UK Launches Free Trade Agreement Negotiations With India

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UK Launches Free Trade Agreement Negotiations With India

  • UK Launches Free Trade Agreement Negotiations With India
  • The UK government on Thursday announced the launch of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with India, describing it as a ""golden opportunity"" to put British businesses at the ""front of the queue"" of the Indian economy
  • The first round of negotiations is expected to start next week, which the British government said would make it the UK's quickest start of formal talks between negotiating teams following a launch.

Key highlights

  • Proposed FTA expected to help double bilateral trade by 2030
  • It will give major fillip to Indian exports in labour intensive sectors like Leather, Textile, Jewellery and processed Agri-products
  • It will give a big boost to employment generation

Economic cooperation

  • The UK is among India’s major trading partners and during the year 2016-17, the UK ranked 15th in the list of India’s top 25 trading partners
  • Bilateral trade between India-UK: USD 12.48 billion in 2020
  • Exports from UK:Electrical, electronic equipment,Pearls, precious stones, metals, coins Optical, photo, technical, medical apparatus,Iron and steel,etc
  • Exports from India:Machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers,Articles of apparel, knit or crocheted,Pharmaceutical products,Articles of apparel, Pearls, precious stones, metals, coins,etc

Investment Cooperation

  • Inward investment: UK is the 6th largest inward investor in India, after Mauritius, Singapore, Netherlands, Japan, and USA
  • Equity investment: US $28.39 billion (April 2000 - June 2020), accounting for around 6% of all foreign direct investment into India
  • Indian Investment: India is the second largest investor in the UK.
  • There are 842 Indian companies in the UK, employing more than 110,000 people.

Educational Cooperation

  • The UK is among the favoured destinations for Indian students to pursue higher education.
  • Around 50,000 Indian students are currently studying in the UK.
  • Point-based immigration system: India was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the UK's new liberalised point-based immigration system.
  • UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI): launched in 2005 , It focus on higher education and research, schools and professional and technical skills
  • Other educational initiatives: Joint Working Group on Education, Newton-Bhabha Fund and Scholarship schemes

Cultural cooperation

  • MoU on Cultural Cooperation: signed in July 2010.
  • The Nehru Centre (TNC): estd in 1992 in London, for cultural outreach of the High Commission of India in the UK.

Defence cooperation

  • Strategic partnership Agreement: signed in 2004
  • Capability partnership: both countries agreed to elevate their Defence relationship by establishing capability partnerships in strategic areas in November 2015
  • Maritime Cooperation: UK is deploying Carrier Strike Group in the Indian Ocean region this year in line with its strategic tilt to the Indo-Pacific.
  • IFC-IOR: The UK has officially joined the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) based in Gurugram and deputed its officer for it.
  • Ajeya Warrior-army-to-army biennial exercise
  • Konakan -joint navy-to-navy annual exercise
  • Indradhanush-joint air-to-air exercise

Science and Technology cooperation

  • India-UK technical partnership program: it was announced in 2018, to bring together the best minds working in tech to unlock its future potential and deliver high-skilled jobs and economic growth
  • India-UK Clean Energy Research and Development Centre: it brings together leading energy researchers from ten UK universities with their counterparts across India to share experience and develop technologies critical to the future of sustainable energy systems.