India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, who is in the UK this week amid the ongoing 11th round of UK-India free trade agreement (FTA) talks being conducted by the negotiating teams on both sides has discussed ways to add momentum behind the discussions.
In his meeting with UK Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch, the visiting minister reiterated the objective of a “mutually beneficial” trade pact.
Earlier this week, a UK government source said Goyal’s visit to the UK sends an important signal.
The government source said: “Goyal's visit to the UK in the midst of a negotiation round shows there is political will to make progress towards an ambitious trade deal.
“The potential is clear – a strong trade deal will strengthen the economic links between the UK and India, already worth £36 billion in 2022. But we will only sign when we have a deal that is in the best interests of the UK.”
The focus for both sides remains on working towards the best deal, with the UK reiterating its goal of a “fair, reciprocal” pact that is beneficial all round.
Ahead of Minister Goyal’s UK visit, India’s Ministry of Commerce had said that “with the FTA negotiations gaining momentum, the visit aims to further propel the discussions and pave the way for a comprehensive and mutually beneficial agreement that would drive economic growth and strengthen ties between the two nations”.
The Indian ministerial visit will also involve a meeting with ministers from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member countries – Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein – to discuss the progress of the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA).
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TEPA aims to enhance trade and economic cooperation between India and the EFTA member countries, fostering an environment conducive to increased investments, reduced trade barriers, and greater market access.