Huge potential in India: UK closes in on £100billion trade deal as minister arrives

Liz Truss says UK will be ‘adding’ to trade deals in 2021

And one analyst has said it was impossible to overestimate just what a boost success would offer to the UK’s economy. International Trade Secretary Mrs Truss will meet with her opposite number, Commerce and Industry minister Piyush Goyal, for discussions aimed at paving the way for a proposed Enhanced Trade Partnership.

Gaurav Singh, founding partner at venture capitalist firm JPIN VCATS, said: “India is one of the world’s largest economies and presents huge potential as a key partner for trade and investment for the UK.

“India is a 21st century powerhouse and creating a strong UK-India trading relationship will help to fuel economic recovery in a post-Brexit, post-COVID UK.

“India and the UK have been working to improve trade and it can really allow the UK to benefit from the immense growth India is about to experience in the coming decade.

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“A trade deal with India could be as high as £50-100 billion, given India was a top two FDI source for the UK and the UK has been a top six investor into India.

“A trade deal will open the door to 1.3 billion potential customers for UK businesses, and provide opportunities for business improvement, consolidation, foreign expansion and diversification in a rapidly growing market.”

Ms Truss’s trip follows Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s visit in December.

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At the time Mr Raab said: “I think we have been too myopically focused just on Europe.

“But one of the advantages of leaving the transition period is we gain control over our ability to strike trade deals with India and the rest of the word.

“And certainly if you look at India and the Indo-Pacific and take a long-term view, that is where the growth opportunity of the future will be.”

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson was set to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations in January, but was forced to cancel due to the imposition of fresh coronavirus restrictions in the UK.

On Monday, Ms Truss confirmed the UK had applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), one of the world’s largest free-trade areas, whose members include Japan, Canada and Australia.

She said: “Joining CPTPP will create enormous opportunities for UK businesses that simply weren’t there as part of the EU and deepen our ties with some of the fastest-growing markets in the world.

“It will mean lower tariffs for car manufacturers and whisky producers, and better access for our brilliant services providers, delivering quality jobs and greater prosperity for people here at home.

“We’re at the front of the queue and look forward to starting formal negotiations in the coming months.”

Mr Johnson added: “One year after our departure from the EU we are forging new partnerships that will bring enormous economic benefits for the people of Britain.

“Applying to be the first new country to join the CPTPP demonstrates our ambition to do business on the best terms with our friends and partners all over the world and be an enthusiastic champion of global free trade.”

India is the world’s second-most populous country.

It’s leader is President Narendra Modi.

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