India-UK FTA talks to formally happen only after exit from the EU: Sitharaman

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 17, 2018

Ms Nirmala Sitharaman

Two countries to set up working group to strengthen commercial ties

India and the UK can work on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India only after the latter is officially out of the European Union, but the two countries have set up a joint working group to deliberate upon ways to strengthen commercial relationship.

The decision to set up the working group was taken at a meeting between UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox met Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday.

“We have decided to set up a working group which can go into the details of the kind of commercial relationship that can be built and how it could be strengthened. However, we cannot work on an FTA till the UK is still part of the EU. Only when they come out it would be possible,” Sitharaman told reporters after the meeting.

With the UK deciding to exit the EU, a separate FTA has to be forged with the country.

Bilateral trade between India and the UK was $ 14 billion in 2015-16 which was slightly lower than the previous year’s total trade of $14.33 billion.

Published on August 29, 2016

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