Events in India and abroad 2020 and early 2021, including BREXIT and COVID-19, have undoubtedly raised barriers to our work and our practise ‘outside the box.’ But they also lead us to identify new opportunities for strengthened partnerships and streamlined supply chains.
Despite the current COVID events where collaboration between the United Kingdom and India is again facing the challenge, there is a genuine opportunity to look forward and to catalyse new ways to enhance British bilateral economic ties with our major partners worldwide. India is at the forefront of this list, not least because both India and the UK rediscover the great potential of cooperating to meet common challenges.
In this connection, a renewed focus on achieving a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and the United Kingdom should be a priority alongside the support given during the current COVID rise. We already have so many building blocks in place.
Impact of India-UK pact on Investors
India is the UK’s second largest FDI investor, and Britain remains one of India’s largest G20 investors, investing some GBP 21 billion, a cumulative estimate of 2 million more people in or on indigenous supplier chains. All this is currently supported by a combination of easy-to-use business reforms (EoDB) and WTO rules.
This parallel and existing commitment must surely be a firm basis for a further rule-based economic relations system between India and the UK that drives mutually beneficial growth in the years to come.
In B2B and B2C activities much has already been achieved. Particularly encouraging is the renewed effort to strengthen G2G interaction with the ultimate goal of an FTA. Forums like the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) and the United Kingdom-India CEO Forum, which is the UKIBC secretariat, are an important bridge.
Today’s FTAs are ‘living documents’ that adapt to the fast changing economic circumstances. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi re-elected in 2019, he set India a target of becoming an economy of $5 trillion in the foreseeable future.