LONDON: Today, Friday 28th January 2022, the Republic of India and the United Kingdom concluded the first round of talks for an India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Both sides acknowledge the importance of ensuring this first round – held virtually over 2 weeks – could proceed despite the challenges presented by the COVID pandemic.
During this round, technical experts from both sides came together for discussions in 32 separate sessions covering 26 policy areas including: Trade in Goods, Trade in Services including Financial Services & Telecommunications, Investment, Intellectual Property, Customs and Trade Facilitation, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Competition, Gender, Government Procurement, SMEs, Sustainability, Transparency, Trade and Development, Geographical Indicators and Digital.
The negotiations were productive and reflected our shared ambition to secure a comprehensive deal to boost trade between the 5th and 6th largest economies in the world. The positive discussions in round one have laid the groundwork for the UK and India to make positive and efficient progress.
The second round of negotiations is due to take place on 7-18 March 2022. Both teams maintain a shared ambition to conclude negotiations by the end of 2022 – as part of both sides’ efforts to secure a comprehensive agreement, Chief Negotiators will continue to consider the benefits of an Interim Agreement.