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FTA negotiations with India ‘well advanced’, next round set to commence soon: UK minister


PTI

London, January 21

Negotiations between Britain and India for an ambitious Free Trade Agreement (FTA) are “well advanced”, with the next round of talks set to commence very soon, a UK Foreign Office minister told peers in a debate in Parliament here, asserting that a strong deal could boost the country’s economy.

Lord Tariq Ahmad, the UK Foreign Office Minister for South Asia, said Britain’s relationship with India is central to its foreign policy and as one of the world’s biggest economies it is a key partner.

Ahmad was responding to the debate entitled ‘The Importance of the Relationship between the United Kingdom and India’ in the House of Lords on Thursday, tabled by British Indian peer Baroness Sandy Verma.

He confirmed that negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) are “well advanced”, with the next round of negotiations set to commence very soon.

“It is true that, as we set up and strengthen this relationship, the United Kingdom’s relationship with India is central to UK foreign policy,” said Ahmad.

“As one of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies, India is a key partner to the UK…We are also looking at lowering non-tariff barriers on medical devices to benefit British exporters, and are well advanced in our negotiations for an ambitious and balanced free trade agreement,” he said.

A strong trade deal with India could boost the UK economy by billions of pounds over the long term, helping families across the country, he said. 





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