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Post Brexit, India-UK co-operation to expand

With Brexit, UK will be keen on striking relations with non EU countries

ndia and the UK could expedite inking of a free trade agreement. According to a report – Ascent—UK, which has exited the European Union block will now aim to “engage with non EU countries in a more expansive manner for mutually beneficial relationships, built partly on trade.”

In the 14th meeting of the India-UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) in July last year, an enhanced trade partnership was agreed to as part of a roadmap that could lead to inking of free trade agreement. “The enhanced trade partnership sought to address non-tariff barriers to trade, and establish a specific dialogue to explore routes to removing tariff barriers,” the report said.

It also highlighted that with a robust economic foundation based on job creation and shared prosperity, trade and investment between the two democracies has the potential to increase to £50 billion.

Amid new world order and challenges that arise in the post Coronavirus era, both India and UK would seek to achieve their individual goals and in this context it will be even more critical for businesses in both countries to source new revenue streams and evaluate their supply chains, the report said.

Meanwhile, it also noted that with the recent UK-EU trade agreement, the impact on business for several Indian companies such as JLR, Accord Pharma, TVS, and Infosys with operations in the UK deriving revenue from their European operations will be limited.

“With the UK-EU Trade Agreement recently successfully finalised, it is hoped that major disruption has been averted,” it said, adding that firms will likely have made steps to de-risk their operating models by establishing a presence in the EU but the full effect of this will only become clear in the coming years.

The report has also underlined the importance of continuing with ‘people-to-people’ contact, considered the ‘living bridge’ between the two countries as characterised by a dynamic and engaged 1.5 million-strong Indian diaspora.