UK-India trade talks on track as Sunak, Modi agree to keep up pace

UK-India trade talks on track as Sunak, Modi agree to keep up pace
Courtesy: WPA Pool / Pool | Getty Images News Via Getty Images

Amid some reports implying a slowdown in the UK-India free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, a meeting between Prime Ministers Rishi Sunak and Narendra Modi in Japan on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima comes at an opportune moment in the bilateral relationship.

The two leaders reviewed progress on the trade talks ahead of the 10th round of FTA negotiations, set to kick off in New Delhi on June 5, and agreed for their negotiating teams to keep up the pace to achieve an ambitious and mutually beneficial trade agreement.

In a readout of their discussions, a Downing Street spokesperson said: “The leaders reflected on the deep ties between the UK and India, rooted in our human connections, and the vital importance of democracy and fair and open trade.

"They discussed progress on a UK-India Free Trade Agreement. The leaders agreed that their teams would continue to work at pace to finalise an ambitious and mutually beneficial deal.

"The leaders discussed the wider objectives of the G7 Summit and the Prime Minister committed his strong support for India’s G20 Presidency, which comes at a crucial time for global security and prosperity.

"He looked forward to working closely with Prime Minister Modi ahead of a successful Summit later this year."

Sunak and Modi last met for bilateral talks on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Indonesia in November last year and it is expected that their next in-person meeting will be during the India-led G20 Summit in New Delhi in September – which will also mark the British Indian leader’s first official visit to India as UK Prime Minister.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) characterised the meeting in Japan as taking stock of the progress on the FTA front.

“The two leaders reviewed their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, including taking stock of progress in India-UK FTA negotiations. Leaders agreed to deepen cooperation across a wide range of areas, such as trade and investment, science and technology, higher education, and people to people relationship,” the MEA said.


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The ministry also confirmed the invitation extended by Modi for Sunak to visit India for the G20 Summit.

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