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UK delegation visits India for proposed trade agreement talks

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NEW DELHI : With the negotiations for the proposed India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) reaching the last leg, a British delegation is here to iron out differences on remaining issues, sources said.

The chief negotiators of both countries may hold negotiations on issues such as goods, and services.

Sources said that issues such as the British demand for a cut in customs duties on electric vehicles may come up for discussion. So far 13 rounds of talks have been completed. The 14th round was started in January.

Talks are also progressing on the proposed bilateral investment treaty (BIT). India and the UK launched the talks for a Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) in January 2022.

There are 26 chapters in the agreement, which include goods, services, investments and intellectual property rights.

The Indian industry is demanding greater access for its skilled professionals from sectors like IT and healthcare in the UK market, besides market access for several goods at nil customs duty.

On the other hand, the UK is seeking a significant cut in import duties on goods such as scotch whiskey, electric vehicles, lamb meat, chocolates and certain confectionary items.

Britain is also looking for more opportunities for UK services in Indian markets in segments like telecommunications, legal and financial services (banking and insurance).

The bilateral trade between India and the UK increased to USD 20.36 billion in 2022-23 from USD 17.5 billion in 2021-22.

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