India, UK launch negotiations for free trade agreement

New Delhi, Jan 13 (EFE).- India and the United Kingdom on Thursday officially announced starting negotiations for a free trade agreement aimed at strengthening their economies by significantly boosting bilateral trades, which is expected to double by 2030.

The announcement was made jointly by Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and the British secretary for international trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who is in India for the negotiations.

“A India-UK Free Trade Agreement would be a substantial opportunity for both of our economies and a significant moment in the India-UK bilateral relationship,” the two countries said in a joint statement.

The two sides decided to hold the first round of talks on Jan. 17, and subsequent meetings are set to take place every five weeks after that.

With this agreement, India aims to especially boost exports of “leather, textile, jewelry and processed agri-products,” Goyal said in a separate statement.

“India is also expected to register a quantum jump in the export of Marine Products through the recognition of 56 marine units,” he added.

The statement also highlighted the possibility of mutual recognition agreements to improve pharmaceutical exports, a key sector for the South Asian economy, which has a high production capacity for low-cost medicines.

“India-UK FTA will also contribute in integrating value chains and help augment our mutual efforts to strengthen the resilience of supply chain,” the Indian minister said.

New Delhi hoped that the FTA with London would add dynamism to bilateral trade ties and provide “certainty, predictability and transparency and will create a more liberal, facilitative and competitive services regime,” which would in turn help generate employment and benefits for local companies and consumers. EFE


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