UK is keen on new free trade deal with India
Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak has reiterated that UK is highly committed for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India as his country broadens its focus on bolstering trade ties with the Indo-Pacific region. Delivering his first major foreign policy speech since becoming the Prime Minister, Sunak reflected upon his Indian heritage and committed to project British values of “freedom and openness around the world”.
“Before I came into politics, I invested in businesses around the world. And the opportunity in the Indo-Pacific is compelling,” said Sunak. “By 2050, the Indo-Pacific will deliver over half of global growth compared with just a quarter from Europe and North America combined. That’s why we’re joining the Trans-Pacific trade deal, the CPTPP, delivering a new FTA with India and pursuing one with Indonesia,” he said.
On his viewpoint on China, Sunak said he wants to “evolve the UK’s approach” as he clearly distanced his government from the previous Conservative Party led government’s slogan to describe bilateral relations between UK and China just over seven years ago. “Let’s be clear, the so-called ‘golden era’ is over, along with the naïve idea that trade would lead to social and political reform. But nor should we rely on simplistic Cold War rhetoric. We recognise China poses a systemic challenge to our values and interests, a challenge that grows more acute as it moves towards even greater authoritarianism,” he cautioned.
“Under my leadership, we won’t choose the status quo. We will do things differently. We will evolve, anchored always by our enduring belief in freedom, openness and the rule of law and confident that in this moment of challenge and competition our interests will be protected… and our values will prevail,” he concluded.
The negotiations and talks around Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between UK and India were launched in January with aims to conclude the deal by Diwali. The timeline, however, couldn’t be met due to ongoing political chaos in UK. Now with Indian-origin Sunak in 10 Downing Street, the deal might soon be materialized as the talks around it gain momentum.