MUMBAI, 5 May 2021: As an initial measure to kickstart trade partnership under the ambitious ‘Roadmap 2030’ to elevate bilateral ties to a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’, both the countries agreed on an early market access package.
Under this, UK will open up the fisheries sector for more Indian players, facilitate more opportunities for nurses, recognise Indian seafarers certificates and also enter into a joint dialogue on a potential Social Security Agreement.
In return, India has agreed to provide concession for UK manufacturers in sectors such as fruits and medical devices. India has also agreed to extend mutual recognition of masters degrees and work towards reciprocal opening of legal services in the future. These actions are likely to generate up to 25,000 new direct and indirect jobs in India, according to a government estimate.
India, which is the fifth largest economy in the world and UK, which is the sixth largest world economy agreed that key strategies will elevate bilateral strategic partnership into a comprehensive partnership.
The roadmap focuses on enhancing bilateral ties in five key areas, viz. People to People contacts, trade & economy, defence & security, climate action and health.
As part of this roadmap, the Prime Ministers of both the countries, at a virtual Summit on 4 May 2021, launched an ‘Enhanced Trade Partnership’ (ETP). Despite the large size of both the economies, there is still untapped growth potential in bilateral trade.
Although UK became the 14 th largest trade partner of India by 2019-20 from 19 th position in 2011-12, bilateral trade volume has remained stagnant around USD 15 billion during this period. Under the ETP, both the countries agreed to more than double bilateral trade by 2030.
To achieve this target, both the countries will negotiate a comprehensive and balanced free trade agreement, including consideration of an Interim Trade Agreement for delivering early gains. The enhanced trade partnership will generate several thousands of direct and indirect jobs in both the countries.
Source: World Trade Center, Mumbai newsletter