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


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.


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.


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.


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