Three-four chapters remain unfinished in UK-India FTA

Though they have internally set a target of March 2023. Ministry officials said their aim is to protect Indian interests, so they have not set any timeline to close it.

Published: 19th November 2022 09:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th November 2022 09:38 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Only three to four chapters including intellectual property and goods are yet to be concluded with regard to the free trade agreement (FTA) between the UK and India, according to government sources privy to the development. 

This is the first time when there will be a separate chapter for financial services, which is on the verge of completion. “Three to four chapters are yet to be finalised. There are some disagreements with regard to goods and intellectual property, among others. Financial services is on the verge of completion. This is the first time when there will be a completely separate chapter on financial services in FTA,” the source said. 

“Though the chapter is separate, there won’t be much of a difference from other agreements. The UK had been insisting on a chapter on financial services, that’s why we are making like this,” he further stated. 
Also, according to the sources, the government has said they are under no deadline pressure.

Though they have internally set a target of March 2023. Ministry officials said their aim is to protect Indian interests, so they have not set any timeline to close it. The Centre had set a deadline to close the trade deal by Diwali this year but the pace of negotiation between the countries got impacted due to political instability in the UK. 

“We may conclude the trade deal by March next year. But still, we can’t put it as a deadline as we couldn’t meet the Diwali timeline. Entering into FTA can be beneficial if it is fair and balanced,” one of the government sources said. 

Meanwhile, according to the sources, the UK authorities are also in no hurry to seal the trade deal as they don’t want to sacrifice quality for speed. India had total trade of  $17.5 billion with the UK in 2021-22. India’s exports to the UK in 2021-22 were worth $10.5 billion, while imports from the country were at $7 billion.



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