UK is looking for a comprehensive agreement with India
Aamir H Kaki & Ahmad Shariq Khan
UK’s International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said that a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) would be a great prize for both India and the UK. However, he said there are some issues that need to be resolved.
“A Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement would be a great prize for both countries, but it won't come easy,” he said while speaking to The Dollar Business.
Fox is part of the delegation led by the Prime Minister of UK, Theresa May, who is on a visit to India from November 6-9.
He further said the key concern for the agreement is that the negotiators will need to navigate some of the issues which exist in the currently stalled EU-India FTA deal.
Briefing on the issues, International Trade Secretary said, the negotiators need to address the key non-tariff barriers, such as licensing and customs regulations, improved access to Indian public procurement market, harmonisation of regulations and standards liberalisation in India's service sectors such as legal, accounts and maritime services among others.
“Most importantly, a much needed discussion on Mode 4 - temporary access to the UK for Indian skilled professionals,” he added.
On the expectations from the visit, Fox said, “The current trading ties between the UK and India are very strong and there is so much future potential and we are here to discuss avenues of mutual benefits.”
The UK is one of the major trading partners of India. During 2014-15, UK was 18th on the list of top 25 trading partners of India. The two-way merchandise trade between the two countries stood at $14.33 billion, during 2014-15.