Businesses are looking forward to India and the UK implementing an Enhanced Trade Partnership that would address market access barriers in the short and medium term and eventually lead to a potential comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the UK India Business Council said in a statement on Monday.
"The trade and investment partnership is particularly important, and the UKIBC hopes that the meeting tomorrow will provide more details of the Enhanced Trade Partnership initiated by Piyush Goyal, India’s minister for commerce and industries, and his UK counterpart, Liz Truss, secretary of state for international trade," the UKIBC said in a statement.
The UKIBC expects to see a step-change in the volume and nature of the trade and investment relationship between the two countries. Alongside the reduction and removal of tariffs and non-tariff barriers to goods trade, it was important that the ETP recognised the critical importance, to both countries, of knowledge- and technology-driven trade, such as digital, data, and financial services, it said.
A reduction in tariff and non-tariff barriers, including the alignment of standards, is expected to benefit digital and ICT, food and drink, defence, health care and pharma, and the advanced manufacturing sector.
"The Enhanced Trade Partnership is therefore important – it will create jobs and prosperity in both countries, and we at the UKIBC look forward to supporting the implementation of the ETP on this exciting and important journey to an FTA," UKIBC said.
The British PM had planned to visit India to attend Republic day celebrations, but it was cancelled owing to a spike in Covid-19 cases in the UK. Johnson was then planned to come to India in April but that was again called off due to the second wave of the pandemic in India.