Berwick MP in India to launch negotiations on free trade deal
Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan is in India to officially launch negotiations on a new ambitious free trade deal with the world’s biggest democracy.
The International Trade Secretary is visiting New Delhi to meet with her counterpart, Indian minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, to formally start talks on a deal that could create huge benefits for both countries.
India is one of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies and a bold new deal would put UK businesses at the front of the queue to supply India’s growing middle class, forecast to increase to a quarter of a billion consumers by 2050.
A deal has the potential to almost double UK exports to India, boost total trade by as much as £28 billion a year by 2035, and increase wages across the UK by up to £3 billion.
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The UK wants an agreement that slashes barriers to doing business and trading with India’s £2 trillion economy and market of 1.4 billion consumers, including cutting tariffs on exports of British-made cars and Scotch whisky.
A deal with India would be a big step forward in the UK’s strategy to refocus trade on the Indo-Pacific, home to half of the world’s population and 50% of global economic growth.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “A trade deal with India’s booming economy offers huge benefits for British businesses, workers and consumers. As we take our historic partnership with India to the next level, the UK’s independent trade policy is creating jobs, increasing wages and driving innovation across the country.
“The UK has world-class businesses and expertise we can rightly be proud of, from Scotch whisky distillers to financial services and cutting-edge renewable technology. We are seizing the opportunities offered in growing economies of the Indo-Pacific to cement our place on the global stage and deliver jobs and growth at home.”
International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “A deal with India is a golden opportunity to put UK businesses at the front of the queue as the Indian economy continues to grow rapidly.
“By 2050 India will be the world’s third largest economy with a middle class of almost 250 million shoppers. We want to unlock this huge new market for our great British producers and manufacturers across numerous industries from food and drink to services and automotive.
“As an independent, deal-making nation the UK is broadening our economic horizons and forging stronger partnerships with the fastest-growing economies of the world.
"India marks the start of our ambitious 5-star year of UK trade and will show how the deals we negotiate will boost the economies across all nations and help level up all regions of the UK.”
The first round of negotiations is expected to start next week.
During her visit, the International Trade Secretary will also co-chair a meeting of the UK-India Joint Economic and Trade Committee 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 the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Indian PM Narendra Modi.
She is also expected to meet with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav to discuss wider bilateral cooperation.