Rishi Sunak govt sets new deadline as India-UK free trade pact talks stall

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Rishi Sunak govt sets new deadline as India-UK free trade pact talks stall
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A United Kingdom delegation will arrive in India in December to take up talks on the impending trade pact. The aim is to conclude 7 of the 21 chapters of the agreement by March.

New Delhi ,UPDATED: Nov 12, 2022 09:30 IST

United Kingdom PM Rishi Sunak (Image: Reuters)

By India Today Web Desk: United Kingdom officials are likely to visit India next month with the objective of concluding talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries. Aiming at finalising talks within a span of four months, the trade deal aims to double bilateral trade between the countries by 2030.

Previously, the deadline was to conclude the talks by October but both sides missed the timeline. The administration will soon take a call on whether these deliberations will be at a ministerial level or the secretary level.

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“It will take 3-4 months of steady negotiations to complete this agreement, with broad understanding over issues such as mobility and short-term work visas to the UK,” a government source told Reuters.

A source has said that India and the UK will finalise the FTA by the end of March next year. However, a fresh date for concluding talks has not been decided.

Notably, nearly 14 chapters out of the 26 chapters of the trade pact have been arrived at and the visiting UK delegation will work towards the remainder of the chapters. In October, Rishi Sunak, soon after his appointment as the UK prime minister, conveyed his hope to finalise the trade deal during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s congratulatory call to him.

ALSO READ | India, UK keen on free trade pact, says MEA after Britain minister’s ‘immigration’ concerns



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