The UK and India have announced plans for deeper cooperation, including a new Enhanced Trade Partnership paving the way for a future UK-India Free Trade Agreement.
Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer, TheCityUK, said,
India will be one of the global economic powerhouses of the 21st century. A deal between India and the UK is a goal worth fighting for, but we must be clear-eyed about the size of the challenge. Reaching an agreement will take time and real commitment on both sides.
“The UK and India have two of the world’s most exciting and innovative service sectors. This should provide a solid foundation for economic cooperation and development. Any FTA must strive to deliver stronger two-way investment and trade in services. It should also build on the deep links between our professional services sectors, ensuring that businesses in the UK can attract the specific technical skills they need, while also harnessing the workforce in India to support and fuel global growth. As many companies already have significant operations in both the UK and India, achieving strong provisions for the safe transfer and management of data will also be an important element in any future focused agreement.
“TheCityUK is working closely with the India-UK Financial Partnership to open up our respective markets for greater trade and investment.”
India is currently the world’s sixth-largest economy but ranks only 61st as an export destination for UK financial services exports. UK services exports to India amounted to almost £3bn in 2019, with financial services making up £370m of that total. This compares to UK exports to Japan, which in financial services alone, reached over £4.1bn in the same year. With a population of 1.3bn – more than a tenth of whom have English as a second language – and projections of rapid economic growth over the coming decades, India is a vast potential market with which the UK can partner to deliver shared prosperity.