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India, United Kingdom Negotiations for Proposed Fta Going on, Says Official

Negotiations between senior officials of India and the UK on the proposed free trade agreement are going on with a view to bridge differences on issues related to goods and services sector, a senior government official said.

“Talks on the 13th round is underway virtually. We have not talked about any deadlines to conclude talks,” the official said.

India and Britain launched the talks for Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) in January 2022, with an aim to conclude talks by Diwali (October 24, 2022), but the deadline was missed due to political developments in the UK.

There are 26 chapters in the agreement, which include goods, services, investments, and intellectual property rights.

The investment treaty is being negotiated as a separate agreement between India and the UK.

The Indian industry is demanding 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).

The bilateral trade between India and the UK increased to USD 20.36 billion in 2022-23, from USD 17.5 billion in 2021-22.

Source: Business Standart