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India seeking greater market access for ‘AMITY’, goods in trade pact with UK

India is seeking greater market access for its ‘AMITY’ (Ayush, medicine, IT, textiles and yoga) sectors and a number of goods in the proposed free trade agreement with the UK, sources said.

India is also looking at mutual recognition of educational degrees in the two countries, they said.

India and the UK in March concluded the second round of talks for the proposed free trade pact (FTA), which aims to further strengthen the economic ties. The negotiating teams of both sides will hold the third round of talks here next week.

“India wants market access in goods and services on a reciprocal basis under the pact,” one of the sources said, adding India wants to deliver healthy growth in the services sector in such pacts.

In the course of delivery of professional services, a short term visa is required and for that, there should be fair and transparent rules so that contracts do not get terminated, they added.

In goods, the country is seeking greater market access to labour-intensive sectors that can boost India’s exports and can be mutually beneficial for both nations.

“India also offers huge opportunities in the pharma sector. It can supply low cost and high-quality pharma products to the UK,” sources said, adding there is a high-level of optimism on both sides for the proposed pact as there are great complementarities between India and the UK.

India recently signed economic cooperation and trade agreements with Australia and the UAE to boost trade.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier stated that the world sees India as a trustworthy and promising partner.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in India for a two-day visit to further expand ties between the two countries.

Johnson will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Friday after concluding his engagements in Gujarat on Thursday.

On January 13, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal launched the free trade agreement negotiations with the United Kingdom along with Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK Secretary of State for International Trade here.

Goyal had said that both India and UK are vibrant democracies, with a partnership built on shared history and rich culture.

The pact is expected to increase exports in leather, textile, jewellery and processed agri products.

The minister had stated that the Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) on pharma could provide additional market access.

The bilateral trade in goods between India and the UK stood at USD 16 billion in 2021-22 as compared to USD 13.11 billion in 2020-21.

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