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India, UK ready for talks on limited trade deal

27
Jul '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
India and the United Kingdom are exploring a limited trade agreement to lower tariffs on a few goods and easing rules for select services in what is being widely perceived as preparing ground for a free trade agreement (FTA). The issue was recently discussed by the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO), co-chaired by commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal and the UK secretary of state (SoS) for international trade Elizabeth Truss.

“Minister Goyal and SoS Truss affirmed their shared commitment to a FTA and towards that, early harvest deals in a staged manner,” an official statement said.

The Indian government is reportedly looking at a time frame of around a year to clinch the early harvest agreement with junior trade minister Hardeep Puri and his UK counterpart Ranil Jayawardena scheduled to hold monthly meetings to intensify the dialogue.

The United Kingdom is also eager to clinch bilateral trade deals after Brexit and India wants to make the most out of it as its garment makers and several other labour-intensive sectors often get an unfavourable deal compared to counterparts from Bangladesh and other rivals.

The UK India Business Council has welcomed the development.

Following the JETCO, UKIBC managing director Kevin McCole said: ‘The enhanced trade partnership announced today, setting the path to a UK-India FTA, is an important signal that both the UK and India are committed to deepening an already strong partnership. It is also important that the governments are retaining their sharp focus on tackling market access barriers, which will not only expand bilateral trade and investment, but build confidence and momentum towards an FTA.”

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)


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