India and the UK aim to double trade by 2030, as £1 billion of new trade and investment is announced. Future economic cooperation will support thousands of jobs.
Ahead of the much-awaited virtual summit between Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson, a British High Commission release has outlined that the two countries will agree on a deeper relationship on issues pertaining to trade, health, climate, and defense.
The plan, according to the British High Commission includes agreement on an Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) to unlock new opportunities for Indian and British businesses, and committing to negotiate a UK-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
The aim behind this partnership is to double the value of UK-India trade by 2030 and ensure that the two countries begin work towards negotiations on a comprehensive FTA.
India is by far the largest market the UK has committed to negotiating a trade deal with to date. The two prime ministers will also announce £1 billion in new UK-India trade and investment, including in vital and growing sectors such as health and technology.
The UK-India business community has demonstrated its strength over the last week in response to India's coronavirus surge. The British Asian Trust has raised over £1.6m in the last week through their emergency appeal and UK business leaders have mobilised in response to the Indian High Commission's request for vital equipment.
British prime minister Boris Johnson said, "Like every aspect of the UK-India relationship, the economic links between our countries make our people stronger and safer. In the decade ahead, with the help of the new Partnership signed today and a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, we will double the value of our trading partnership with India and take the relationship between our two countries to new highs."
According to Alex Ellis, High Commissioner to India, "Trade and investment between the UK and India is already significant, creating jobs and growth in both countries. Today our Prime Ministers have set an ambitious target of doubling trade by 2030 and announcing £1 billion of new trade and investment. I will work tirelessly with our Indian friends and partners in the public and private sector to fulfill our leaders' ambition."
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It has been forecast that a future UK-India trade deal will support hundreds of thousands of jobs and boost the economies of both the UK and India.
The release stated that the Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) will create immediate opportunities for businesses across industries, including: a commitment for mutual recognition of Seafarers' Certificate of Competency; an independent risk-based decision-making process for suitable listing and re-listing of new and de-listed Indian fishery establishments and phased reduction in shrimp sampling protocol; and, a taskforce under a new healthcare pillar which will provide opportunities for Indian nurses and nursing associates seeking to train and work in the UK's National Health Service.
According to the release, “The ETP also commits both sides to address immediate market access barriers as well as continuing to seek further opportunities as we negotiate an FTA, benefitting businesses and consumers in both countries.”