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FTA to give a £28 billion boost to annual trade with India by 2035, says UK

A trade deal with India’s booming economy offers huge benefits for British businesses, workers and consumers.Premium
A trade deal with India’s booming economy offers huge benefits for British businesses, workers and consumers.

  • There are nearly 600 British companies in India employing more than 320,000 people and international investment from Indian companies already supports 95,000 jobs across the UK. An FTA will allow more companies to invest, create jobs, and level up both economies

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NEW DELHI: A free trade deal for which formal negotiations were kicked off on Thursday will help India and the UK to boost bilateral trade by up to £28 billion a year by 2035, a statement from the UK government said on Thursday.

This deal will play a key role in the UK’s ambition to double trade with India by 2030, supercharging the growth of bilateral trade from £23 billion in 2019, the statement said.

On Thursday, India’s commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal and the UK’s international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan formally started talks on the proposed deal that is expected to fetch “huge benefits for both countries."

India-UK trade is already strong, supporting nearly half-a-million jobs in each other’s economies, the statement said.

A comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries can unlock economic benefits for both sides across a range of sectors including the research partnership between the two which is already worth £400 million, the statement said.

A closer partnership makes it easier for businesses from both the countries to collaborate to solve global challenges, building on the success story of AstraZeneca and the Serum Institute, it said.

It will also aid both the economies to diversify, strengthen supply chains, and position India as a trusted trade partner of UK in the region. “India is at the heart of the Indo-Pacific region, where half the world’s people live and 50% of global economic growth is produced. 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," the statement said.

“A trade deal with India’s booming economy offers huge benefits for British businesses, workers and consumers. As we take our historic partnership with India to the next level, the UK’s independent trade policy is creating jobs, increasing wages and driving innovation across the country," the statement said quoting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“The UK has world-class businesses and expertise we can rightly be proud of, from Scotch whisky distillers to financial services and cutting-edge renewable technology. We are seizing the opportunities offered in growing economies of the Indo-Pacific to cement our place on the global stage and deliver jobs and growth at home," the statement said quoting Johnson.

A deal with India is a golden opportunity to put UK businesses at the front of the queue as the Indian economy continues to grow rapidly, the statement said quoting international trade secretary Trevelyan.

By 2050, India will be the world’s third largest economy with a middle class of almost 250 million shoppers and we want to unlock this huge new market for British manufacturers across numerous industries from food and drink to services and automotive, Trevelyan said in the statement.

Removing duties by the Indian side alone is expected to increase UK's exports to India by up to £6.8 billion. Important UK exports like Scotch whisky and cars currently face enormous duties of 150% and 125% respectively. There are nearly 600 UK companies in India employing more than 320,000 people and international investment from Indian companies already supports 95,000 jobs across the UK. An FTA will allow more companies to invest, create jobs, and level up both economies, the statement said. An FTA will also allow growing Indian start-ups direct access to the best capital markets in the world. Indian companies have raised nearly £14 billion on the London Stock Exchange (through Masala, Dollar, and Green bonds) between June 2016 and September 2021, the statement said. (ends)

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