Piyush Goyal: India, UK launch FTA talks, sensitive issues not a priority: Piyush Goyal


India and the UK on Thursday launched negotiations for a bilateral free-trade agreement (FTA) covering various areas including goods, services, and investments, and have set a year-end deadline for concluding the pact.

Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal and Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK Secretary of State for International Trade launched the trade pact which is expected to facilitate the target of doubling bilateral trade by 2030, and give a fillip to Indian exports in labor intensive sectors like leather, textile, jewellery and processed agri-products.

“And I do not think there is any need for anybody to worry about issues which are sensitive to any country, because both sides have agreed that sensitive issues are not our priority…There is no demand which is absolutely a deal breaker and absolutely a must,” Goyal said.

The minister also said that the two sides are working closely to conclude both the interim agreement and the final FTA at an early date.

“The final deal will be reached at after stakeholder consultations on both sides,” he said.

India’s exports to the UK were $8.15 billion in 2020-21, while imports aggregated at $4.95 billion. India’s main exports to the U.K. include ready-made garments and textiles, gems and jewellery, engineering goods, petroleum products, transport equipment, spices, pharmaceuticals and marine products.

Imports from Britain include precious and semi-precious stones, ores and metal scraps, engineering goods, chemicals and machinery.

In the services sector, the UK is the largest market in Europe for Indian IT services.



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