UK Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch met Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal for the first time in person on Monday to kick off her tour to India as the sixth round of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between the nations gets underway.
The sixth round of official negotiations between the UK and India begins with Badenoch’s arrival. According to a formal statement, the objective is to deepen bilateral ties and restart negotiations on a comprehensive bilateral trade agreement. Prior to the start of the round of negotiations, Badenoch is set to address both negotiating teams. The discussions will continue all week long.
In order to better appreciate the demands of a contemporary commercial relationship between the UK and India, the UK Trade Secretary will also meet with business executives.
A meeting with envoPAP, a UK business investing over £10 million in India to build a facility producing Fairtrade paper and packaging products, will be part of this.
The first formal round of negotiations since July will seek to decrease tariffs and increase chances for UK services like financial and legal, making it simpler for British companies to sell to the third-largest economy in the world by 2050, which has a middle class of 250 million people.
“I’m here in New Delhi to kickstart round six of UK-India trade negotiations and meet my counterpart Minister Goyal in person to drive progress on this agreement,” Secretary of State for International Trade Kemi Badenoch said in a statement.
“India and the UK are the 5th and 6th biggest economies in the world. We have a long shared history, and are in pole position to do a deal that will create jobs, encourage growth and boost our 29 billion pounds trading relationship,” added the minister who was appointed to her role this September.
Major UK firms like Pret A Manger, Revolut, and Tide have declared plans to grow in India, according to the official release.
Pret, a British coffee and sandwich shop, will construct its first outlet in India in early 2023 as a result of a franchise agreement with Reliance Brands. As part of a plan to open 100 outlets nationwide, the chain’s first location will be in Mumbai.
Bringing Pret’s freshly made food and organic coffee to more people around the world is a key part of our transformation strategy, and I’m delighted to be launching Pret in India,” Pano Christou, CEO, of Pret A Manger said.
The UK-India Free Trade Agreement continues to be a top priority for the business, according to Andy Burwell, international director of the Confederation of British Industry.
The two leaders stressed the significance of swiftly concluding “a balanced and comprehensive” Free Trade Agreement between their nations earlier in October when Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Rishi Sunak on taking office as UK Prime Minister.
Due to the resignations of former prime ministers Liz Truss and Boris Johnson, India and the UK were unable to complete their bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) in time.
The fifth round of negotiations for an India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) came to an end on July 29.