Joint Statement of Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

The Republic of India and United Kingdom have formally launched negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between our two countries.

This announcement has been made by Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and UK Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who is in New Delhi for Free Trade Agreement discussions. A India-UK Free Trade Agreement would be a substantial opportunity for both of our economies and a significant moment in the India-UK bilateral relationship.

The South West exports hundreds of millions of pounds worth of goods and services to India each year, particularly in areas like financial services and manufacturing, the latter of which businesses such as Coltraco Ultrasonics in Somerset specialise in An FTA with India could boost these exports, invigorating the region’s economy by up to £254m in the long run.

The India-UK bilateral trading relationship is already significant, and both sides have agreed to double that bilateral trade by 2030, as part of Roadmap 2030 announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Boris Johnson in May 2021. India and the UK will seek to agree a mutually beneficial agreement supporting jobs, businesses and communities in both countries.

Trade negotiations will be a priority for both countries, as we build upon the Enhanced Trade Partnership launched by our Prime Ministers in May 2021.

During negotiations, and on the path to a comprehensive agreement, both Governments will consider the option of an Interim Agreement that generates early benefits for both countries. In parallel to trade negotiations, the India-UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee will continue to work in improving the India-UK trading relationship and addressing market access barriers outside of a trade agreement.

Both parties have agreed that the first round of negotiations will begin on 17 January, and future rounds of negotiations will take place approximately every five weeks. The Indian negotiating team will be led by Ms. Nidhi Mani Tripathi, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce and the UK negotiating team will be led by Harjinder Kang, Director for India Negotiations at the Department for International Trade.

The ambition of both countries is to negotiate a broad agreement that will deliver for businesses and consumers.