UK’s trade in goods with India is booming

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The UK’s trade in goods with India is booming and will only get better according to Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch as the two countries continue to work intensively towards a free trade agreement.

In the 12 months to the end of September 2022, UK exports of goods to India surged +100.6% compared with the previous 12-month period, while Indian exports of goods increased +37.0%, reports the ONS.

However, Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch has her eye on an even bigger prize and says a free trade agreement with India (which will be the world’s third biggest economy by 2050) will be signed soon.

Talking about the UK’s free trade aspirations this week during a trip to the US, Ms Badenoch enthused:

“We’re using our new freedoms to negotiate new trade deals and upgrade existing ones – deepening our ties with our allies while creating new economic partnerships.

“We’re joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP as we call it – it’s a network of 11 countries, spanning from Asia to the Americas, it’s got Canada and Mexico in it, maybe the US someday – but it covers at the moment half a billion people.

“We’re strengthening our relationships with our partners and allies in the Indo Pacific, a region that will be responsible for half of global growth in the coming decades. We’re thinking about the future.

“We’re in talks on a free trade deal with India. India’s a country that’s going to be the world’s third biggest economy by 2050.”

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson said closing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India, currently the world’s fifth largest economy, will be a major prize for the UK post-Brexit and also hopes a deal will be in place this year.

Just a decade ago, Indian GDP was the eleventh largest in the world. With a population of 1.393 billion people and a 7 percent growth forecast for this year, India’s economy has overtaken the United Kingdom’s in terms of size, making it the fifth biggest in the world. That’s according to the latest figures from the International Monetary Fund.

The United Kingdom and Republic of India have now concluded various rounds of talks for an agreement with both sides saying they will continue to work intensively to get the deal done.

The former PM Mr Johnson said in the summer he sees India as a crucial element of a “tilt to the Indo-Pacific,” part of a post-Brexit foreign policy that seeks to strengthen relations with democracies in the region as a counterweight to China.

The UK-India trade deal will also support hundreds of thousands of jobs and boost the economies of both the UK and India by potentially lowering or removing current tariffs such as those of up to 150% on items such as whisky and up to 125% on cars and other British products. It would also create huge benefits for British services – 4 out of 5 of India’s fastest-growing imports are for services like IP and telecommunications.

For the last round of negotiations with India, technical experts from both sides came together for detailed draft treaty text discussions in 85 separate sessions covering 15 policy areas.

Indian and UK officials say they will continue to work intensively to get the deal done.

The EU has been trying for years to reach a meaningful deal with India, with little success.

2 COMMENTS

  1. There will soon be a boom in immigrants from India too, thanks to the Hindu Prime Minister Sunak granting a further 3000 visas for Indians to come to England and take away good paying technical jobs from English workers. Whatever happened to the #1 reason why people overwhelmingly voted for Brexit — take back control, stop immigration, and English jobs for English workers?

  2. FTAs are fine if they are structured in our favour, but if not then we are better off trading on WTO terms. The fact that our exports to India have doubled in the last year while theirs to us have only gone up by a third proves that we do NOT need an FTA to be successful and out-compete India.

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