India, UK begin major trade talks

A joint statement reiterated the target of doubling the volume of bilateral trade by 2030.

New Delhi:

Britain and India began hammering out a post-Brexit trade deal on Thursday, with London calling for a cut in tariffs on Scotch whiskey and greater access to the Asian giant’s services and tech sectors.

New Delhi, which is notorious about lowering trade barriers and was dubbed the “tariff king” by former US President Donald Trump, in return wants to make it easier and cheaper for Indians to obtain British visas.

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and British Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan reiterated the target of doubling bilateral trade volume by 2030 in a joint statement after formally starting talks in Delhi.

Mr Goyal told reporters, “Both sides have agreed that we will initially focus on areas that are of mutual benefit and where there is less disagreement, and for which we have set a very aggressive timeline of the next few months.” determined.”

“We believe that there is such a great complementarity between the two economies that we should be able to easily come up with a very important agreement at an early stage… I think we will end this negotiation in about a year’s time. Committed to doing it,” he said.

“The UK has world-class business and expertise that we can be proud of, from Scotch whiskey distillers to financial services and cutting-edge renewable technology,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.

“We are taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the growing Indo-Pacific economies to cement our place on the global stage and deliver jobs and growth at home,” he said.

Britain has struck trade deals with Japan, New Zealand and Australia as it seeks to offset a drop in trade volume with the EU since it left the bloc in January 2020.

As Bloomberg News reports, the total volume of trade at stake in a deal between Britain and India is small fry, however, accounting for about three percent of London’s total commerce volume with the European Union.

New Delhi’s effort to make UK visas easier for Indian citizens may also fail with Brexit supporters keen to cut immigration.

Conservative MP Edward Leigh told parliament last week that “working class voters who voted for Brexit did not vote to replace immigration from Europe with more immigration from the rest of the world”.