India, UK affirm their commitment towards Free Trade Agreement

New Delhi (NVI): India and UK have affirmed their shared commitment to a free trade agreement (FTA) with a view to strengthen economic tie up between both the countries, the Ministry of Commerce said.

The declaration was announced during the 14th Joint Economic and Trade Committee meeting which was held virtually yesterday.

It was co-chaired by Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss, the ministry in a statement said.

They were assisted by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Hardeep Singh Puri and his counterpart, UK Minister of State for International Trade, HE Ranil Jayawardena.

Goyal and Truss affirmed their shared commitment to a Free Trade Agreement and towards that, Early Harvest deals in a staged manner, the statement said.

Puri and Minister Jayawardena will have monthly meetings to intensify the dialogue. It was decided that a meeting led by Minister Goyal and SOS Truss will be held in Autumn 2020 here to carry forward the dialogue, the statement said.

The statement further said, the co-chairs of business led Joint Working Groups on life science and health, ICT and food and drink set up during the last JETCO made their recommendations to the ministers.

Both the sides approached the talks with open minds and shared commitment for revival and revitalisation of the long standing trade and economic linkages between India and the UK.

They also resolved to cooperate in health sector especially in view of the present COVID-19 pandemic.

-RJV