India and the UK have agreed on the way forward to launch later this year negotiations on a comprehensive bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between them.
Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on September 13 held talks with Britain’s International Trade Secretary Liz Truss on the scope and ambition for the FTA.
They discussed the findings from a consultation and agreed on the steps to get ready to launch negotiations later this year – including the start of a series of trade working groups from this month.
A press statement from the Indian side said: “These discussions between the two governments will help both sides better understand each other’s position on potential chapter areas in any trade deal including tariffs, standards, IP [intellectual property] and data regulation.”
And Goyal tweeted: ”Held a productive discussion with Secretary of State for International Trade, UK Rt Hon. @TrussLiz, on enhancing the India-UK trade partnership. India & UK are strengthening trade ties by moving towards an early harvest deal, followed by a comprehensive FTA.”
The two ministers also discussed the newly established Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP), and confirmed their commitment to timely implementation of the market access package.
The British minister reaffirmed her ambition to negotiate a trade agreement that delivers results for the British people and businesses including those in digital and data, tech and food and drinks. Both ministers agreed that continuing to engage with the business community was vital throughout the negotiations.
Findings from the British Department for International Trade’s consultation will be published before the start of negotiations as part of a wider package outlining a strategic rationale for the FTA, including London’s negotiating objectives and economic analysis of a potential deal.
THE STATESMAN (INDIA)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK