Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Whisky and visas mean £27bn trade deal between UK and India goes unsigned at deadline

The 24 October deadline set by Boris Johnson for finalising the UK–India trade deal will be missed after both parties have hit a roadblock in discussions.

Although a detailed reason hasn’t been given by both sides, sticking points include a steep import duty on British whisky for sale in India, and demands for more visas for Indian students and businesses.

Prime Minister Liz Truss previously hailed this deal as a prize for Britain, with India’s £2 trillion economy likely to inject £3bn into the UK’s economic growth by 2035 when it goes through.

London-based Nayan Gala, founder of global investment banking platform, JPIN, and expert on the UK–India corridor, explained to City A.M. why a UK–India trade deal is critical for Britain’s economic growth.

“India is on track to becoming the third largest economy by 2050, which is why this marks a critical period for the UK to lock in a deal as soon as possible,” Gala pointed out.

In fact, on track to become the fastest-growing economy by the end of this year, India already projected to be a fifth larger than the UK by 2027, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Gala highlighted that the UK-India relationship already supports 110,000 jobs in the UK, and foreign investment into Britain from India was worth £10.6bn in 2020, “but this could just be the beginning of an even more fruitful relationship.”

“There is a need for the UK government to forge new trade partnerships in order to not only reduce its’ trade deficit, but to also generate new opportunities beyond Europe at a time when economies around the world are facing significant macro-economic headwinds,” Gala continued.

“Finalising this trade deal could also reduce tariffs on rice, clothes and cars which could have a positive impact on households across the nation currently struggling with the cost-of-living.”

“At a time of economic uncertainty, it’s now paramount that any final details are ironed out so that an agreement can be reached which will hugely benefit both economies,” Gala concluded.

BtoB Central Staff
BtoB Central Staff
Btobcentral is dedicated to business news.


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