UK-India Business Council urges for early conclusion of FTA negotiations
By siliconindia | Tuesday, 21 November 2023, 09:23:33 AM IST
The UK-India Business Council (UKIBC), a trade organization aiming to enhance trade and investment between the two countries, stated in November that the ongoing negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) should be concluded before the general elections scheduled in both nations next year. So far, thirteen rounds of negotiations have been held between India and the UK regarding the FTA.
"Because of the general elections in India and the UK going to polls next year, it is important that the negotiations for the proposed FTA are concluded early. Otherwise, the negotiations will be paused while the general elections are on", UKIBC Managing Director Kevin McCole said. He said though the election date in the UK has not yet been fixed, the polls may be held between May and November next year.
According to McCole, negotiations could possibly come to a halt until the election period in India and the UK is over. He also emphasized that the bilateral investment treaty between the two nations will facilitate an increase in investments from the UK to India and vice-versa.
According to him, out of GBP62 billion invested globally by the UK in 2021, India only got GBP 2 billion. "Once the bilateral investment treaty is signed, one could expect a larger share of the UK's global investments in India", he added. McCole said the UK is open to lowering its tariffs on textiles from India. "Presently, a tariff on textiles from India is 12 percent. Tariffs on textiles from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are lower", he said.
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