Britain and India are preparing to start negotiations on a huge free trade agreement as New Delhi issues a warning to Brussels while affirming that trade talks were possible with the UK and Brussels as well. Trade negotiations between India and the European Union stalled in 2013. With Brexit, the UK is now able to move ahead of Brussels as an independent state.
India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, said: “We’re talking to the EU and I am in dialogue with the EU trade commissioner. I am looking for an early harvest deal. Open to discussion of a variety of subjects. It’s up to the UK and EU whoever picks up the gauntlet first.”
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has in the last six years been pushing exports through various programmes but none has succeeded. India pulled out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership amid fears over China’s access to its markets last year.
Delhi has also introduced a lot of trade barriers just to stop cheap imports from China and replaced them with their own locally made goods for domestic consumption and exports as Mr Goyal believes their locally sourced produce could help engage trade talks with the UK.
He added: “Apart from pharmaceuticals, we have textiles, handicrafts, leather, furniture, industrial machinery, toys are areas where India can engage with UK & EU at competitive prices.”
This likely trade understanding follows after it was announced that Turkey was very close to signing a post-Brexit free trade agreement with Britain as Turkey’s Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu had a meeting with the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in London last week.
Melvut Cavusoglu noted that some technical issues would need to be fixed for bot nation to have agreement even though there were no differences over a potential deal as he told the media that “It’s going very well and we are very close to finalising it.
“If you look at the volume of our bilateral trade, 95 per cent of it is industrial products, and we agreed on that, and five per cent in agriculture and services.
“We agreed already with the UK that in the post-Brexit era we will increase our bilateral trade; in volume, we set a $20billion bilateral trade target.”
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena will meet with Turkey’s counterparts next week.
The latest round of talks on a post-Brexit free trade deal between London and Brussels ended on Thursday, with significant differences between the negotiating teams still remaining.