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BusinessIndia, UK reiterate pledge to finalize trade deal at annual strategic talks

India, UK reiterate pledge to finalize trade deal at annual strategic talks


Top diplomats from and the United Kingdom came together this week to review progress on bolstering bilateral ties and reaffirmed their commitment to concluding a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA).

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra met with his British counterpart Philip Barton in London on Friday for the annual Strategic Dialogue. The meeting provided an opportunity for both sides to take stock of cooperation since last year's talks under the ambitious 2030 Roadmap for bilateral partnership.

According to a statement from the UK Foreign office, Kwatra and Barton assessed noteworthy achievements in areas of healthcare, climate action, exchange and defense industry collaboration over the past year. The progress made on the Roadmap objectives underscores India and UK's shared vision of a strengthened alliance.

On the upcoming FTA negotiations, the foreign secretaries reiterated their determination to finalize a mutually gainful trade pact. After 13 rounds of negotiations to date, negotiators are focused on resolving outstanding issues to unlock market access for goods, services and professionals on both sides.

An FTA is expected to fuel bilateral trade which grew to $20 billion in the past year. Greater two-way investment and job opportunities are also anticipated from a comprehensive economic agreement.

Kwatra also met with UK Minister for Defense Procurement to explore avenues to deepen defense industry cooperation. Meanwhile, discussions with the Foreign Office Minister for South Asia highlighted enthusiasm on both sides to bring the bilateral relationship to greater heights.

Overall, the latest Strategic Dialogue reflected India and UK's ongoing high-level engagement as strategic partners committed to opening new vistas of cooperation. Finalizing an ambitious FTA remains a priority to boost commercial ties in the coming decade.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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