of reference of the free trade agreement have been finalised and formally endorsed by both countries and therefore, we are launching formal negotiations for the free trade agreement,” said Goyal while addressing a press conference with UK Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan. Both countries “will be proactively and regularly engaging with each other deliberating on different aspects of our relationship and fast-tracking the interim agreement or an early-harvest agreement where we hope to capture the low hanging fruits, which will provide opportunities for businesses on both sides and UK and India and help us substantially, enhancing the volume of trade in goods and services,” he added.
Goyal also stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson in May 2021 had announced the India-UK trade partnership setting an ambitious target to double bilateral trade by 2030.
“We are looking forward to a very multidimensional economic partnership between the two countries particularly when we both share vibrant democracies, we share the rich history and traditional cultural ties over centuries,” he said.
The two leaders had agreed on negotiating a comprehensive free trade agreement including consideration of an interim Trade agreement to deliver early gains.
Emphasising that India and the UK are two dynamic leading economies of the world, Goyal said that the two countries are coming together to embark on the next phase moving from the enhanced trade partnership which was “launched by the two Prime Ministers in May last year to expand it to a full-fledged discussion on a free trade agreement, on comprehensive strategic partnership is truly a very very important milestone in our engagements between the two countries”.
The agreement aims to create huge benefits for both countries and could boost our total trade by up to euro 28 billion a year by 2035 and increase wages by up to euro 3 billion across the UK, according to the UK Department for International Trade.
Earlier in the day, Union Minister for Commerce and Trade Piyush Goyal met UK Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan for the launch of India-UK Free Trade Agreement Negotiations here on Thursday. “Met with UK Secretary of State for International Trade @AnnieTrev for the launch of India-UK Free Trade Agreement Negotiations,” said Goyal in a tweet on Thursday.” Deliberations will be held over an array of trade opportunities of mutual interest benefit.
British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis
Terming the launch of the Free Trade Agreement between India and the United Kingdom as a “big step”, British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis on Thursday said that the FTA has a “huge potential and ambition between two democracies.”
“Fantastic to launch the Free Trade Agreement today with @PiyushGoyal & @annietrev – huge potential and ambition between 2 dynamic democracies. A big step,” Alex Ellis said in a tweet.
India and the United Kingdom on Thursday formally launched negotiations for FTA between the two countries by Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and UK Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who is in New Delhi for the discussions.
“An India-UK Free Trade Agreement would be a substantial opportunity for both of our economies and a significant moment in the India-UK bilateral relationship,” the joint statement read.
“The India-UK bilateral trading relationship is already significant, and both sides have agreed to double that bilateral trade by 2030, as part of Roadmap 2030 announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Boris Johnson in May 2021. India and the UK will seek to agree to a mutually beneficial agreement supporting jobs, businesses, and communities in both countries,” it added.
As per the statement, trade negotiations will be a priority for both India and UK, as both the countries build upon the Enhanced Trade Partnership launched by our Prime Ministers in May 2021.
“During negotiations, and on the path to a comprehensive agreement, both Governments will consider the option of an Interim Agreement that generates early benefits for both countries. In parallel to trade negotiations, the India-UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee will continue to work in improving the India-UK trading relationship and addressing market access barriers outside of a trade agreement,” the joint statement read.
It added that both parties have agreed that the first round of negotiations will begin on January 17, and future rounds of negotiations will take place approximately every five weeks.
The Indian negotiating team will be led by Nidhi Mani Tripathi, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce and the UK negotiating team will be led by Harjinder Kang, Director for India Negotiations at the Department for International Trade.
The ambition of both countries is to negotiate a broad agreement that will deliver for businesses and consumers, it added. (ANI)