Aug. 1, 2023

India & UK FTA talks

India & UK FTA talks

Why in the news?

  • The Ministry of Commerce has announced the suspension of talks on five contentious chapters in the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between India and Britain. These chapters include discussions on digital trade, environment, and labor-related issues.
  • In addition, the two countries are also working to iron out differences on issues like intellectual property rights (IPR) and rules of origin and some differences in the services sector under the FTA negotiations.

Key points 

  • Out of the 26 chapters in the India-UK FTA negotiations, discussions have been suspended on 14 chapters, while talks were discussed for the remaining chapters.
  • The India-UK FTA is considered "the most complex" one, as it involves several non-trade issues, and its finalization requires careful consideration by India before signing.
  • This FTA will also be the broadest one India has ever signed with any developed country, encompassing various sectors.
  • Discussions were held regarding the ninth round of talks for the India-Canada trade agreement.
  • Concerns were raised during the fifth round of talks for the India-European Union trade agreement regarding the modalities of market access proposals.
  • Discussions were held and concluded on the subjects of goods and government procurement. Dialogues on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were fruitful, and there was substantial agreement on government procurement as well.