• Saturday, July 13, 2024

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Piyush Goyal: Considerable progress in UK-India FTA talks

In May, Indian sources said the two countries were struggling to make progress in free-trade talks

PiyushGoyal (R) with Kemi Badenoch. (Photo: Twitter@PiyushGoyal)

By: Pramod Thomas

INDIAN commerce and Industry minister, Piyush Goyal, has counterpart in UK, Kemi Badenoch to discuss the progress of the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries.

“ (We) discussed how both sides can add further momentum to the India-UK FTA negotiations for a mutually beneficial deal,” Goyal said in a tweet.

Goyal’s visit to the UK this week coincided with the 11th round of FTA negotiations which began on July 5 and is due to conclude on Friday (14).

India hope that the visit will further propel the discussions and pave the way for a comprehensive and mutually beneficial agreement.

Indian government on Wednesday (12) said that FTA talks are at a critical stage, and Goyal’s visit to London has helped to overcome obstacles.

While speaking to a gathering of Indian-origin chartered accountants from the UK Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Goyal said that the issue of transfer pricing was among the matters that had emerged as part of efforts to find wider solutions in the trade talks.

“There is no written rule or unwritten rule that any one geography or one set of people are honest and the other set is dishonest… so transfer pricing will remain an issue, case by case subject and there can’t be a one size fits all,” he said.

Asked about the corporate tax levels in India, the minister was clear that India’s rates were at a comparable level having been reduced significantly in the last nine years.

“We have been successful through G20 in getting the world to bring in a minimum corporate tax of 15 per cent,” he noted.

In May, Indian sources said the two countries were struggling to make progress in free-trade talks due to differences on some key tariff lines and investment protection rules.

Asked about the Indian government’s comments, a spokesperson for Britain’s department business and trade said the two countries wanted the best deal possible for them both and each had ambitious demands.

“We are continuing to negotiate but we are clear that we will only sign when we have a deal that is fair, balanced, and ultimately in the best interests of the British people and the economy,” the spokesperson said.

(Agencies)

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