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UK and India strengthen basis for a Free Trade Agreement

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

After a five-day visit to New Delhi, international trade minister Elizabeth Truss has come to an agreement with Piyush Goyal, India’s minister for commerce and industry, on an enhanced trade partnership (ETP) with India moving discussions closer to securing a free trade deal between the two nations.

In a significant step forward, it was agreed that the partnership would be formally launched during the visit of the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to India, later this year. Furthermore, as stated by the government on a joint statement on the partnership’s developments, “the Ministers committed themselves to make concrete progress on trade and investment front to deliver quick gains for both countries including joint timelines for further advances”.

Additionally, according to The Telegraph, the minister secured investment from steel giant and one of the UK’s biggest employers Tata, to create 1500 UK jobs in the technology sector.

Market Interest

India is currently one of the largest economies in the world and presents huge potential for trade and investment with the UK. For this reason, according to Gaurav Singh, founding partner at venture capitalist firm JPIN VCATS, the deal that could be worth £100bn will be key to a post-Brexit and post-COVID recovery for the UK.

Historic and Economic Ties

Since India gained its independence from Britain in 1947, it has remained a key member of the commonwealth. Furthermore, since trade was formally stablished between the two countries back in 1600, the economic ties have been strengthened with India which “has been a top two Foreign Direct Investment source for the UK and the UK has been a top six investor in India”.

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