FTA between UK and India to be finalised post-formation of a new government in India

  • April 12, 2024
  • News

The signing of the India-UK free trade agreement is expected to occur after the establishment of a new government at the Centre. The legal review of the trade deal is currently underway. However, despite resolving the major issues, the agreement cannot be formally announced until the conclusion of elections and the formation of a new government, as stated by a senior government official.

The recent round of negotiations between India and the United Kingdom regarding outstanding issues concluded earlier this month. Nevertheless, the negotiating teams from both sides continue to engage in virtual discussions concerning a few crucial matters. Intensive negotiations have taken place over the past two months to resolve contentious issues.

India and the UK initiated discussions for a free-trade agreement (FTA) in January 2022, and there have been 14 rounds of talks. Negotiations on the text of various chapters are nearing completion, with the finalization of schedules on Goods and Services underway. The top ministries of both nations had a discussion providing the negotiating team with additional thrust to finalize the deal promptly.

Both countries are also in negotiations for a bilateral investment treaty (BIT), which is being handled by the finance ministry.

The official noted that the UK is hesitant to sign the FTA without finalizing the BIT. Nevertheless, India has signed three FTAs in the past two years, with the UAE, Australia, and the European Free Trade Association. Through this FTA, India seeks increased access to sectors such as textiles, automobile parts, and marine products. The agreement is also expected to facilitate the easier movement of skilled professionals.