India’s trade talks with the United Kingdom scheduled in December are expected to offer impetus to a free trade pact. India is likely to discuss areas of sensitivity in trade relations after Brexit takes effect in March 2019 when Indian Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu meets UK secretary of State for international trade Liam Fox, due to visit India next month.
About 800 Indian firms that enter the European Union using the United Kingdom as a gateway are keen to continue their ties post BREXIT, according to Indian media reports. Nearly half of India’s investments to the EU go to the United Kingdom. Annual trade between both nations stands at $24 bn.
India is reportedly keen on deals facilitating the export of software, the movement of information technology and healthcare professionals, and offering a greater access for generic drugs and pharmaceutical firms. India’s textile and garment sectors are also extremely keen on a trade pact.
India is also said to be unhappy over its trade rivals Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam and Pakistan receiving benefits of preferential agreements or quotas in garments. Indian export of garments to Europe attracts a 9.6 per cent duty, making such products uncompetitive.