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UK and India begin free trade agreement negotiations

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The UK has begun discussions with India over a free trade agreement at an event held earlier this month in New Delhi. 

International trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan met with her counterpart Piyush Goyal to formally begin talks on a deal that would support access for UK firms into one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies. 

India is set to become the third-largest economy on the planet by the middle of the century with a population larger than the UK and US combined, with a growing middle class, that could help boost trade by up to £28 billion by 2035 and increase wages by £3 billion in the UK – supporting nearly 100,000 jobs and doubling current UK exports to the nation. 

A free trade agreement with India would also be a big step forward in the UK’s ambitions to refocus trade on the Indo-Pacific and potential membership of the Asia-Pacific trading block. 

Ms Trevelyan said of the potential FTA: “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. By 2050 India will be the world’s third-largest economy with a middle class of almost 250 million shoppers.

“We want to unlock this huge new market for our great British producers and manufacturers across numerous industries from food and drink to services and automotive.”

Read more: UK trade deficit with China trebles

“As an independent, deal-making nation the UK is broadening our economic horizons and forging stronger partnerships with the fastest-growing economies of the world. India marks the start of our ambitious 5-star year of UK trade and will show how the deals we negotiate will boost the economies across all nations and help level up all regions of the UK.”

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