No indication on impact of Johnson’s resignation on India-UK FTA talks

There is no immediate indication on the impact of recent political developments in Britain on the advanced negotiations between India and the UK for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which aims to further strengthen ties between the countries, an official said.

On July 7, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation as leader of the Conservative Party following an unprecedented mutiny within his cabinet and after being dumped by his close allies following a series of scandals that rocked his government, triggering a leadership election for a new Conservative leader who would become his successor.

In January, the two countries officially launched talks for a free trade agreement, which aims to boost bilateral trade and investment.

In such pacts, two countries eliminate or drastically reduce customs duties on the maximum number of goods traded between them, in addition to relaxing standards to promote investment and trade in services.

The development in the UK has happened very recently. We have received no indication as to the effect of a resignation on the ongoing FTA negotiations. As the Conservative Party will still be in government, we see no immediate problem and have not heard of any reason that could affect the strong bilateral partnership between India and the UK, the official said. .

The official added that the talks are at an advanced stage and the two sides have agreed on many chapters of the proposed pact.

Getting a good, fair and equitable trade deal that would boost exports and create lots of jobs across India is the priority, the official said.

Asked about meeting the deadline for the conclusion of the talks, the official said: FTA negotiations are a very complex area and they involve many careful assessments of the different elements of FTAs ​​and we continue to do this seriously on both sides and we We will make every effort to meet these very difficult deadlines.

In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, set the Diwali deadline for negotiating teams to conclude FTA talks. Diwali falls on October 24 this year.

The UK is also a key investor in India. New Delhi attracted foreign direct investment of USD 1.64 billion in 2021-22. The figure was around $32 billion between April 2000 and March 2022.

India’s major exports to the UK include ready-made garments and textiles, gemstones and jewellery, engineered goods, petroleum and petrochemical products, transport equipment and parts, spices, metals, machinery and instruments, pharmaceuticals and marine products.

Major imports include precious and semi-precious stones, metal ores and scrap, engineering goods, professional instruments, non-ferrous metals, chemicals and machinery.

In the services sector, the UK is one of the largest markets in Europe for Indian IT services.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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