• Friday, September 22, 2023

Will only agree India trade deal that works for UK: Sunak

Prime minister describes New Delhi as London’s indispensable partner

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

THE free trade agreement (FTA) talks with India are progressing and Britain will only agree to a pact that works for the whole of the UK, prime minister Rishi Sunak said.

Ahead of his first visit to India as prime minister to attend the G20 World Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi later this week, Sunak updated his top team on the ongoing trade talks which have completed 12 rounds of negotiations.

He described India as an indispensable partner of the UK across all spheres of bilateral cooperation, which he is keen to strengthen further.

He told a cabinet meeting on Tuesday (5) that negotiations around a free trade deal were progressing, notes a Downing Street readout.

“He said we must now strengthen the UK-India relationship,” it said.

UK business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch, who has returned from a visit to India after talks with commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal last month, also updated the cabinet on the FTA negotiations, saying that India is already one of the UK’s largest trading partners, with a relationship worth £36 billion a year.

Sunak is expected to receive a grand welcome when he arrives in New Delhi, with bilateral talks expected with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi during the course of his stay.

While the details of the visit are yet to be confirmed by Downing Street, some UK media reports have indicated that a sightseeing visit to Humayan’s Tomb is expected to be on the agenda for Sunak and wife Akshata Murty.

(PTI)

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