UK and India set the stage for massive trade agreement

Trade agreement could see a £250 million annual boost for British businesses

UK’s International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and India’s Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal agreed to explore opportunities for expanding and deepening the trade relationship between the two nations. This will include an Enhanced Trade Partnership as the first step on a wider roadmap for a deeper trade partnership, and subject to progress could lead to a future Free Trade Agreement.

The UK’s International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena also raised the ambition to remove barriers for businesses across a range of sectors including food and drink, healthcare and life sciences, IT and data, chemicals and services.

Work has been underway to reduce barriers to trade since both countries completed a Joint Trade Review in 2018, and according to industry estimates, progress to date could deliver up to a £250 million annual boost for British businesses. This includes recognition and registration of polyhalite, a multi-nutrient fertiliser mined in the UK, which will enable UK exports and help Indian farmers to increase crop yields while supporting a cleaner, greener and sustainable environment.

Trade between the UK and India was worth £24 billion last year alone, and India is now the second largest investor in the UK economy.

UK and India agree to deeper trading relationship

“My first JETCO with India has been an opportunity to take stock of progress made so far between our countries and look at barriers preventing our trading relationship from reaching its full potential.

India is an incredibly important partner for the UK. As one of the world’s largest economies and democracies, it is a powerhouse that will play a major role in shaping the 21st Century.

Today we agreed to look in detail at a deeper relationship, including resolving market access barriers into each other’s economies. At this stage we want to keep all options on the table, including the possibility of a free trade agreement at some point in the future. International Trade Secretary Liz Truss

International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena also led a business plenary during the JETCO, organised by the UK India Business Council (UKIBC). Ministers spoke with UK and Indian businesses about our shared ambition to deepen our economic and commercial partnership with India”.

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