A UK-India Free Trade Agreement would be a substantial opportunity for both of our economies and a significant moment in our bilateral relationship which Ministers across the Government are working hard to strengthen in the decade ahead.
I am aware that the eighth round of trade negotiations took place in April this year and I look forward to the next round. Just last year, we signed an historic new free-trade agreement with our close friends and allies in Australia, signalling a new dawn in our relationship, underpinned by our shared history and common values: https://www.mimsdavies.org.uk/news/uk-and-australia-announce-new-trade-…
In a rural constituency like Mid Sussex, I can understand why constituents want to be assured that new trade deals will not negatively affect our local British farmers, So I am pleased to say our farmers will always be protected by a cap on tariff-free.
India is one of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies and a bold FTA would put UK businesses at the front of the queue to supply India’s growing middle class, forecast to increase to a quarter of a billion consumers by 2050. By this time, India will be the third largest economy in the world, with a bigger population than the US and EU combined.
The size and growth of the Indian economy means a deal would unlock opportunities in every nation and region of the UK and across all parts of our economy. Tens of thousands of UK jobs are already supported by trade with India, and an FTA has the potential to almost double UK exports to India, boost our total trade by as much as £28 billion a year by 2035 and boost wages across the UK by as much as £3 billion. Total trade in goods and services between the UK and India was £35.9 billion in the four quarters to the end of Q4 2022, an increase of 45.0 per cent or £11.2 billion in current prices from the four quarters to the end of Q4 2021.
The Government ran a consultation on its intention to negotiate an FTA with India in 2021 to help determine its negotiating priorities and to allow business, Non-Governmental Organisations and the public to have their say. On 13 January 2022, the Government published its negotiating strategy informed by the 283 responses received to the consultation.
I am assured that the Government will only agree a deal that is in the best interests of the people of Mid Sussex and the economy.