Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal is scheduled for virtual talks with his UK counterpart Liz Truss on Monday to discuss the next steps to launch negotiations for a UK-India trade agreement, the UK government said.
Following the conclusion of the UK's formal consultation process ahead of the negotiations on August 31, the UK's Department for International Trade (DIT) said the talks between Secretary of State Truss and Goyal come as part of preparations towards a free trade agreement (FTA) with India.
Truss will speak with Goyal to discuss timelines and next steps to launching negotiations for a UK-India trade deal, following the closing of the public consultation on August 31, the DIT said.
Preparations towards a free trade agreement with India are progressing. A deal would represent a major boost for UK exporters, lowering tariffs, easing regulation, and driving up bilateral trade which totalled GBP 23 billion in 2019, it noted.
Increasing UK-India trade has been dubbed as a huge opportunity by the UK, given India's position as one of the world's biggest and fastest-growing economies and home to more than a billion consumers.
"We are looking at a comprehensive trade agreement that covers everything, from financial services to legal services to digital and data, as well as goods and agriculture. We think there is a strong possibility for us to get an early agreement, where we lower tariffs on both sides and start to see more goods flowing between our two countries," Truss said.
Goyal has also been on the record saying that an early harvest trade deal with the UK is in the pipeline.