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India, UK set up 3 bilateral trade working groups

Jul '19
Pic: Shutter Stock
Pic: Shutter Stock
India and the United Kingdom agreed to set up three bilateral working groups to tackle barriers to trade in food and drink, healthcare and data services as part of the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting in London early this week. The purpose of JETCO is to identify and search for solutions to non-tariff barriers to trade.

The three working groups will be run by the UK India Business Council (UKIBC), the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

JETCO’s importance is because it is more than a government-to-government initiative and there is the direct business involvement, UKIBC chief operation officer Kevin McCole told a news agency.

The Joint Trade Review, launched in November 2016, has made decent progress as bilateral trade grew 22 per cent in 2018 against the average of 8.8 per cent per annum since 2002, McCole said.

The latest JETCO meeting, which included bilateral trade talks between India's commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal and UK secretary of state for international trade Liam Fox, is the 13th such meeting to take place between the two countries.

The UKIBC plays the role of a secretariat for the JETCO talks and offers a forum for British firms to enhance their links and develop new partnerships with Indian businesses.

UK businesses expressed their support to transform India's immense data cache into artificial intelligence solutions, which will revolutionise sectors like healthcare, education and agriculture.

Between 2000 and 2018, investments directly from the United Kingdom amounted to $26.09 billion, representing 7 per cent of total foreign direct investment into India, ahead of the United States and Germany at 6 per cent and 3 per cent respectively, according to official statistics.

The UK also prides itself at consistently being one of the top five investing countries in India over the last 18 years and is the fourth largest investor in India, having invested $26.09 billion after Mauritius, Singapore and Japan from April 2000 to June 2018. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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