UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan is visiting India

UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan on Thursday met India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and both discussed issues of bilateral interests. During the meeting the EAM also welcomed the launch of FTA negotiations.

“Glad to meet UK Secretary of State for International Trade @annietrev. Welcomed the launch of FTA negotiations. Good discussion on our natural complementarities. New India and Global Britain can make a bigger difference working together,” Jaishankar said in his tweet.

Earlier in the day, India’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and the visiting UK Secretary of State for International Trade formally launched discussions for a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries.

“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,” a statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said.

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 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, the Ministry said.

“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,” the Ministry added.

“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,” the Ministry informed.

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, the Ministry added.

Both parties have agreed that the first round of negotiations will begin on January 17, and future rounds of negotiations will take place approximately every five weeks, the Ministry further added.

The Indian negotiating team will be led by 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 Ministry said.

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