India and Britain are in a discussion to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) this year as both countries have reached a consensus on the broad outlines that aim at strengthening economic growth and jobs. The deal might get finalised by the end of this year.
After Australia, India views FTA with the UK as a significant step to becoming a bigger exporter, whilst the UK will get wider access to the Indian market. This agreement, if signed, will be India’s first with a developed country after it signed an interim trade pact with Australia last Dec 2022.
Till now ten rounds of talks have already been concluded and in the 11th consecutive talk that was recently held in London between India and UK counterparts wherein 19 chapters have been concluded out of 26 chapters. A few issues pending to be sorted are intellectual property rights, rules of origin and an investment treaty.
The next round of talks will be held shortly, but nothing has been revealed from both parties on the details of the concession India was offering to the UK.
As per the reports, India is pushing for a zero tariff for textile and leather and other labour-intensive manufacturing markets. The UK is looking forward to a tariff concession in some other areas.
Bilateral trade between India and the United Kingdom has grown from 16.6% year-on-year to $20.42 billion in the 2022/23 fiscal year ending in March.