Start of discussions with stakeholders on India-UK trade agreement

India has started discussions with stakeholders on an Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) with the UK, with the Department of Trade and Industry reaching out to businesses for suggestions on priority areas, directions sectoral issues and the concerns the proposal would address. Stakeholders have until July 25 to send in their responses.

The move comes a month after London announced its 14-week consultation with its industry until August 31 ahead of formal trade talks. The ETP is the forerunner of a full-fledged free trade agreement with the UK.

“Stakeholders can comment on tariffs and market access issues for goods, rules of origin and certification issues, standards, intellectual property, geographical indications, government procurement, e-commerce and the sustainable sustainability of commerce and the environment, ”one official said.

The ETP aims to reduce or eliminate tariffs on whiskey and automotive products, and remove barriers to trade in the food and beverage, service, healthcare and medical device sectors.

“An FTA with the UK will allow us to explore futuristic opportunities in trade and investment … and allow better access to Indian service providers,” the official said.

The two sides had decided earlier this year to launch an ETP to develop a roadmap that would lead to a potential full FTA including considerations of an interim pact on a preferential basis.

India’s goods exports to the UK fell 6.4% in FY21 to $ 8.2 billion.

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