Robert HARNEIS -TDO- (FRANCE)- Ministers have agreed on a new Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) which will boost “bilateral trade and economic relations” with India, the world's fifth-biggest economy. The deal was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in a bid to build a stronger relationship with New Delhi. 

Johnson’s trip to India was cancelled because of the surge in Covid infections and instead the meeting took place on line.

The deal is expected to pave the way for a wider free trade agreement (FTA) that will cut tariffs notably on whisky and cars. UK and Indian sources said it would improve trading across borders and standards to make it easier for UK investors and exporters to do business in India. The India agreement is the latest post-Brexit trade ETP.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Like every aspect of the UK-India relationship, the economic links between our countries make our people stronger and safer.”

"Each and every one of the more than 6,500 jobs we have announced today will help families and communities build back from coronavirus and boost the British and Indian economies.”

“In the decade ahead, with the help of the new Partnership signed today and a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, we will double the value of our trading partnership with India and take the relationship between our two countries to new highs.”

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss held a series of talks with her counterpart Shri Piyush Goyal to bring the ETP to fruition.

Ms. Truss said India’s trade relationship was worth £23billion in 2019 with more than 383 Indian companies in the UK supporting 82,000 jobs. Sources close to the Minister said the agreement is one of the “most important” agreements struck in post-Brexit Britain.

Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, said there was a “fantastic diaspora” between the two countries. He added: “We want to take the opportunity of launching this new relationship we seek now we have left the European Union.

“Both countries are looking at how we can build back better from COVID in a way which brings the two countries closer together.”

“Our Prime Minister knows India well, he has visited India often and he’s very keen to come.”

A spokesman for India's Prime Minister said last night: "India and the UK enjoy a Strategic Partnership since 2004.

"It has been marked by regular high level exchanges and growing convergences in diverse areas.

"The Summit will be an important opportunity to elevate our multi-faceted strategic ties and enhance cooperation on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, is the son in law of Indian billionaire and co-founder of Infosys, N. R. Narayana Murthy, described as the "father of the Indian IT sector" by Time magazine.

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