British PM bats for India-UK FTA; says deal takes ties to 'next level'

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi Published: Jan 13, 2022, 12:00 PM(IST)

Johnson, who won a landslide victory in a 2019 election, has been facing criticism over allegations that there were parties in breach of COVID-19 rules in government offices Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

UK trade secretary is in India for two days and will co-chair a meeting of the UK-India Joint Economic and Trade Committee.

Ahead of the launch of the negotiations with India on UK free trade agreement, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the deal benefits British businesses and takes partnership with New Delhi to the next level.

"A trade deal with India’s booming economy offers huge benefits for British businesses, workers and consumers. As we take our historic partnership with India to the next level, the UK’s independent trade policy is creating jobs, increasing wages and driving innovation across the country," Johnson said

The negotiations will be formally launched today by India's trade minister Piyush Goyal & visiting British International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan. The pact is expected to increase total trade by up to £28 billion a year by 2035.

The British PM said, his country has "world-class businesses and expertise we can rightly be proud of, from Scotch whisky distillers to financial services and cutting-edge renewable technology" and "we are seizing the opportunities offered in growing economies of the Indo-Pacific to cement our place on the global stage and deliver jobs and growth at home.”

The trade secretary is in India for two days and will co-chair a meeting of the UK-India Joint Economic and Trade Committee.

Pointing how the "deal with India is a golden opportunity to put UK businesses at the front of the queue as the Indian economy continues to grow rapidly", Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said, “We want to unlock this huge new market for our great British producers and manufacturers across numerous industries from food and drink to services and automotive."

UK-India economic relationship stood around £23 billion in 2019. Last year saw, British PM Johnson and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi aimed to double the value of UK-India trade over the next decade through the ‘2030 Roadmap’.

The international trade secretary is also expected to meet with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav during the India visit.

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