ROME: The next round of trade negotiations between India and the UK is set for April 24, indicating their desire to advance the planned free trade deal (FTA).
Government sources informed TOI that both parties want to settle the disputed issues as soon as possible, and that political action is being taken in response to concerns that pro-Khalistan activists may threaten the Indian High Commission in London.
Recent sources claim that the discussions have been suspended because of the rising tensions between the two nations. Authorities, however, dismissed it as unfounded and contended that some of the concerns on the table are likely to be resolved in the upcoming months and that the negotiations are anticipated to restart later this month.
In fact, some Indian companies, particularly those in the textile and apparel industries, are anxious for the agreement to be finalised as soon as possible because they believe they are just as competitive as exporters from Bangladesh but contend that they have been losing out because of lower duty access.
Leading clothing exporter: “If the agreement is implemented, we might immediately gain a big advantage and exports will increase by almost $1 billion in two years.” India is negotiating a deal with the EU as well, although the UK is considered as an easier option. But, the Rishi Sunak administration is frequently perceived as speaking in two voices on the matter, trying to balance economic interests with home worries about immigration issues.
Following Brexit, India and the UK began talks because the Indian government wanted to make sure that its professionals and business workers had access to the sizable English-speaking market as well as lower-duty access for clothing and leather goods in exchange for lower import duties on Scotch and cars.
However, after Boris Johnson’s resignation as British PM, the pace of the negotiations has slowed, and the two parties missed the Diwali deadline. Unofficially, the agreement was supposed to be finalised in March.