Modi, Sunak assess progress on India-U.K. FTA negotiations

The leaders expressed their commitment to the early conclusion of a mutually beneficial agreement

Updated - March 14, 2024 11:11 am IST

Published - March 13, 2024 10:21 pm IST - London

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Prime Minister Narendra Modi

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Prime Minister Narendra Modi | Photo Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke over the phone on March 12, assessing the progress made on negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as both countries face general elections.

New Delhi and London have been negotiating a deal since January 2022 , but an agreement has thus far remained out of reach with British negotiators returning from India earlier after the 14th round of talks. As the U.K. negotiating team left for India on March 4, a British official had said, it was a “last-gasp attempt to clinch an FTA before the Indian election campaign pauses talks”, according to a report in The Guardian.

On Tuesday, Mr. Modi tweeted that he and Mr. Sunak had reaffirmed their commitment to the “early conclusion” of a “mutually beneficial” agreement.

“The Prime Minister [Mr. Sunak] reiterated the importance of reaching an ambitious outcome on goods and services,” Downing Street said in a readout, adding that the two Prime Ministers agreed to remain in close contact.

The readouts also said the leaders discussed the overall partnership. Mr. Modi and Mr. Sunak discussed regional and global developments, according to the Indian government readout.

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