Modi and Truss in contact for Free Trade pact- The New Indian Express


NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss, has been in regular contact with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss various issues related to the ongoing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks between India and the United Kingdom, which mark the Diwali to meet the deadline soon. Sources familiar with the unfolding of the FTA talks say the momentum of the negotiations has gathered strength.

“Since the fifth round of FTA talks ended in Delhi in August, negotiations and talks have picked up momentum and negotiations are going on literally around the clock. PM Truss and PM Modi have been in touch regarding this. A team of senior Indian officials is currently in the UK to discuss the free trade deal which is expected to meet its Diwali deadline,” sources said, adding that as Truss was instrumental in initiating the free trade deal, there is optimism that the deadline will be met.

Such is the optimism that sources say that once talks and negotiations are complete, Prime Minister Modi is likely to travel to the UK to sign the deal, most likely next month. The FTA deal will double India-UK bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2030, the UK India Business Council told this newspaper.

With strong growth momentum and India poised to become the third largest economy in the coming decades, the FTA will be an added benefit. “The growth momentum in India is strong. A number of factors come into play with the free trade zone – one of the most important being the ease of doing business. A lot has improved on that front since 2008 as digitization, permits and permits have helped pave the way for that,” added Heald.

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Successful negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between India and the UK would allow more British and Indian companies to sell their products and services to customers in both countries. It would also facilitate greater cooperation between British and Indian companies and open up more opportunities, including those in third world countries. This will lead to more jobs, growth and prosperity in both countries.

The FTA is part of broader economic ties between India and the UK under the Comprehensive Strategic Roadmap agreed by Prime Minister Modi and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson in May 2021.
“To truly maximize the growth potential of the bilateral relationship, our countries have agreed to work within the framework of the 2030 Roadmap in the areas of trade and investment, healthcare, climate protection, defense and security, and the unique people-to-people connection or living bridge to work together. that holds our countries together,” added Heald.

The State Department had publicly acknowledged the talks between Modi and Truss when Modi called Truss on September 11. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with the newly appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss, and the two leaders pledged to further strengthen the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and the United Kingdom,” the MEA said in a statement.

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