The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Britain’s largest business organisation, and its Indian counterpart, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), have agreed to set up a new joint commission to increase cross-industry collaboration and to push the trade deal over the line.
According to a memorandum of understanding (MoU), the UK-India Business Commission will provide a critical forum for discussion to ensure that the free trade agreement (FTA) benefits businesses in both countries, an official statement said Monday. The group will provide continual oversight and meet ahead of key milestones to take views on trade-offs, breakdown barriers to market access, and help feed in on-the-ground business intelligence at a ministerial level in India and UK.
In a recent visit to India, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the FTA was likely to be completed in October. The first and the second round of negotiations for the FTA took place in January and March, respectively. The third round of negotiations concluded at New Delhi last week.
New Delhi last week.
The deal is expected to resolve market access issues, boost exports, and strengthen trade partnership between the two nations. However, both sides now seem to have decided to directly negotiate an FTA without going for an interim deal.
The UK’s world-leading renewable sector in particular could play an integral role in India’s transition to clean energy. India has committed to get 50 of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. Reducing tariffs on green exports such as solar, onshore, and offshore wind could open new opportunities for firms in India, the statement said.
The deal with India could almost double UK’s exports to India, boost Britain’s total trade by as much as £28 billion a year by 2035, and increase wages across the UK regions by £3 billion.
“A free trade agreement with the world’s fastest-growing economy is now within touching distance, and to clinch that deal a focus on lowering barriers to trade is now essential… More broadly, a deal anchored in slashing tariffs, improving the ability to move talent across borders as well as data, will unlock plenty of prizes across a host of sectors from services and life sciences to tech and innovation,” CBI President Lord Karan Bilimoria said.
“This partnership is an opportunity to address shared concerns, identify common interests and foster greater understanding and to develop capacity to address the issues of economic and global concerns,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general of Confederation of Indian Industry.