Ahead of the 12th round of India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks set to begin in New Delhi on Wednesday, the Indian High Commissioner to the UK has expressed hope that officials from both sides will be able to do some work and find the right path. Towards a mutually beneficial agreement.

High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswamy told PTI that he is positive as both the countries are willing to make necessary adjustments recognizing the complexities associated with the very different structures of two similar sized economies.

On the comprehensive bilateral partnership, they expressed equal optimism about “apparent synergies” in various areas.

I am positive about it (FTA), the High Commissioner said. My intention is that to the extent that we can, we would like to conclude a mutually beneficial forward-looking FTA.

I believe both sides are willing to make the necessary adjustments. Even though we are both similar sized economies, we differ in the structure of our economies and the complexities of our economies. So, getting the right fit together is very important, he said.

The senior diplomat, closely associated with the FTA talks that began in January last year, said it is important that the UK side recognizes some of the complexities of the structure of the Indian economy.

It cannot be equated to a free trade agreement with a peer-developed country. On the other hand, we also need to take into account the fact that the UK hasn’t really negotiated many free trade agreements in recent years when it was part of the EU. So, there are a few things that have to be adjusted. But overall, the trend line looks very positive, he said.

The 11th round of talks ended on 18 July, which a joint outcome statement said included detailed draft treaty text discussion in nine policy areas. According to official figures from the UK government, the bilateral trade partnership was pegged at around GBP 36 billion in 2022 and an FTA is set to increase that relationship significantly.

Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal said that the 11th round of talks in London was very intense and many issues were agreed upon.

Of the total 26 chapters of the proposed FTA, 19 have been closed. Investment is being negotiated as a separate agreement (Bilateral Investment Treaty) between India and the UK.

“Now, only a few issues are left. The UK team is coming to India during the Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG) meeting (in Jaipur) and we are hoping that we will close those remaining issues.

“So, our target is that when the UK team comes to India, we will sort out the issues with the UK and we are very hopeful that the issues will be sorted out,” Barthwal told reporters in New Delhi on Monday.

I think our government has been very clear that we want the best possible partnership with the UK and, from what I’ve heard from UK leadership on both sides of the political aisle as well as senior government leadership here, I believe that They also want a visionary partnership with us, Doraiswami said.

Noting that India-UK history is complex, he stressed the importance of the bilateral partnership, 76 years after independence from colonial rule, to be aware of what happened in the past but not allow ourselves to become prisoners of it.

It is important that we build a relationship that taps into our respective strengths. For example, London is still one of the great finance capitals of the world. India is the future direction of global development. There is a clear synergy between the need for high-quality, well-priced finance for the implementation of our infrastructure, for our green transformation. And, there is obviously a need for quality finance to find the best possible returns in terms of places to invest. These two clearly speak for themselves, he said.

Asked about the recent visit to India by UK Security Minister Tom Tugendt, who announced a GBP 95,000 fund to combat pro-Khalistan extremism in the wake of the attack on the High Commission in London in March, the High Commissioner said it was a milestone. It is stone. Enhancing the security pillar of the bilateral partnership.

We live in an uncertain and often challenging world, which is increasingly growing, it makes perfect sense for the UK and countries like India to work together to identify the simple challenges that people don’t talk about. There are far more complex challenges than they do. It is not just a matter of nation-states. There are challenges in terms of what is happening among communities, how communities are being radicalized, how it is changing the shape of domestic politics, he said.

In all of this, it is important for countries like the UK to work with us because we too have an understanding of how some of this happens. “Therefore, the visit of Security Minister Tugendhat last week is a very important milestone and I think he will come back with a strong sense that we want to have a proper, viable functioning security pillar as part of our partnership,” he said. So eager to make.

On the business aspect of the relationship, the envoy pointed out how Indian businesses have made a huge presence in the UK market and stressed that the time has come for us to bring more British businesses to India as well.

(Only the headline and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content was auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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