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India, UK to launch negotiations on FTA this year

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal yesterday held talks with Britain’s International Trade Secretary Liz Truss on the scope and ambition for the FTA.

SNS | New Delhi |

India and the United Kingdom have agreed on the way forward to launch later this year negotiations on a comprehensive bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between them.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal yesterday held talks with Britain’s International Trade Secretary Liz Truss on the scope and ambition for the FTA.

They discussed the findings from the consultation and agreed on the steps to get ready to launch negotiations later this year – including the start of a series of trade working groups from September. ”These discussions between the two governments will help both sides better understand each other’s position on potential chapter areas in any trade deal including tariffs, standards, IP and data regulation,” a press statement here said.

”Held a productive discussion with Secretary of State for International Trade, UK Rt Hon. @TrussLiz, on enhancing the India-UK trade partnership. India & UK are strengthening trade ties by moving towards an early harvest deal, followed by a comprehensive FTA,” Goyal tweeted.

The two ministers also discussed the newly established Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP), and confirmed their commitment to timely implementation of the market access package.

The British minister reaffirmed her ambition to negotiate a trade agreement that delivers results for the British people and businesses including those in digital and data, tech and food and drinks. Both ministers agreed that continuing to engage with the business community was vital throughout the negotiations.

Findings from the British Department for International Trade’s consultation will be published before the start of negotiations as part of a wider package outlining a strategic rationale for the FTA, including London’s negotiating objectives and economic analysis of a potential deal.