Good call! Truss phones Indian minister as Britain eyes huge £100BILLION trade deal

Liz Truss is a 'freedom-loving Thatcherite' says Kirsty Buchanan

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Referring to International Trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the Foreign Secretary tweeted: “Good call with @DrSJaishankar ahead of @annietrev visiting India this week for trade talks. “We discussed: Boosting trade between UK and India; Pipeline of new projects for British International Investment; Closer defence and security cooperation.”

Also today, Ms Trevelyan tweeted: “It was a pleasure to visit @HCI_London and meet High Commissioner Gaitri Kumar today before my visit to New Delhi this week. @PiyushGoyal

“We discussed our close relationship which we hope to grow through even stronger strategic and economic links.”

Ms Trevelyan’s two-day visit later this week will see her hold bilateral talks with Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Thursday on green trade, the removal of market access barriers and other issues.

They are also expected to confirm the launch of official negotiations on a new UK-India free trade deal.

She said on Sunday: “The UK and India are already close friends and trading partners, and building on that strong relationship is a priority for 2022.

“I will be using my visit to drive forward an ambitious trade agenda which represents the UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt in action and shows how we are seizing global opportunities as an independent trading nation.”

Gaurav Singh, founder of startup investment bank JPIN, believes such a UK/India deal could be worth £100 billion with the world’s fifth largest economy. 

He told Express.co.uk: “India is one of the world’s largest economies and presents huge potential as a key partner for trade and investment for the UK. 

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“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.”

He added: “India and 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.

“A trade deal with India could be worth as much as £50-100 billion, given India was a top two FDI source for UK and 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.

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“India is a top priority for good reason – it is growing exponentially and will be the centre of world trade in the coming decades, and building a trading relationship here is particularly important.”

A trade agreement with India would offer a massive boost for Boris Johnson’s Global Britain strategy.

With this in mind, the Prime Minister last year said more than 6,500 new jobs would be created around the UK after he and India’s PM Narendra Modi agreed £1bn of new UK-India trade and investment.

Mr Johnson said: “Like every aspect of the UK-India relationship, the economic links between our countries make our people stronger and safer.

“Each and every one of the more than 6,500 jobs we have announced today will help families and communities build back from coronavirus and boost the British and Indian economies.

He added: “In the decade ahead, with the help of the new Partnership signed today and a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, we will double the value of our trading partnership with India and take the relationship between our two countries to new highs.”

The Enhanced Trade Partnership “created “immediate opportunities for British businesses in India across industries”, the Government said, including food and drink, life sciences and the service sector.

Non-tariff barriers on fruit and medical devices have beeen lowered – allowing British businesses to export more of their products to India and boosting UK growth and jobs.

The deal also committed both sides to addressing immediate market access barriers as well as continuing to seek further opportunities as we negotiate an FTA, benefitting businesses and consumers in both countries.

(More to follow)

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