Piyush Goyal: No ‘Gun to Our Head’ in UK FTA Talks

Goyal reiterated that India does not favour setting deadlines for FTA negotiations…reports Asian Lite News

Following the British Labour Party’s significant victory under Keir Starmer, India expressed confidence that the much-awaited FTA with the UK will be finalised soon.

India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal stated that the Free Trade Agreement with the UK is set to close very quickly, according to the Financial Times.

Goyal further emphasized that India does not believe in setting deadlines for FTA negotiations, saying, “We never discuss any FTA with any country with a gun to our head.”

According to the Financial Times reports, he urged the new UK government not to repeat the mistake made by Boris Johnson, who had promised in early 2022 that the trade agreement could be finalized within six months.

The free trade agreement talks between India and the UK have been ongoing since January 2022.

UK & India(grab)

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday extended an invitation to newly-elected British Prime Minister Keir Starmer for an early visit to India as both leaders agreed to work towards the early conclusion of a mutually beneficial India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The two leaders spoke over phone as PM Modi congratulated Starmer on his and Labour Party’s “remarkable victory” in the general elections.

“Pleased to speak with Keir Starmer. Congratulated him on being elected as the Prime Minister of the UK. We remain committed to deepening Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and robust India-UK economic ties for the progress and prosperity of our peoples and global good,” PM Modi posted on X after the call.

Both leaders recalled the historic relations between the two countries and reaffirmed their commitment to further deepen and advance the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between India and the UK.

“Appreciating the positive contributions of the Indian community in the social, economic, and political development of the UK. The two sides agreed to continue to promote close people-to-people ties. Both leaders agreed to remain in touch,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.

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