INTO INDIA has been advocating for Australia to do what deals can be done with India, and “park” a Free Trade Agreement for later on.
The UK-India Virtual Summit has done just that.
Their newly created Enhanced Trade Partnership (bureaucratic speak for “these are the things we can agree on now) will create immediate opportunities for British businesses in India across industries including food and drink, life sciences and the service sector.
Non-tariff barriers on fruit and medical devices will be lowered, allowing British businesses to export more of their products to India and boosting UK growth and jobs. It also commits both sides to addressing immediate market access barriers as well as continuing to seek further opportunities on the road to an FTA. That is, “parking” the FTA for later on – it is just too hard to achieve.
Prime ministers Narendra Modi and Boris Johnson held their Virtual Summit this week and agreed on a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” – the first European country to gain this status.
Australian PM Morrison achieved a CSP with India in 2020 and set out collaboration across science and technology, maritime issues, defence and more.
CSP deals are a sign that India is become more outward looking and – like everyone else – concerned about the behaviour of China.
The trade and investment package unveiled by the British government contains over £533 million of new Indian investment into the UK, covering areas such as healthcare and technology.
British businesses have also secured new export deals with India worth more than £446 million, which is expected to create more than 400 British jobs.
I hope our Australian trade officials are going through all the detail to see if any deals Australia has with India can now be updated on a deal-by-deal basis.