India, UK wrap up 4th round of negotiations on FTA with progress on major issues
The India-UK FTA negotiations had been launched in January this year
India and the United Kingdom have wrapped up the fourth round of negotiations on the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with detailed discussions on most of the related issues.
"For this round of negotiations, detailed draft treaty text was advanced across the majority of chapters. Technical experts from both sides came together for discussions in 71 separate sessions covering 20 policy areas," said the Joint Outcome Statement shared by UK's Department for International Trade (DIT).
Technical talks between negotiating officials, which ended on June 24, were held in a hybrid fashion. Some of the teams meeting in London and the majority of officials joining virtually.
With both sides keen to finalise the FTA before Diwali this year, the next round of talks are scheduled to be held in New Delhi in July. The India-UK FTA negotiations had been launched in January this year.
In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had decided to do their best to conclude the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries by the end of this year. The issue was discussed during PM Johnson's visit to New Delhi on April 22.
The deadline of wrapping up FTA negotiations by the end of this year has since been moved up to Diwali (October 24). During his visit to the UK in May, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal had expressed optimism about the India-UK FTA being finalised by then.