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UK-India round eleven FTA negotiations in London

On 18th July 2023, the United Kingdom and the Republic of India concluded the eleventh round of talks for a UK-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

by gary cartwright
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As with previous rounds, this was conducted in a hybrid fashion – a number of Indian officials travelled to London for negotiations and others attended virtually.

On 10-11th July, the Honourable Minister for Commerce and Industry, Government of India, Piyush Goyal, visited the UK as part of the eleventh round of the UK-India FTA negotiations. He met with Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP, the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, and Nigel Huddleston MP, the Minister of State for International Trade, where they discussed ways to make progress on the FTA negotiations and wider trade and investment opportunities for the UK and India.

Regarding Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), India has been actively engaged in discussions with the UK.

However, India  has stated it will not yield to demands for data exclusivity and patent term extensions, as these would hinder the production of affordable life-saving generic drugs within the country. This is a stance that cannot be compromised, a source stated.

India also refuses to undertake any commitments in the realm of data protection and related areas, such as data localization. The absence of a digital policy in India necessitates the inclusion of a carve-out specifically addressing this concern within the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Shri Sunil Barthwal, Commerce Secretary, Government of India also visited the UK during the round. He met with senior UK trade officials and took stock of the progress made in the eleventh round of negotiations.

Technical discussions were held across 9 policy areas over 42 separate sessions. They included detailed draft treaty text discussions in these policy areas.

The twelfth round of negotiations is due to take place in the coming months.


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