India-UK Free Trade Agreement talks on track for next round

British High Commissioner Alex Ellis has said that the next round of the India-UK free trade talks will take place next week and both Prime Ministers have asked the negotiators that it will be done by Diwali.

"UK is now no longer in the European Union and this actually offers the opportunity to strengthen the UK-India relationship. I think in particular about trade where we are negotiating a free trade agreement. We will have the next round of that next week and the two Prime Ministers have told negotiators that it will be done by Diwali," Ellis said. The British High Commissioner also mentioned that India's internationalization is one of the most significant long-term events which will happen to the world and it is irreversible.

He also highlighted that India's internationalization is present in every aspect, not just economics, and said, "You have just had a book written in Hindi, which has won the international Booker prize. You can see it in lots of different areas. You can even see it, if I put it very crudely, in the British cabinet. The cabinet has several people of south Asian Heritage sitting there. The Minister of Finance in the United Kingdom is Rishi Sunak. The same would not have been the case 15 or 20 years ago."

Envoy also said success and failure of Glasgow conference, will depend on 3 countries including India.

Nearly 200 countries in Glasgow, Scotland, adopted an outcome document, known as the Glasgow Climate Pact. It calls on 197 countries to report their progress towards more climate ambition next year, at COP27, set to take place in Egypt. The outcome also firms up the global agreement to accelerate action on climate this decade.

India and the UK concluded the third round of talks for the proposed free trade agreement in New Delhi covering ground on key areas. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his India visit expressed his support for more skilled visas for Indians stating that the UK is currently facing a shortage of experts in IT and programming sectors.

India and UK launched Free Trade Agreement negotiations in January this year. The two countries are also exploring the possibility of an interim agreement to provide quick gains for benefitting businesses on both sides.

(ANI)

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