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India-UK FTA Nears Final Stage: Govt Official

Updated: Oct 14, 2023 01:26:31pm

India-UK FTA Nears Final Stage: Govt Official

New Delhi, Oct 14 (KNN) Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal announced that India and the UK are in advanced negotiations for a free trade agreement, with both parties actively addressing the remaining differences.

The secretary mentioned that he recently visited the UK for discussions with his counterparts, and this week, a delegation of UK negotiators is in New Delhi to continue the 13th round of talks, which commenced on the 18th of the previous month.


The proposed FTA between the two countries, negotiations for which were started in January of 2022 covers 26 chapters of policy areas.

“Majority of chapters are closed or are in advanced stages of negotiations,” he said.

FE has reported the possibility of the agreement being signed by the end of this month.

While less contentious issues have been sorted out, protracted negotiations are still on issues of interest to India like greater access for its skilled professionals from sectors like IT, and healthcare in the UK market, besides market access for several goods at nil customs duties.

On the other hand, the UK is seeking a significant cut in import duties on goods such as scotch whiskey, automobiles, lamb meat, chocolates and certain confectionary items.

Britain is also looking for more opportunities for UK services in Indian markets in segments like telecommunications, legal and financial services (banking and insurance).

If the negotiations conclude successfully, the FTA would be India’s first with a developed country which could set a template for other similar pacts it is seeking like with the EU.

Another team from the UK is also in India to negotiate the Bilateral Investment Treaty with officials of the Ministry of Finance that will be signed along with the FTA.  (KNN Bureau)


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