India, January 13, 2022: India and UK are officially launching the negotiations on an aspiring free trade agreement in New Delhi, today. Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the visiting international trade secretary is representing Britain.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a Free Trade Agreement would take the country’s historic partnership with India to the next level, and highlighted scotch whisky, financial services, and cutting-edge renewable technology among some of the key sectors set to benefit.

Free Trade Agreement
(Representational Image)

India’s minister of commerce and industry Piyush Goyal is meeting Trevelyan, who landed in New Delhi on Wednesday to initiate the talks. But, the actual discussions between the deputed officials are expected to start next week.

Kevin McCole, managing director of the UK-India Business Council said, “These negotiations offer a great prize for both countries. I would expect to see increased access to the UK market for Indian exporters, across a range of sectors like food, drink, and textiles. I would also expect to see the deal facilitating even more UK investments in India. And I expect the deal to give Indian consumers more access, at more affordable prices, to more UK goods and services.”

The existing investments from Indian companies in Britain are already supporting 95,000 jobs across the UK, and it is expected to grow exponentially after the new trade deal.

As per Trevelyan, India will be the world’s third-largest economy with almost 250 million new potential shoppers by 2050. So, with this deal, Britain wants to unlock the huge new market. This deal would also put UK businesses at the front to supply India’s 1.4 billion existing consumer market.

As per various officials from Britain, the fast-growing Indian market in the personal mobility sector presents the greatest opportunity to UK automotive companies.

Sources said India is seeking a more liberalized visa regime for Indian citizens in any deal.

During the official meeting, Trevelyan will co-chair a meeting of the UK-India Joint Economic and Trade Committee to discuss and review the existing trade commitments between UK and India. She is also expected to meet external affairs minister S.Jaishankar, finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman, and environment minister Bhupender Yadav.

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