NEW DELHI: The negotiations for the ongoing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and the United Kingdom are not likely to be impacted despite the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The deadline set for a draft FTA during Johnson’s summit talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here in April last was Diwali (October).
“The negotiations are going on as planned. There are still some rounds left, which are expected to happen as scheduled. The draft should be ready by Diwali,” said a source. The agreement is estimated to double the India-UK bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2030.
The FTA is important for both India and the UK as it will give a boost to overall trade. With Britain staring at a wage problem, there is a need for the FTA going through for the UK as much as it is for India.
While the FTA will double UK’s exports to India, it is also expected to boost Britain’s total trade by as much as £28 billion a year by 2035 and increase wages across the UK by £3 billion, according to estimates.
“The UK is going through a wage crisis at present and this infusion of funds with enhanced trade with India will help them. Despite a recent hike, wages in the UK don’t match up with the 6.2% rise in the consumer price index,” said an expert on FTA.
During the CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) held in Kigali, Rwanda last month, Johnson had reiterated the Diwali timeline for the FTA draft. “We will soon start round five of negotiations. Our ambition is to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that works for both sides,’’ said a British High Commission spokesperson.