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India-UK FTA talks starting ‘imminently’: UK CBI president Bilimoria

Published: November 27, 2021
Author: Manali bhanushali

Formal negotiations for an India-UK free trade agreement (FTA) will imminently begin and will be as comprehensive as possible to cover all aspects of the bilateral relationship, according to Lord Karan Bilimoria, president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). His statement follows UK international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan saying recently that she is all set to launch the FTA talks.

Bilimoria was addressing the CBI’s annual conference.

“For nearly four decades, all our trade deals were negotiated by the European Union. And, over the last five years, the UK’s department for international trade did an incredible job; it signed trade agreements with 66 non-EU countries and one with the EU. A remarkable achievement, which many thought would be impossible,” said Bilimoria, the founder of Cobra Beer.

“On top of this, the CBI, I am proud to say, has played a major role with helping with new trade agreements, such as with the UK- Australia FTA. This was followed by our FTA with New Zealand, and an enhanced trade partnership with India—with a target to double bilateral trade by 2030. Formal negotiations with India-UK FTA are starting imminently,” he was quoted as saying by a news agency.

“That FTA I hope will be a huge benefit in enhancing bilateral trade and very comprehensive… as comprehensive as possible. Movement of people; reduction of duties and tariffs—the tariff on Scotch whisky is 150 per cent, that’s got to be reduced drastically; academic collaborations and cross-border research is going to be huge between our countries; partnering on a Green industrial revolution. There is a vast array to really ramp up business and trade between our two countries,” he added.

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