Piyush Goyal holds talks with Secretary of State for Trade of the UK, discusses FTA and trade relations

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Commerce and Industry Minister (CIM) of India, Piyush Goyal, concluded a productive visit to London from July 10 to July 12, during which he engaged with several highly placed politicians, govt. officials and industry leaders and had crucial discussions to strengthen the India-UK trade relationship. The visit was strategically timed, coinciding with the critical stage of ongoing negotiations, and proved to be instrumental in moving the discussions forward.

During his visit, Minister Goyal met with the Secretary of State for Trade of the United Kingdom, Kemi Badenoch, to discuss the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and explore opportunities for enhanced collaboration between the two nations.

Recognizing India’s vast population of 1.4 billion and its remarkable economic growth, both ministers acknowledged the immense potential of the Indian market for the United Kingdom. Encouragingly, considerable progress was achieved during their frank and open discussions on various difficult issues.

The meeting between Minister Goyal and Secretary Badenoch was marked by a shared understanding and a commitment to advancing mutual interests. The ministers identified and focused on low-hanging fruits, which included the closure of several chapters in the negotiations. This pragmatic approach aimed at resolving issues where negotiators had encountered challenges. The visit proved to be critical in overcoming crucial obstacles and charting a path forward towards an ambitious and mutually beneficial trade deal.

Furthermore, Minister Goyal had a productive discussion with Douglas McNeill, the Chief Economic Advisor to the UK Prime Minister. The meeting highlighted the joint efforts of India and the UK in giving a new dimension to their relationship and promoting trade between the two nations. Both parties acknowledged the positive outcomes achieved through collaborative initiatives and expressed optimism for the future. It is noteworthy that Mr. McNeil had visited New Delhi during the last Round and had meeting with senior officers and ministers.

During the visit he also interacted with businesses and industry and had a Business Roundtable involving stakeholders of various sectors of mutual interest for India and the UK. He urged the businesses in India and the UK to take advantages of various initiatives of Government of India. He also interacted with the members of UK chapter of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

The discussions held during this visit reflected a strong commitment from both sides to forge a closer partnership and explore avenues for trade promotion. The progress made during the visit sets a solid foundation for further strengthening bilateral relations and achieving mutually beneficial outcomes.