Initial concerns need to be addressed by both parties, but pro-active discussions and short-term goals seem to indicate that a free trade agreement is the necessary and logical way forward.
An advantageous UK-India bilateral free-trade agreement (FTA) and closer cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, will help close a billion dollar deal and work as a bulwark against a rising China.
The British Prime Minister used his Republic Day message to reiterate his commitment towards a significant boost to the UK-India relationship, with a free trade agreement (FTA) being the ultimate goal on both sides.
Fresh after an investment deal for EU with China, German chancellor Angela Merkel wants to press ahead with another deal that is close to her heart, the long-pending FTA with India.
Delhi and London are moving fast to finalise early-harvest deals in areas like pharma, fintech and defence manufacturing while working on a comprehensive FTA. They must emulate the ambitions of Singapore and Vietnam.
Beyond the mutual trade of $120 billion, a free trade pact will be a gamechanger for New Delhi and Gulf capitals.
New Delhi stayed away from the world’s largest trade bloc as its critical concerns were not addressed. While this makes sense for the moment staying away from the RCEP can be a short-term palliative but IT cannot be a long-term solution to India’s ambitions of emerging as a global manufacturing hub.
From vaccine collaboration to preparing for an FTA and shared vision of multilateral world order, virtual meeting underscores New Delhi's vital role in promoting peace, prosperity and progress in immediate neighbourhood.
The FTA with the continent will open a huge market for Indian businesses while enabling African countries to accelerate economic growth and development in a sustainable manner.