Round 11 of negotiations for a UK-India free trade agreement (FTA) has concluded on a positive note of detailed draft treaty discussions across several policy areas, according to a joint statement issued this week.
The UK’s Department for Business and Trade (DBT) said Round 12 of the negotiations is expected in the coming months. The statement also pointed to some high-profile visits from India during the course of the 11th round of talks – which began earlier this month and concluded on July 18.
The joint statement reads: “On 10-11 July, the Honourable Minister for Commerce and Industry, Government of India, Piyush Goyal, visited the UK as part of the eleventh round of the UK-India FTA negotiations. He met with Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP, the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, and Nigel Huddleston MP, the Minister of State for International Trade, where they discussed ways to make progress on the FTA negotiations and wider trade and investment opportunities for the UK and India.
“Shri Sunil Barthwal, Commerce Secretary, Government of India, also visited the UK during the round. He met with senior UK trade officials and took stock of the progress made in the eleventh round of negotiations.
“Technical discussions were held across 9 policy areas over 42 separate sessions. They included detailed draft treaty text discussions in these policy areas.
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A UK-India FTA is expected to significantly strengthen the bilateral economic partnership, worth £36 billion in 2022.
Earlier, India’s Ministry of Commerce said that both countries are committed to expanding their economic ties and exploring avenues for enhanced bilateral trade.
“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,” read the ministry's statement ahead of Goyal’s brief UK visit.
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The focus of the visit was on addressing trade barriers, promoting investments, and fostering greater cooperation in areas such as technology, innovation, and intellectual property rights.