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Brexit impact: India, UK may look at free trade agreement

In 2014-15, UK ranked 18th in the list of India's top 25 trading partner

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Philip, Jaitley, Arun, Hammond
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond at India-UK Finance Partnership Meeting in New Delhi

and the may look at a agreement (FTA) after formally leaves the European Union, the 27-nation trading bloc.

The possibility of FTA came up during discussions between Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond at the 9th UK-economic and financial dialogue wherein pitched for increased trade engagement with

On its part, India said that a formal dialogue on a possible bilateral trade agreement can start only after the completion of Brexit, which is expected to take about two years.

British last month approved the Bill, paving the way for exit of the United Kingdom from the

Jaitley said India in its communication with the has stated that post-it will look for more open trade, and more trade arrangements.

"Obviously this can be formally discussed after the takes place but it is probably going to imply a far wider and a far higher engagement between the two countries.

"What shape it is going to take can only be formalised post-Brexit negotiation," Jaitley told reporters.

Hammond said the two nations have very significant trade and investment relationship and is the largest G20 investor in India in the last 10 years, while India is the 3rd largest investor in the UK.

"We have continued to consolidate past success and to identify new areas where we can work together over the next couple of years, preparing for the point where Britain leaves the and is able to engage with Indian colleagues in a deep discussion about a future FTA between the UK and India," he said.

The UK is among India's major trading partners and in 2014-15, it ranked 18th in the list of India's top 25 trading partners.

As per the Department of Commerce data, two-way merchandise trade during 2014-15 was $14.33 billion, marking a decrease of 9.39 per cent as compared to 2013-14.

First Published: Tue, April 04 2017. 17:59 IST