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10-Novemeber-2023-Editorial

November 10, 2023 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

INDIA-UK TRADE DEAL: PROSPECTS & CHALLENGES

India and the UK are on the verge of finalizing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), poised to strengthen economic ties. The FTA, expected to be signed by year-end, presents opportunities and challenges for both nations.

Current Status of India-UK Trade Relations:

FTA Finalization: India and the UK are in the concluding stages of negotiating a free trade agreement.

Bilateral Trade: In the fiscal year 2022-23, bilateral trade between the countries surpassed $44.3 billion.

Trade Surplus: India enjoyed an $8 billion trade surplus, exporting goods and services worth $25.8 billion to the UK.

Benefits of India-UK FTA:

For India:

Export Competitiveness: Tariff elimination will boost the competitiveness of Indian exports like textiles and apparel.

Services Sector Growth: Eased UK visa processes will benefit the Indian IT services sector, a significant contributor to the UK market.

Investment Inflows: Simultaneous negotiations on a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) promise improved investment protection.

For the UK:

Tariff Reduction: UK products, including cars and Scotch whisky, could benefit from reduced tariffs in India, enhancing market positions.

Level Playing Field: Access to India’s government procurement market aims to create a level playing field for UK companies.

Industrial Benefits: UK exports facing high tariffs, such as silver, will gain competitiveness in the Indian market.

Challenges Associated with the FTA:

Tariff Negotiations: Certain Indian goods, like pharmaceuticals with zero tariffs, may not see significant benefits. Reduction, not elimination, of tariffs on UK exports like cars and whisky poses challenges.

Standards and Barriers: India is cautious about committing to stringent environmental and labor standards, fearing non-tariff barriers.

Market Access: UK’s demand for equal market access, especially in India’s government procurement market, may face resistance.

Recommendations:

Negotiate Social Security Contributions: Include a totalization agreement exempting Indian workers from UK social security payments for short stays.

Treaty Alignment: Align FTA and BIT negotiations to complement each other effectively.

Safeguard Digital Economy: Uphold data protection to preserve India’s digital sovereignty and manage cross-border data flows.

Prepare for Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism: Consider the potential impact of the UK’s proposed carbon border adjustment mechanism on Indian exports in FTA negotiations.

Conclusion:

As India and the UK navigate the intricacies of the upcoming FTA, addressing challenges and capitalizing on opportunities is essential for fostering a mutually beneficial economic relationship.

Details

Date:
November 10, 2023
Time:
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: