INDIAN and UK officials will continue their negotiations till the month-end to iron out differences on the proposed free trade agreement (FTA), New Delhi has said.
Following the G20 trade and investment ministers’ meeting at Jaipur, the progress of the negotiations was reviewed by commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal and the UK’s trade secretary 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,” India’s commerce ministry said on Sunday (27).
While expressing satisfaction over the last 12 rounds of negotiations wherin several chapters have been finalised, 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.
Goyal and Badenoch directed the officials to maintain a good pace of exchanges with a better understanding of each other’s aspirations and sensitivities.
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 the European Free Trade Association(EFTA).
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.