Diwali deadline for India-UK trade pact not to be missed: Secy Trade
Negotiations on the draft India-UK Free Trade Agreement are in their final stages and the Diwali (October) deadline will not be missed, the BVR Trade Secretary said on Saturday Subrahmanyam.
In April, the two sides had set the Diwali deadline for the conclusion of a free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the United Kingdom.
“We are on track (to meet the deadline). We are in the final stages. 19 out of 26 chapters are closed. There are a few areas where we are negotiating the Diwali deadline which will not be missed,” a- he told reporters. here.
Talks are ongoing on some products like cars and spirits on the UK side and some products on the Indian side.
In January, the two countries officially launched talks for a free trade agreement to boost bilateral trade and investment.
In such pacts, two countries eliminate or drastically reduce customs duties on the maximum number of goods traded between them in addition to relaxing standards for the promotion of investment and trade in services.
India’s major exports to the UK include ready-made garments and textiles, gemstones and jewellery, engineered goods, petroleum and petrochemical products, transport equipment and parts, spices, metals, machinery and instruments, pharmaceuticals and marine products.
Major imports include precious and semi-precious stones, metal ores and scrap, engineering goods, professional instruments, non-ferrous metals, chemicals and machinery.
In the services sector, the UK is one of the largest markets in Europe for Indian IT services. Bilateral trade increased to USD 17.5 billion in 2021-22 from USD 13.2 billion in 2020-21. India’s exports amounted to USD 10.5 billion in 2021-22, while imports were USD 7 billion.
He added that India can see $10-15 billion in exports through this pact.
On the proposed trade pact with Canada, the secretary said the talks were on track and two rounds had already been concluded.
“The third round will take place at the end of September and the goal is for us to complete it by December,” Subrahmanyam said.
With the European Union, he said the second round will take place now and “we expect it to conclude in June-July next year”.
With Australia, he said the trade pact should get their parliament’s approval by the end of this month. It was signed in April this year.
“We are pushing our FTAs FTAs are an important part of our business strategy… They will open up new markets,” he said.
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