29 July 2023

UK-India trade deal could be signed this year, suggests official

29 July 2023

The UK and India could sign a long-awaited trade deal before the end of the year, according to a senior Indian official.

The country’s commerce secretary Sunil Barthwal told reporters on Friday: “We want to finalise the deal at the earliest.”

He also said that it was possible that the deal could be agreed “much before” the end of the year.

Talks remain ongoing between the two governments, after the initial target of securing a deal by Diwali last October was missed.

Securing a post-Brexit trade agreement with India, a country with over 1.4 billion people, has been a key target for the Government.

The Department for Business and Trade insisted that the Government would “only sign when we have a deal that is fair, balanced, and ultimately in the best interests of the British people and the economy”.

A spokesperson said: “The UK and India are committed to working towards the best deal possible for both sides.

“While we’ve made good progress in closing chapters, we’re now focused on the high ambition areas including goods, services, and investment.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will attend the G20 summit in New Delhi in September.

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