regular-article-logo Thursday, 21 September 2023

India-UK trade pact hopes swell

Analysts warn that negotiators of both countries will have to move cautiously as any concession will be watched with suspicion

R. Suryamurthy New Delhi Published 26.10.22, 01:34 AM
Sunak: New era.

Sunak: New era. File picture

The prospects of a free trade agreement with the UK have increased with the choice of Rishi Sunak as the British Prime Minister.

Analysts warned that the negotiators of both the countries would have to move cautiously as any concession would be watched with suspicion. India wants the movement of skilled workers and data adequacy status, while the UK wants duty concessions for whiskey and scotch, and automobiles.


India also wants the resolution of regulatory issues in the pharmaceutical sector and duty concessions for textiles, footwear, leather products and basmati rice. The UK wants greater access to medical devices and legal, accounting and financial services.

Analysts said the trade talks would be closely watched by both the sides as any concession would be viewed with suspicion and no deal can progress without a give and take policy. “In any trade deal, you win some, lose some. However, with Indian origin PM in the UK, accusing fingers would be pointed from both sides by different sectoral players who would be losing out because of the deal,” they added.

Trade economist Biswajit Dhar of the JNU said: “The new UK Prime Minister would like to first focus on domestic issues and set the economy in order. Trade deals do not happen when there is a crisis. They happen when the economy is performing well.”

Analysts said “both sides should not be in a hurry to conclude the talks. Let things stabilise in the UK, then both the countries should resume the negotiations.”

Sunak is on the record expressing his commitment to an FTA when he was the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

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