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UKIBC urges tariff cuts ahead of free-trade negotiations

The U.K. India Business Council (UKIBC) said it had presented its pre-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) submission to the island nation’s Department for International Trade with recommendations to the U.K. government. FTA negotiations are scheduled to begin later this year.

The council said the submission captures inputs from about 200 companies from all parts of the U.K., representing sectors such as digital and data, food and drink, life sciences and healthcare, insurance and financial services, higher education, defence and aerospace, and energy.

It has recommended that the negotiations should focus on reducing tariffs, including on alcoholic spirits and medical devices; reducing non-tariff barriers to goods trade, such as by aligning standards, simplifying burdensome and costly customs procedures, and ensuring tax parity between U.K. and Indian businesses.

The council has also recommended that the governments sign a series of interim or mini agreements that will, over time, form a fully Comprehensive FTA.

“The announcement and signing of the Enhanced Trade Partnership between India and the U.K. in May represented the culmination of much effort and engagement between the two governments,” UKIBC Chair Richard Heald said in a statement. “The launch of the process into a FTA between the two nations is moving on apace as evidenced by the end of the consultation period today,” he added.

“I have been particularly encouraged by Minister Piyush Goyal’s and Secretary of State Rt Hon Liz Truss’s emphasis on “future focussed industries” as being key to a sustainable new engagement. The signs are deeply encouraging for greater U.K.-India alignment which is truly future proof,” he said.


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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 11:57:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/ukibc-urges-tariff-cuts-ahead-of-free-trade-negotiations/article36261685.ece

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