Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said that India and the United Kingdom are considering the possibility of either a preferential or free trade agreement in view of Britain’s decision to exit the European Union. After Brexit, India will also hold talks with the European Union and rework its strategy of negotiations, reported the Financial Express.
“Whether it is a preferential or a free trade agreement, that will be a mutually discussed matter,” Sitharaman told PTI. She said business outfits like the Confederation of Indian Industry and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the UK CEOs Forum will now be encouraged to have further interactions with each other. The minister held a meeting with UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skill Sajid Javid, who termed his meeting with Sitharaman as “very positive and constructive”.
PTI reported that the bilateral trade between Indian and UK was at $14 billion (Rs 84,000 crore) in 2015-16. According to Financial Express, UK was also the third-largest investor in India. The country pumped in $23.1 billion (Rs 1,38,000 crore) between April 2000 and March 2016 as foreign direct investment. Indian companies, especially the Tata Group, have also invested massively in the UK.