UK agrees Enhanced Trade Partnership with India
The International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has announced the signing of an Enhanced Trade Partnership between the UK and India, along with the announcement of 1,500 highly-skilled technology jobs for the UK. The agreement paves the way for deeper economic inter-relationship between the UK and the world’s largest democracy and a potential trade deal in future. On Saturday, Liz Truss agreed the outline of the ETP with India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on her visit to the country. India has longstanding trade ties with the UK and has a potential market of 1.4 billion people.
The trade relationship between both countries was worth £23 billion in 2019 and supports key industries such as life sciences and technology. 1,500 highly-skilled jobs in Britain have been announced by Tata Consultancy Services, an Indian multi-national company specialising in information technology, consultancy and business solutions. Government has prioritised the deepening of trade links with major economies beyond Europe, and has secured Free Trade Agreements with dozens of countries already in the post-Brexit environment. Trade will be increased in strategic sectors that are expected to grow over the coming decade and areas such as technology and services that will aid Britain to recover from the coronavirus pandemic better.
Life sciences has been a priority sector for both nations, with UK pharmaceuticals exports to India growing by 21.4% to £96.75m in 2019. The Secretary for International Development met with a UK respiratory company operating in India during her visit. Smart Respiratory Products offer doctors in India a telemedicine and patient support platform. The firm recently secured a £5m partnership with Indian company, Care Ability Healthcare, to supply their Smart Asthma respiratory solutions. Another example of Indian and UK collaboration on life sciences is the AI healthcare start-up Behold.AI. The UK company has announced during the visit that it will partner with India’s Apollo group to provide a diagnostic tool which can quickly analyse chest x-rays to aid in screening COVID-19 positive patients.