London: The UK government on Thursday announced the start of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks with India, describing it as a “golden opportunity” for British businessmen to keep the Indian economy “at the forefront”.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the FTA would take the country’s historic partnership with India to the next level and said some key sectors such as Scotch whisky, financial services and innovation technology would benefit from it.
The first round of talks is expected to begin next week, in what the government said is Britain’s fastest start of formal talks between the parties.
Johnson said, “The trade agreement with India’s emerging economy brings great benefits to British businesses, workers and consumers. As we seek to take our historic partnership with India to the next level, Britain’s free trade policy is creating jobs, raising wages and bringing innovation across the country.”
He said, “The UK has world-class business and expertise ranging from Scotch whiskey to financial services and innovation technology. We are taking advantage of the opportunities in the emerging economies of the Indo-Pacific to strengthen our position on the world stage and create jobs in the country.”
Johnson’s statement comes as Foreign Minister for International Trade Anne Marie Trevelyan is set to meet Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal in New Delhi for the 15th UK-India Joint Economic and Trade Committee.
Trevelyan said, “The agreement with India is a golden opportunity to keep British businesses at the forefront of the business as the Indian economy continues to grow rapidly. By 2050, India will be the third largest economy in the world, with about 250 million middle class buyers. We want to create a new market for our qualified British manufacturers and manufacturers.”