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By
Fibre2Fashion
Published
Oct 28, 2022
Reading time
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UK, India have agreed to finalise FTA soon

By
Fibre2Fashion
Published
Oct 28, 2022

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to newly appointed UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and both have agreed on taking forward the negotiations for a comprehensive UK-India free trade agreement. Sunak expressed his gratitude after PM Modi congratulated him for taking on his new role as UK’s prime minister.



During his talk with Sunak, Modi reiterated India’s commitment towards its Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with the UK. “Glad to speak to @RishiSunak today. Congratulated him on assuming charge as UK PM. We will work together to further strengthen our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. We also agreed on the importance of early conclusion of a comprehensive and balanced FTA,” Modi said in a Twitter update.

Sunak was also optimistic about what the partnership between the two countries could achieve in the coming years. “Thank you Prime Minister @NarendraModi for your kind words as I get started in my new role. The UK and India share so much. I’m excited about what our two great democracies can achieve as we deepen our security, defence and economic partnership in the months & years ahead,” Sunak posted on Twitter after his talk with Modi.

Sunak had earlier told an Indian English-language daily that he was “strongly committed” to the UK-India FTA to create jobs in both nations and for India to liberalise its consumer financial services industry.

Indian textile exporters can benefit from the FTA as tariff and non-tariff barriers may be eased under the deal. Currently, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and some other countries get preferential treatment while exporting to the UK. Indian exporters feel that they are not getting equal treatment in the developed economies including the UK. It is expected that the FTA will provide Indian exporters with some exemptions enabling them to face stiff international competition.

According to Fibre2Fashion’s market insight tool TexPro, India holds the fifth position among top apparel suppliers to the UK. During last year, India exported apparel worth $1.094 billion, comprising 5.24% of the UK’s total imports of $20.889 billion. China (21.57%), Bangladesh (14.45%), Turkey (8.23%), and Italy (8.12%) were the top four apparel suppliers to the UK.

While the UK is eyeing India’s large market to ensure the former’s economic growth, India wants to increase its exports of labour-intensive products like textile, handicraft, and footwear.

Sunak assumed office as UK’s prime minister on October 25, 2022, becoming the fifth Conservative party leader to take up the role in the last six years. He is also the first British prime minister of Indian origin.

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