British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday he remains committed to the trade deal with India, but needs to get “these things right".
Both India and Britain launched negotiations for the free-trade agreement (FTA) in January with an aim to conclude talks by 24 October, but the deadline was missed due to political developments in the UK.
The commerce ministry has reportedly fixed an internal deadline to conclude the talks on the trade agreement by March 2023.
Reduction or elimination of customs duty under the pact would help Indian labour intensive sectors such as textiles, leather, and gems and jewellery to boost exports in the UK market. Britain is seeking duty concessions in areas such as Scotch whiskey and automobiles.
According to reports, five rounds of talks are already completed between the officials of the two countries till July.
The bilateral trade between India and Britain increased to $17.5 billion in 2021-22 compared to $13.2 billion in 2020-21. India's exports stood at $10.5 billion in 2021-22, while imports were $7 billion. On UK-US trade deals At a G20 meeting, Sunak said that he was confident Britain and the United States could deepen their economic relationship but that he had not spoken specifically about a trade deal with US President Joe Biden.
On UK-US trade deals
The UK PM said that he had spoken to Biden about economic cooperation, particularly on energy. He added that he was also committed to a trade deal with India.
"I am filled with optimism about our ability to do more trade with the US, to deepen our economic relationship. That can happen in lots of different ways and you'll see that over the coming months and years, I'm sure," Sunak added.
The British Prime Minister also said his "number one priority" was dealing with the economic situation at home, after data showed inflation had reached a 41-year-high of 11.1% in October.