India, UK decide to wrap up key talks for Free Trade Agreement by year-end

India, UK decide to wrap up key talks for Free Trade Agreement by year-end
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By Administrator_ India

Capital Sands

India and the United Kingdom have decided to wrap up key talks on trade issues by the end of 2021, expediting negotiations for a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between both nations in the future.

Bilateral trade and investment ties were a major part of the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson during the digital summit held on May 5. The proposed FTA is a key part of the Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) launched by both nations that hope to galvanize bilateral business ties.

“We confirm our intent to finalize the pre-negotiation scoping phase for a Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement by the end of 2021. This will resolve market access issues, boost exports and strengthen our trade partners across a comprehensive range of areas. Both sides will undertake respective scoping, consultations, and domestic processes, with consideration of the opportunity arising from an Interim Agreement, to achieve the early gains of the ETP,” a Joint Statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs after the meeting, said.

India has agreed to remove barriers to trade, a key British complaint, and has said that a balanced and beneficial market access package under the ETP will be created. This will cover diverse sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, education, legal services, seafarers, marine, healthcare, and social security.

Closer dialogue on regulatory reform, tax administration, and trade facilitation and standards has been sought through the early conclusion of a new and refreshed UK-India Ease of Doing Business MoU. This will also encourage and institutionalize cooperation between relevant regulators, such as FSSAI and the UK regulator to facilitate exports and avoid trade disruptions due to non-compliance with standards by producers and exporters.

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