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India, UK to boost trade in food, healthcare

UNI

London

India and the UK have launched three new working groups to surmount barriers to bilateral trade in food and drink, life sciences and healthcare, and digital and data services. These working groups, to be run by the UK India Business Council with business chambers CII and FICCI, will identify  solutions to the key issues faced in each sector and make recommendations directly to ministers of the two countries.

This followed talks Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal had on Monday with Trade Secretary Liam Fox about ways to strengthen trade and cooperation between two nations. India and the UK review trade relations annually at the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) and Monday saw its 13th session having been established in 2005.  An array of issues was discussed under the framework.

Goyal also met a diverse group of UK businesses, including SMEs and MNC  investors to discuss market access barriers and delivering ease of  doing business reform in a meeting that included Secretary of State for  Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, UK High  Commissioner to India, Dominic Asquith and the Indian High  Commissioner Ruchi
Ghanashyam.

Goyal also attended a breakfast meeting hosted by High  Commissioner Ghanashyam along with Members of the UK Parliament and  discussed various topics to boost economic engagement between  the two nations.

The Indian government has been taking Ease of Doing Business reforms down to the State and District levels which will be a major part of transforming the day-to-day operating environment, especially for SMEs.

Likewise, strengthening IP enforcement, streamlining customs approvals, delivering globally competitive taxation rates would signal India’s national determination to be a global, high-value, manufacturing hub.

In an important meeting for Indian business, the UKIBC and CII hosted leading Indian investors in the UK for direct talks with senior Home Office officials as part of consultations on the UK Government’s new skills-based immigration White Paper. 

It is often said that India will require more access to UK work visas as part of any future trade deal. Engagement with India and Indian businesses has been the top priority for the UK Government since the White Paper was released in December 2018, with the first overseas consultation visit being to India in January this year.

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