New Delhi: India and the UK on Tuesday discussed the possibility of a new trade pact as Britain looks to build on its bilateral business ties post its exit from the 27-nation European Union.
As Britain’s top financial policymakers began a two-day visit to India, a free trade agreement (FTA) figured during talks at the 9th UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue.
UK finance minister Philip Hammond, business secretary Greg Clark, Bank of England governor Mark Carney and Financial conduct authority (FCA) CEO Andrew Bailey are visiting the national capital on Tuesday and Mumbai on Wednesday to boost trade ties with the world’s fastest growing major economy.
While Britain, which is attempting to establish itself as “a truly global” player after Brexit, pitched for increased trade engagement with India, New Delhi said a formal dialogue on possible bilateral trade agreement can start only after the completion of UK’s exit from EU that may take up to two years.
After talks, Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley said India in its communication with the UK government has stated that post Brexit it will look for more open trade, and more trade arrangements. “Obviously this can be formally discussed after the Brexit takes place but it is probably going to imply a far wider and a far higher engagement between the two countries.
“What shape it is going to take can only be formalised post Brexit negotiation,” he told a joint press briefing.
Mr Jaitley further said India is open to all arrangements which are in mutual interest for expanding trade once opportunities arise after Brexit.
“India as you have seen has been opening up. We are opening up in terms of nature of investment in India, we are opening in terms of our trade. I am quite certain that arrangements which are mutually beneficial to both the economies would be arrived at,” he said.
Hammond said the two nations have very significant trade and investment relationship and Britain is the largest G20 investor in India in the last 10 years....