India, UK to hold next round of talks for free trade agreement in Jan

India UK

The bilateral trade between India and the UK increased to $ 20.36 billion in 2022-23.


India and the UK officials in January next year will hold the next round of talks for the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) to resolve remaining issues, the commerce ministry said on Monday.


The 13th round of negotiations for the proposed pact was held between September 18 and December 15.


“The UK and India will continue to negotiate towards a comprehensive and ambitious Free Trade Agreement. The fourteenth round of negotiations will take place in January 2024,” the ministry said in a statement.


These negotiations focussed on complex issues including goods, services, and investment.


An Indian team was in London recently.


Issues which need to be resolved include duty cuts on electric vehicles and whiskey and the movement of professionals. Talks are also progressing on the proposed bilateral investment treaty (BIT).


India and the UK launched the talks for a free-trade agreement (FTA) in January 2022, to conclude talks by Diwali (October 24, 2022), but the deadline was missed due to political developments in the UK.


There are 26 chapters in the agreement, which include goods, services, investments and intellectual property rights. The Indian industry is demanding greater access for its skilled professionals from sectors like IT, and healthcare in the UK market, besides market access for several goods at nil customs duties.


On the other hand, the UK is seeking a significant cut in import duties on goods such as scotch whiskey, automobiles, lamb meat, chocolates and certain confectionary items.


Britain is also looking for more opportunities for UK services in Indian markets in segments like telecommunications, legal and financial services (banking and insurance).


The bilateral trade between India and the UK increased to $ 20.36 billion in 2022-23 from $ 17.5 billion in 2021-22.

First Published: Dec 18 2023 | 5:30 PM IST

The bilateral trade between India and the UK has increased to $20.36 billion in 2022-23. Officials from both countries will hold the next round of talks for the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) in January next year to resolve remaining issues. The 13th round of negotiations for the FTA took place between September 18 and December 15. The negotiations focused on complex issues including goods, services, and investment. The issues that need to be resolved include duty cuts on electric vehicles and whiskey, the movement of professionals, and progress on the proposed bilateral investment treaty. The talks for the FTA were launched in January 2022 and missed the deadline due to political developments in the UK. The agreement consists of 26 chapters covering goods, services, investments, and intellectual property rights. India is seeking greater access for skilled professionals in sectors like IT and healthcare in the UK market, while the UK is looking for reduced import duties on goods such as whiskey, automobiles, lamb meat, chocolates, and confectionary items. The bilateral trade between India and the UK increased from $17.5 billion in 2021-22 to $20.36 billion in 2022-23.,

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