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India, UK to soon launch talks for free-trade pact, ministers to meet virtually in July-end

New Delhi: India is soon going to launch free trade agreement (FTA) talks with the United Kingdom, which is now out of the European Union (EU), ThePrint has learnt.

According to sources, the potential India-UK FTA will be discussed during a trade ministerial dialogue between Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and International Trade Secretary of the UK, Liz Truss, towards the end of July. This will be the first such interaction between Goyal and Truss.

The decision to hold the ministerial dialogue virtually was finalised during a meeting Thursday between Foreign Secretary Harsh V. Shringla and new British High Commissioner to India Philip Barton. Both discussed the acceleration of strategic and defence dialogue between the two countries.

On Friday, Truss attended the India Global Week virtually and said, “We look very much look forward working more closely with India in the coming months and years.”

She said the UK is looking forward to have an FTA based on “free and fair” trade with several like-minded countries such as India. She also acknowledged New Delhi’s cooperation during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic with supplies of paracetamol drugs.

Addressing the India Global Week, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, “Britain and India will be energetic champions of free trade, to boost small businesses, to cut the cost of living for consumers and to create the jobs of the future.”

Source : https://theprint.in/diplomacy/india-uk-to-soon-launch-talks-for-free-trade-pact-ministers-to-meet-virtually-in-july-end/458303/