India-UK FTA post elections in UK, India-EU FTA 8th round of talks between 24-28 June

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New Delhi: The long-awaited trade deal between India and Britain is likely to be signed after the completion of elections in the United Kingdom as the officials of India and the United Kingdom met virtually on May 7 last month.

Last month, the Ministry of Commerce organised a Chintan Shivir to provide information related to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to the stakeholders and officials. During the meeting officials discussed strategies and vision for 2047, economic assessments and modelling of FTAs, inclusion of new disciplines like environment, labour, gender issues, and digital trade.

The meeting was organised under the Chintan Shivir initiative of the commerce ministry, GoI. Britain’s PM Rishi Sunak has called for a snap election in the country. July 4 is the date of elections in the UK. A total of 13 rounds of negotiations for the India-UK FTA have been held so far, and the 14th round began on January 10, 2024.

The trade negotiations between both countries opened in January 2022. It aims to secure an “ambitious” outcome for bilateral trade – currently worth around GBP 38.1 billion a year, according to official statistics. The UK wants India to drastically lower tariffs on UK exports, which can now be as high as 150 per cent, including food, automobiles, and whisky. This is one of the main issues involved in the FTA discussions.

India is also concerned about the fairness of the regulations pertaining to its personnel who are temporarily relocated to the UK on business visas and are required to pay national insurance even though they are not qualified for social security or pensions in the UK.
Separately, Indian and European Union officials met to discuss the India-EU free trade agreement. During the meeting, both sides discussed various policy areas such as market access in goods, services, investment and government procurement, rules of origin, SPS / TBT, energy and raw materials, trade and sustainable development and intellectual property rights (IPR).

Discussions have also taken place on challenges associated with CBAM 8th Round of Negotiations is scheduled from 24th to 28th June 2024 in Brussels, as per the sources. India is currently in negotiations with various countries and unions for free trade agreements. It includes FTA talks with the UK, EU, Australia, Eurasian Economic Union and Peru.

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