UK-India FTA Negotiations and Concerns Over Trade Talks and Data Protection Bill
While addressing the quantitative goal for commerce between the UK and India, both nations should focus on maximising the connection and result.
The UK Parliament has voiced concerns about the lack of information sharing by the UK government regarding the trade talks as the UK-India FTA negotiations go into the next phase. The concerns include India's Digital Data Protection Bill, which could impose data localisation requirements, non-tariff barriers to UK automotive exports, and market access relaxations for India in a variety of industries, including textiles, apparel, footwear, and horticulture products. The preferential access that the UK currently grants to developing nations in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Africa may be impacted by such relaxations.
According to data from the UK Department for Business & Trade, the total value of trade in products and services between the UK and India reached 34 billion pounds in the four quarters leading up to the end of Q3 2022. Out of these 34 billion pounds, total UK exports to India stood at 14.8 billion pounds in the four quarters that ended in Q3 2022, representing an increase in current prices of 6.4 billion pounds (75.5 per cent) over the same time last year. In contrast, the value of UK imports from India reached 19.2 billion pounds in the four quarters that ended in Q3 2022, representing an increase of 5.2 billion pounds.
Out of 26 policies 13 categories have been closed, ranging from products and services to investments and intellectual property rights. Both parties have stated that the talks have gained good, positive momentum. British stakeholders are now hopeful that legislative obstacles would be removed to encourage trade through digital services and services that may be used online. However, a data bill is presently being debated in India's parliament, which could have an impact on the FTA negotiations. A recent free trade agreement between the United Kingdom and Japan addressed data localisation, customs tariffs on digital transmissions, and digital signature recognition.
Foreign Lawyers and International Law Firms Can Now Practice in India
Based on reciprocity, foreign lawyers and law firms are now permitted to practice foreign law in India, participate in international arbitration proceedings and provide legal advice in non-litigious situations. Additionally, they can engage in transactional and corporate activity, including drafting contracts, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and issues relating to intellectual property. In addition, they will not be permitted to appear before any Indian courts, tribunals, or other statutory or regulatory bodies. If found guilty of engaging in any sort of misconduct, they will have their Indian registration revoked.