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Business News/ News / India/  India-UK free trade agreement to resume from April 24; here’s what to expect as PM Modi, Rishi Sunak plan to expedite pr
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India-UK free trade agreement to resume from April 24; here’s what to expect as PM Modi, Rishi Sunak plan to expedite pr

Rishi Sunak and PM Modi have agreed to expedite progress on the India-UK FTA, Downing Street earlier said.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier had a talk with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi.Premium
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier had a talk with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi.

Negotiations on the India-UK free trade agreement (FTA) are set to resume from April 24 after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi spoke over the phone and agreed to expedite progress on outstanding issues.

The next round of talks on the proposed free trade agreement will take place from April 24 to 28, according to a statement by MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi. The UK Department for Business and Trade spokesperson said both countries are committed to delivering an ambitious and mutually beneficial FTA.

The talks had been shrouded in uncertainty after media reports emerged earlier this week that India had halted negotiations until the UK took tougher action against pro-Khalistan groups behind an attack on the Indian High Commission in London in March. Both countries denied the reports.

Also Read: Govt to review free trade agreements, says Piyush Goyal

During a call on April 13, Sunak reiterated his condemnation of the "unacceptable" violence outside the Indian High Commission in London and briefed Modi on steps being taken to ensure the security of Indian diplomatic staff. The Indian flag at the High Commission in London was pulled down during a protest by pro-Khalistani elements.

Modi raised the issue of the security of Indian diplomatic establishments in the UK and called for strong action against anti-India elements. He also sought progress on the return of economic offenders wanted in India, including Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi.

Also Read: In a post-Brexit scenario, EU may rework FTA with India

According to a Downing Street spokesperson, the two leaders agreed to follow up on their discussions at the G7 meeting in Japan in May and the G20 Summit being hosted by India later in the year. "Both agreed to direct their teams to expedite progress to resolve outstanding issues and ensure a world-leading deal that would see both economies thrive," the spokesperson earlier said.

The India-UK bilateral trading relationship was worth £34 billion in 2022, growing by £10 billion ( 102 crore) in one year, according to official UK government statistics. These figures are expected to rise significantly with a successful FTA.

(With agency inputs)

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Published: 24 Apr 2023, 08:58 AM IST
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