Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said that he had very successful talks with UK’s Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, especially regarding the free-trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries.
Goyal has insisted that if everything goes well and as planned, the India and the UK could finalise the FTA before Diwali. This will also not need an interim early harvest agreement.
Goyal mentioned that India had concluded agreements UAE and Australia in a speedy manner and same would be true for those with the UK. He said, “But the way things are progressing, we’ll actually land up doing a full FTA with the UK by Diwali. I have had very good meetings on it.”
Furthermore, Goyal highlighted the need to work hard and consistently to achieve these goals. He said that it might seem like governments are rushing, but both countries understand the need to be understanding towards each other and be transparent and clear in their communication. All stakeholders must focus, study, analyse and discuss the details before finalizing the deals.
“When you do a trade deal, you are crystal gazing 30-50 years into the future, so you have to be very careful. I can’t afford to make a mistake… everybody has to be very cautious. Lots of modelling has to be done,” he said.
Goyal arrived in London from the World Economic Forum in Davos to gauge the scenario and interact with stakeholders as well as business people before the fourth round of FTA negotiations, set for June 13 in the UK.