Thursday, June 20, 2024

India-UK free trade agreement likely to come through within a month

NEW DELHI, AUGUST 17: The 12th round of the India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) began in Delhi on Wednesday.
“If all goes well, the much-awaited FTA will be over within a month. The excise issue on the import of Scotch whiskey is likely to be settled amicably between Whiskey manufacturers of India and the Scotch Whiskey manufacturers”,’ said a source aware of the issue.
Negotiations are going on to ensure that all loose ends are tied. The India-UK FTA deal got delayed after former British PM Boris Johnson stepped down.
In the 11th round of discussions, out of the 26 chapters/policy areas, nearly 19 got closed. A few issues are left to be ironed out. At the end of the 12th round, most chapters will see a conclusion, a source added.
It is learnt that the trade officials and British Trade Minister will be in India later this month to attend the G20 trade and investment working group meeting that is scheduled to be held between August 21st and 25th.
Meanwhile, Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami has expressed optimism for a mutually beneficial pact.
On 18 July 2023, India-UK concluded the 11th round of talks.
“As with previous rounds, this was conducted in a hybrid fashion – a number of Indian officials travelled to London for negotiations and others attended virtually”, according to the British Department of Trade.
On 10-11 July, Minister for Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, visited the UK as part of the 11th round of the UK-India FTA negotiations. He met with Kemi Badenoch MP, the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, and Nigel Huddleston MP, the Minister of State for International Trade, where they discussed ways to make progress on the FTA negotiations and wider trade and investment opportunities for the UK and India.
Sunil Barthwal, Commerce Secretary, Government of India, also visited the UK during the round. He met with senior UK trade officials and took stock of the progress made in the 11th round of negotiations.
(Courtesy: TNIE)