The proposed India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which may be concluded as early as Diwali (October-end) this year, is expected to push Indian exports of labour-intensive sectors like leather, textile and jewellery, a Commerce Ministry official has said.

Services like IT/ITeS, nursing, education and healthcare are also likely to get a huge thrust in the FTA, said Rajendra Ratnoo, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce at the India-UK Business Outreach organised by Assocham, on Tuesday.

The FTA with UK is expected to provide certainty, predictability, transparency, and create a more bilateral facilitative and competitive services regime, Ratnoo said, according a statement issued by Assocham.

“FTA expands sector and corporation, enhances our exports by addressing market issues on both the sides and removing the restrictions which are impeding the trade on both sides”.

Related Stories
Indo-Lanka FTA to be revived and upgraded: Ranil 
Lankan President says his government would take steps for better trade integration with India

UK High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis stressed on the need for increased trade and investment between India and the UK and said that FTAs are an effective way to increase employment and growth in both countries, the release said.

Keen on market access

In the area of goods, UK is keen on more market access for items such as transport equipment, electrical equipment, medical devices, chemicals, motor vehicles and parts as well as wines & sprits and some fruits and vegetables. 

The Indian industry is focussed on areas such as textiles, food & beverages, tobacco, leather & footwear, and agriculture items including rice.