Amid ongoing talks on a free trade agreement between India and UK, Union Minister Piyush Goyal will leave for London tomorrow. Besides focusing on the FTA negotiations, Goyal will be meeting with ministers from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member countries to discuss the progress of the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) with EFTA. The minister will also engage in high-level meetings with his UK counterparts, including the Secretary of State for International Trade, as well as representatives from various sectors and industries.
With the FTA negotiations gaining momentum, the visit aims to further propel the discussions and pave the way for a comprehensive and mutually beneficial agreement that would drive economic growth and strengthen ties between the two nations, an official release stated.
India and UK concluded the 1oth round of FTA talks last month.
UK Minister for Investment Lord Dominic Johnson earlier addressing a UK-India Infrastructure Summit said he was “very optimistic” about an FTA.
India and UK kicked off FTA negotiations in January of 2021. In 2022-23, India’s merchandise exports to the UK rose 9 per cent to $11.4 billion. India’s imports from the UK increased 27.7 per cent to $8.9 billion.
However, several thorny issues emerged between the two nations. Besides, British Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s damaging statement last year that Indian migrants make up for the “largest group of people who overstay” created a furore.
India is looking to ink trade agreements with the other countries and blocks as well. Talks are already on with the EU and Gulf Cooperation Council.