Rishi Sunak of the UK has agreed to a free trade agreement with India: Downing Street

Rishi Sunak, who assumed leadership of 10 Downing Street last week, had a “very cordial” initial chat with Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the India-UK Free Trade Pact.

London: A free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the UK is still being actively negotiated, and Downing Street announced on Wednesday that incoming British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is dedicated to securing a fair agreement.

During a “very friendly” initial call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rishi Sunak, who assumed leadership of 10 Downing Street last week, emphasized both parties’ commitment to an FTA.

The UK Prime Minister’s office also reaffirmed that the goal is still to reach a fair-trade agreement that benefits all parties, and that’s why no deadline has been set. Last month, a suggested Diwali deadline had to be scrapped because to political unrest in the UK.

At a Downing Street press conference, a spokeswoman informed reporters that “both sides are highly committed to it” and that “intense negotiations are continuing” under the direction of the Department for International Trade.

The Prime Minister and Prime Minister Modi spoke on the phone last week in a very cordial welcome conversation. We have made it very clear that we won’t forgo quality to get speed in terms of the speed of it. We won’t sign until we have a fair agreement that meets both of our needs, but both parties are still committed added the representative.

Rishi Sunak mentioned “excellent progress” being made to finalize the FTA in his first phone conversation after assuming office as prime minister last week.

In order to complete a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, the Prime Minister hoped that the UK and India could continue to make strong progress in their negotiations, according to a readout from Downing Street.

Unless they meet at the COP27 Summit in Egypt, where the UK Prime Minister has confirmed attendance of the Leader’s Day but PM Modi’s presence is still pending confirmation, the two leaders are anticipated to meet in person at the G20 Summit in Indonesia later this month.

When serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer at No. 11 Downing Street, Rishi Sunak publicly stated his support for an FTA with India and identified the financial services sector as a particularly “interesting” area of the two countries’ economic ties.

The City of London Corporation, the financial center of the UK’s capital, has expressed the expectation that the FTA will go in the correct direction as a result of Rishi Sunak’s emphasis on services.

About 70% of the annual trade between our two countries is in services. Therefore, an agreement that doesn’t benefit this industry would be a lost opportunity Chris Hayward, the City of London Corporation’s policy chairman, said

The FTA negotiations are centered on lowering trade obstacles, lowering tariffs, and promoting simpler imports and exports into each other’s markets.

The aim is to at least triple that amount by 2030. According to official UK government estimates, bilateral trade between India and the UK currently amounts to roughly GBP 24.3 billion yearly.