The relationship between India and the UK is often described as a “living bridge,” a magnetic economic force of businesses, people, and ideas. The UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade, Kemi Badenoch, writes that the connection between India and the UK has been growing stronger every day, as the UK forges greater trade relationships across the globe and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has been driving forward plans to make India a developed country.
The United Kingdom and India are the two largest economies on the planet. Last year, the United Kingdom demonstrated to the world how the country’s economic relationship is reaching new heights through an enhanced trade partnership. At a stroke, the UK opened exciting opportunities for their businesses, from food and drink firms to life science startups. Several trade barriers have been removed, and the US has pledged to remove many more. The UK has also set an ambitious target to double the value of the India-UK trade by the year 2030.
Since then, Indian startups and established businesses have found opportunities in the UK. British businesses in areas ranging from food to financial services are expanding and also investing in India. For instance, the car manufacturer McLaren recently opened a showroom in India. An India-UK free trade agreement is a natural next step for both as both nations bring extraordinary plans for their futures closer together.
PM Modi has urged Indian businesses to export their products to the nations of the world with “zero effect, zero defect,”, and in other words, high-quality goods with no environmental ramifications. A free trade agreement between India and the UK could further help in achieving this target. It would help the firms of India to sell to a market that imported around £820 billion of goods and services from across the globe in the last twelve months on record.
The future economy of India is an exciting one, with the prospect of new technologies, better jobs, and growing businesses for its citizens. And the UK has the skills and experience to aid this progress. A deal would give power to the India-UK investment boom that is already underway. Telesoft Technologies, the British cybersecurity solutions firm, has recently announced that it will pump £10 million into its India subsidiary over the next five years, which would support the growing telecoms sector.
However, the value of a free-trade agreement cannot be measured entirely in rupees and pounds. COVID-19 has impacted the supply chains, the slow economic growth across the world, and the volatile market, which portrays an uncertain time. Kemi Badenoch said that free trade has been the primary force of prosperity throughout history and is the answer to establishing the long-term security that people around the world need right now. Regarding this, India is celebrating its 75th anniversary of independence and its G20 Presidency, and it is on the path to a new economic future. She further said that the UK will be along for this journey as together the nations use trade to benefit their citizens and the world.