Chairman of the council Manoj Patodia has said in a press release that the Central government should take immediate steps to have a free trade agreement (FTA) with the U.K.
“The visit of U.K Prime Minister Boris Johnson to India as chief guest at the Republic Day parade on January 26, 2021 presents just the opportune moment to formulate a comprehensive framework for commencing FTA negotiations,” he said.
The U.K. is one of India’s largest trading partners among the European countries in the textile and clothing sector, accounting for almost 24 % of the textile and clothing exports to the European Union.
The U.K. has already signed trade agreements with 62 countries ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period on January 1, 2021, including Turkey, Canada, Singapore, and Mexico. It is therefore imperative for India to commence negotiations without delay.
He also appealed to the Government to simultaneously revive and expedite FTA negotiation with the EU, as it is one the leading markets for India’s textile and clothing exports. Countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Vietnam have an edge over India due to a zero tariff arrangement.
If there is a delay in India having a free trade agreement with the EU, Indian exporters may lose to competing countries that have duty advantage, he said.