(S,P) A trade agreement between India and the UK can reduce the price for sourcing goods from India or the UK.
The UK and India have launched negotiations on an ambitious Free Trade Agreement.
The agreement will create huge benefits for both countries and could boost our total trade by up to £28 billion a year by 2035 and increase wages by up to £3 billion across the UK.
India is one of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies, and a bold new deal would put UK businesses at the front of the queue to supply India’s growing middle class, forecast to increase to a quarter of a billion consumers by 2050. India is set to become the world’s third-biggest economy by 2050, with a bigger population than the US and EU combined.
About the potential of the deal
A deal has the potential to almost double UK exports to India, boost our total trade by as much as £28 billion a year by 2035, and increase wages across the UK by up to £3 billion. Investment from Indian companies already supports 95,000 jobs across the UK.
The UK wants an agreement that slashes barriers to doing business and trading with India’s £2 trillion economy and market of 1.4 billion consumers, including cutting tariffs on exports of British-made cars and Scotch whisky.
A deal with India would be a big step forward in the UK’s strategy to refocus trade on the Indo-Pacific, home to half of the world’s population and 50% of global economic growth. A new economic partnership with India, alongside UK membership of the massive Asia-Pacific trading bloc, CPTPP, will create a pillar in the region supporting free and fair trade.
A UK-India FTA would bring multiple benefits, including:
Playing a key role in our ambition to double trade with India by 2030 - supercharging the growth of our trading relationship which totalled over £23bn in 2019.
Slashing barriers on UK exports – Removing duties alone would increase exports to India by up to £6.8 billion, supporting tens of thousands of jobs across the UK. Important UK exports like Scotch whisky and cars currently face enormous duties of 150% and 125% respectively.
Levelling up the UK – DIT analysis shows a trade agreement with India could boost the economies of all nations and regions of the UK. Almost 30,000 people in the West Midlands for example alone were employed via Indian investment in 2019, and the region could see a massive boost of up to £300m with opportunities for manufacturers of motor vehicles and parts.
Investment in UK jobs - International investment from Indian companies already supports 95,000 jobs across the UK and could grow with a new trade deal.
Boost UK’s green industries - The Indian government plans to install 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and much more in the coming decades. UK’s world-leading renewables industry looks set to benefit from a deal that slashes barriers – such as import tariffs as high as 15% on wind turbine parts from the UK.
Results of first round of negotiations
On Friday 28th January 2022, the Republic of India and the United Kingdom concluded the first round of talks for an India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Both sides acknowledge the importance of ensuring this first round – held virtually over 2 weeks - could proceed despite the challenges presented by the COVID pandemic.
During this round, technical experts from both sides came together for discussions in 32 separate sessions covering 26 policy areas including: Trade in Goods, Trade in Services including Financial Services & Telecommunications, Investment, Intellectual Property, Customs and Trade Facilitation, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Competition, Gender, Government Procurement, SMEs, Sustainability, Transparency, Trade and Development, Geographical Indicators and Digital
The negotiations were productive and reflected our shared ambition to secure a comprehensive deal to boost trade between the 5th and 6th largest economies in the world. The positive discussions in round one have laid the groundwork for the UK and India to make positive and efficient progress.
The second round of negotiations is due to take place on 7-18 March 2022. Both teams maintain a shared ambition to conclude negotiations by the end of 2022 – as part of both sides’ efforts to secure a comprehensive agreement, Chief Negotiators will continue to consider the benefits of an Interim Agreement.
This explains the UK governments:
strategic rationale for pursuing a free trade agreement with India
negotiating objectives for a free trade agreement between the UK and India
response to our consultation on a trade agreement between the UK and India, including how the consultation informed the UK’s negotiating objectives
initial assessment of the potential long-term impacts of a trade agreement between the UK and India
UK-India free trade agreement: the UK’s strategic approach
Technical annexes accompanying the scoping assessment of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and India
'Golden opportunity' for Scotch whisky as UK launches India talks
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