India, UK To Continue FTA Negotiations Till Aug-end

This meeting will be followed by a review at the higher level
India, UK To Continue FTA Negotiations Till Aug-end

Indian and UK officials will continue their negotiations till the month-end to iron out differences on the proposed free trade agreement (FTA), the commerce ministry said on Sunday.

This meeting will be followed by a review at the higher level, it said.

Following the G20 Trade and Investment Ministers Meeting (TIMM) at Jaipur, the progress of the negotiations was reviewed by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and UK's Secretary of State for Trade Kemi Badenoch on August 26.

"Teams are going to continue negotiations till the end of August 2023 which will be followed by stock taking at the higher level,” it said.

While expressing satisfaction over the last 12 rounds of negotiations wherein several chapters have been finalized, both exuded confidence that the next round of talks to be similarly successful.

"Both Chief Negotiators apprised the ministers about the current state of play, issues outstanding for resolution and their continuous joint efforts to iron out the same," the ministry added.

The ministers directed the officials to maintain a good pace of exchanges with a better understanding of each other's aspirations and sensitivities.

"Both leaders expressed their unwavering commitment to reaching a conclusion on a fair, balanced, and mutually beneficial trade deal that will enhance economic cooperation between the two countries," it added.

In a separate statement, the ministry said that Goyal and Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs Helene Budliger Artieda also held talks on ways to strengthen economic ties.

They reviewed the progress made in the ongoing negotiations for a Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) between India and EFTA (European Free Trade Association).

The EFTA members are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

"Both leaders reiterated their shared vision of achieving a mutually beneficial trade deal based on the principle of reciprocity that reflects the evolving economic landscapes of both India and the EFTA countries," it said.

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