NEW DELHI ( Associated Press) – India and Britain are starting talks to advance a free trade agreement that is expected to boost bilateral trade worth billions of dollars in one of the most ambitious talks to be held post-Brexit.
Britain’s International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan is in New Delhi and will call on India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution and Textiles Piyush Goyal. Officials said the actual talks would begin next week.
Both sides expect the deal to benefit a number of industries, from food and drink to cutting-edge renewable technology.
The deal could potentially double Britain’s exports to India and increase two-way trade to $38 billion annually by 2035, a British government statement said.
“A deal with India is a golden opportunity to put UK businesses at the forefront of the queue as the Indian economy continues to grow,” Trevelyan said, adding that the UK was among the growing middle class in Asia’s third-largest economy. Wanted to tap. ,
His visit signals Britain’s efforts to focus its trade policies in the Indo-Pacific region, after leaving the European Union in 2016. India, once a British colony, is seen as a favorable place given the uncertainties over relations with China.
The investment from Indian companies already supports 95,000 jobs across the UK, the statement said.
Britain is keen on a deal that lowers barriers to trade and trade, including cutting tariffs on exports of British-made cars and Scotch whisky.
In an interview with the Financial Times newspaper on Thursday, Trevelyan said “everything is on the table for discussion”, including broadening visa access for Indian students and skilled workers. She said she wants a deal done by early 2023.
According to India’s foreign ministry, India and the UK are focusing on five key areas, people-to-people contacts, trade, defense and security, climate action and health.
India and the UK have extensive ties with prior investments in 120 projects to become the second largest source of foreign direct investment after the United States in 2019. Trade between the two countries stood at $15.45 billion in 2019-20.