India-UK FTA is first step in further development of trade and economic ties: UK Foreign Secretary

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New Delhi: The UK has expressed its desire to achieve the set ambitious target of concluding the India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by Diwali. Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss wants her administration to match the “pace and ambition” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UK Foreign Secretary James Wisely said.

Wise said India and the UK have a long-standing and broad bilateral relationship, which is a “big plus” and “the desire to have a much broader, more meaningful Free Trade Agreement is very understandable.”

UN Speaking to PTI on the sidelines of the General Assembly session, Wise said: “We want to make sure that the deal we do, by Diwali, is the first step towards a continued growth in trade and economic relations with India. , there is a lot to do and not a lot of time. He (Modi) is a very high-powered man. Political leader. He’s very, very ambitious. He’s ambitious about India as a country, he’s ambitious about India and our relationship with everybody. It’s incredibly positive. Our Prime Minister (Truss), as we’ve had this discussion, I know we’ve seen the momentum and the ambition of your Prime Minister. He wants to fit in. That means other ministers and officials should. Work harder and faster.”

“We must continue to discuss issues such as climate change, the impact on food security and, of course, our joint efforts to resolve various conflicts around the world, including, of course, the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” he added.

India and the UK formally began negotiations for a free trade agreement in January. Diwali has been set as the deadline for reaching an agreement. This year Diwali festival is going to be celebrated on 24th October.

(With inputs from PTI)

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