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The UK government today announced the doubling of its national credit support for UK businesses exporting to India, during the visit of Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu.
Prabhu held talks with Britain's international trade minister, Liam Fox, in London as part of the 12thmeeting of the UK-India Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) to discuss greater cooperation between the two countries and identify barriers to trade and investment.
As part of the deliberations, Foxannounced that the UK's national export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), has more than doubled its financial support to enable UK businesses to trade with India.
This means 4.5 billion pounds will now be available for UK companies exporting to India as well as Indian buyers of UK goods and services.
The minister said the UK government would work closely with India to break down barriers to boosting trade, which includes the latest doubling of trade finance support for UK exporters and Indian buyers of British goods and services.
"For the first time in 40 years, the UK is preparing for its own independent trade policy, and expanding our bilateral trade and investment with India will be central to that task. It's in our shared interest to boost prosperity, generate jobs, develop skills, and enhance the competitiveness of both our countries," he said.
UK and Indian businesses, including UK engineering consultancy Arup and Indian infrastructure firm Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS), also met alongside the JETCO to discuss ways of boosting cooperation in growing sectors such asadvanced manufacturing and smart cities.
While the UK cannot strike any new bilateral pacts until the official Brexit process in complete, the two countries had agreedto set up a new joint working group on trade at the last meeting of JETCO in New Delhi in November 2016 to work towards removing barriers to trade.
"A lot of interest and positivity has been generated in London today by the Joint Trade Review. Initiated in mid-2016 by the Indian and UK governments and aimed at establishing immediate areas of improving trade, it is still at its early stages.
"Nonetheless, there are already really positive signs and, hence, anticipation for a renewed and ever deepening India-UK economic partnership," said UK India Business Council CEO Richard Heald, who was present at the discussions here.
"There are huge opportunities in these three areas. These are areas where we can leverage our individual strengths and at the same time build on those collaborations which already exist," he said.
The JETCO forms a precursor to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), to be hosted by the UK in April and expected to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Heald highlighted that such ministerial visits on both sides are an opportunity to reflect on the changing dynamics of the 52-member bloc and "to make a step change in the multilateral/bilateral relationship that underpin the Commonwealth".
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)