India-UK trade pact talks moving in right direction: Commerce Secretary

Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal on Thursday said that negotiations for the proposed trade pact between India and the UK are moving in the right direction, and both sides are expected to reach an agreement soon. At an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, he said that negotiators have finalised many things and many aspects are yet to be finalised.
“We are moving in the right direction…Negotiations are on. We are on track,” he said at the sidelines of the CII National Exports Summit.
India and the UK are negotiating the pact to boost trade and investments between the countries. While the aim was to conclude the talks by Diwali, the deadline is unlikely to be met.

When asked about the fresh target, the secretary said that it depends on the movement of negotiation.
“We are moving forward very well and expect that soon we will be able to reach an agreement,” he said.
In January, the two sides formally launched the talks for a free trade agreement to boost bilateral trade and investments.
Barthwal also said that there is a huge scope for India to move in the global value chain systems and have high-value addition in global exports.
Noting that India’s share in global exports is less than 2%, he said there is a huge potential is there to boost the shipments despite global headwinds and low trade growth predictions.
“We can easily aim for doubling our exports and increasing our exports (share) to 10 per cent over a period of time and these opportunities exist even if somebody is saying that global trade scenario is looking bleak,” he said and asked the domestic exporters to not be pessimistic about this scenario.
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