THE UK has agreed to a new multi-billion trade agreement with India to boost Britain’s “outward-looking” stance across the world, it can be revealed this morning.
Ministers have announced a new Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) which will boost “bilateral trade and economic relations” with the world’s fifth-biggest economy. The deal, worth billions a year, will allow British products such as Welsh lamb into the Indian market for the first time.
Ministers also said it would improve trading across borders and standards to make it easier for UK investors and exporters to do business in the nation dubbed the Asian tiger.
Liz Truss, who held talks with her counterpart Shri Piyush Goyal on Saturday, hailed the agreement as a “new chapter as an outward-looking global Britain” branding India as an “economic powerhouse.”
The Secretary of State for International Trade revealed India’s trade relationship was worth £23billion in 2019 with more than 383 Indian companies in the UK supporting 82,000 jobs.
Ms Truss said last night that “trade relations with India are absolutely a priority”.
She said the new agreement “respects our sovereign right to deepen trade with dynamic partners around the world such as India.”
Ms Truss added: “India is an incredibly important friend, ally and economic partner for the UK, and we want to take that partnership to an even deeper level.
“Before then, we are focused on deepening our trading relationship with further removal of barriers to trade and investment, while fulfilling our commitment to achieving an enhanced trade partnership this year.”
She said both nations were “vibrant hubs” for “technology trade” with Britain being home to the third-largest number of tech unicorns in the world.
Mr Johnson has also invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the G7 Summit in Cornwall as a guest in June 2021.
In a statement from the British High Commission in Delhi, Mr Johnson also branded India was the “pharmacy of the world” due to their supplies of the Coronavirus vaccine.
He added: “India already supplies more than 50 percent of the world’s vaccines, and the UK and India have worked closely together throughout the pandemic.
“Coronavirus is doubtless the most destructive force we have seen for generations and the greatest test of the modern world order we have experienced.
“It is only right that we approach the challenge of building back better by uniting with a spirit of openness to create a better future.”