Last reviewed 12 May 2022

The CBI, Britain’s biggest business organisation, and its counterpart in India, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), will set up a new joint group, UK-India Industry Taskforce, to increase cross industry collaboration and help to push the UK-India trade deal over the line.

In a recent visit to India the Prime Minister announced a free trade agreement (FTA) is likely to be completed October this year.

With negotiations between the two governments underway, the CBI believes that a focus on reducing the barriers to trade, cutting tariffs, and supporting firms to export will help consumers and businesses alike, particularly in the face of the cost-of-living crisis.

Its President, Lord Karan Bilimoria, said: “A free trade agreement with the world’s fastest growing economy is now within touching distance, and to clinch that deal a focus on lowering barriers to trade is now essential. For example, on renewables, we have an opportunity to export UK’s expertise in clean tech. A deal has the potential to drastically lower tariffs on wind turbines parts that are currently as high as 15%.”

Reducing tariffs on green exports such as solar, onshore, and offshore wind, could open new opportunities for firms in India, he went on.

More broadly, securing an FTA with India could almost double UK exports to India, boost Britain’s total trade by as much as £28 billion a year by 2035 and increase wages across the UK regions by £3 billion.

CII Director General, Chandrajit Banerjee, said: “The collaboration between CII and CBI will cover joint efforts in specific areas such as Advancing Technology and Digitalisation, Climate Change and Sustainability, Multilateral collaboration, alignment on FTA and education. As we build upon this renewed partnership today we are eager and excited to be working together with a focused approach.”