India (Commonwealth Union)_ Kemi Badenoch, Trade Secretary of the United Kingdom, began her India tour on Monday with an in-person meeting with Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, as part of the sixth round of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) discussions between the nations. Badenoch’s visit represents the sixth formal round of discussions between the United Kingdom and India. As per the official statement, the objective is to deepen bilateral ties and revive negotiations on an ambitious bilateral trade treaty between the two nations.
Badenoch will hold meetings with the two teams of negotiators before the start of the next round of discussions. The conversations will be held over the whole week. The UK Trading Secretary will also engage with business leaders to better comprehend their requirements for a modern trade partnership between the United Kingdom and India. This will involve a meeting with envoPAP, a British firm funding more than 10 million pounds in India to build a facility for manufacturing fair trade paper and packaging goods.
The discussions, the first official session since July, aim at decreasing tariffs and boost opportunities for UK services such as financial and legal, making it simpler for British enterprises to sell to the third-largest economy in the world. Kemi Badenoch, the Secretary of State for International Trade, released a statement saying: “I’m here in New Delhi to kickstart round six of UK-India trade negotiations and meet my counterpart Minister Goyal in person to drive progress on this agreement.” She added: “India and the UK are the 5th and 6th biggest economies in the world. We have a long shared history, and are in pole position to do a deal that will create jobs, encourage growth and boost our 29 billion pounds trading relationship.”
According to the official statement, leading British firms like Pret A Manger, Revolut, and Tide want to grow in India. After a franchise agreement with Reliance Brands, the British coffee and sandwich shop Pret will open its first location in India by early 2023. The first site of the business will be in Mumbai, with a goal of opening 100 stores across the nation. According to Andy Burwell, the International Director of the Confederation of British Business, the UK-India Free Trade Agreement will focus more on industry.