India, U.K. affirm committment to an FTA

‘Early Harvest deals in staged manner’

India and the U.K. have affirmed their commitment to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) with a view to further strengthening economic ties, the Commerce Ministry said on Saturday.

The issue was discussed in the 14th Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting between the two countries on Friday. It was co-chaired by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and U.K. Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss.

They were assisted by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Hardeep Singh Puri and his U.K. counterpart Ranil Jayawardena.

Mr. Goyal and Ms. Truss “affirmed their shared commitment to an FTA and towards that, Early Harvest deals in a staged manner,” the ministry said in a statement. It added that Mr. Puri and Mr. Jayawardena will have monthly meetings to intensify the dialogue.

It was also decided that a meeting led by Mr. Goyal and Ms. Truss will be held in Autumn 2020 here to carry forward the dialogue.

“Both sides resolved to cooperate in the health sector especially in view of the present pandemic of COVID-19,” the statement said.

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