UK trade minister to launch FTA talks in Delhi next week

London: Britain’s Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan will launch free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations during a visit to New Delhi starting on Wednesday, the UK government said on Sunday.
The Department for International Trade (DIT) said the schedule for the two-day visit to India will include bilateral talks between Trevelyan and Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday, when they are expected to discuss a range of issues including green trade and the removal of market access barriers for both UK and Indian businesses.
Both ministers are then expected to confirm the launch of official negotiations on a new UK-India FTA.
“The UK and India are already close friends and trading partners, and building on that strong relationship is a priority for 2022, said Trevelyan.
“I will be using my visit to drive forward an ambitious trade agenda which represents the UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt in action and shows how we are seizing global opportunities as an independent trading nation,” she said.
“This is just the start of a five-star year of UK trade, forging closer economic partnerships around the globe and negotiating deals that work for businesses, families and consumers in every part of the UK, she added.
On Thursday, the UK minister will join Goyal to co-host the 15th UK-India Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) to review how businesses in both countries are benefiting from existing market access commitments under the UK-India Enhanced Trade Partnership agreed last May by Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi.
The DIT said the UK Trade Secretary is expected to meet several Cabinet ministers to discuss closer bilateral cooperation, including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav.
“This highlights the ongoing wider strategic importance of the UK-India bilateral relationship which extends beyond trade, the DIT said.
On Wednesday, Trevelyan will meet staff at the New Delhi site of British manufacturing firm JCB to talk about how manufacturing and engineering firms could hugely benefit from the UK-India trade deal. —PTI

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