Last reviewed 21 January 2022

On a visit to New Delhi to officially launch negotiations on a new free trade agreement (FTA), International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said that it would create huge benefits for both countries.

She also suggested that the visit demonstrates the UK’s tilt to the Indo-Pacific and kicks off a “five-star year of trade”, with plans to launch negotiations with Canada, Mexico and the Gulf and to secure accession to the £8.4 trillion CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership).

“A deal with India is a golden opportunity to put UK businesses at the front of the queue as the Indian economy continues to grow rapidly,” Ms Trevelyan said. “By 2050 India will be the world’s third largest economy with a middle class of almost 250 million shoppers.”

A deal has the potential to almost double UK exports to India, the Trade Secretary continued, boost total trade by as much as £28 billion a year by 2035, and increase wages across the UK by up to £3 billion.

According to the Department for International Trade (DIT), the UK wants a deal that slashes barriers to doing business and trading with India’s £2 trillion economy and market of 1.4 billion consumers, including cutting tariffs on exports of British-made cars and Scotch whisky which currently face enormous duties of 125% and 150% respectively.

Details of the UK’s strategic approach to a potential FTA with India can be found at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1046091/uk-india-free-trade-agreement-the-uks-strategic-approach.pdf.