Millennium Post

'British PM's visit should assure boost in bilateral trade post-Brexit'

British Prime Minister Theresa May's three-day visit to India can be an opportune time to forge new dimensions in bilateral relations and seek assurance from the top British leaders against any adverse impact of Brexit on bilateral trade, a top industry body said on Sunday,

"Even as the global industry and trade stay somewhat anxious about the Brexit fall-out, we (India) get an opportunity to hear first hand from the British Prime Minister herself what the roadmap is for India and UK in terms of re-designing and re-aligning our trade and investment relationship post the exit of Britain from the European Union," Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) President Sunil Kanoria said in a statement here.

The latest ruling of the High Court in Britain making the parliamentary approval to Brexit mandatory has also added a new dimension to the entire issue and its wider ramifications for the global business, the chamber said. 

Even as the process of Brexit in terms of legislative issues and negotiations with the European Union (EU) gets underway, both India and Britain with a bilateral economic engagement of both goods and services of over 18 billion pounds should begin working on the new paradigm, it added.

According to Assocham, on top of the agenda, should be negotiating and signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which should be a win-win for both the countries and be used as a very important trade tool to deal with the economic downturn. 

"Let us get going and prove it to the world that it is an open trade and investment which can help the global growth and not by shutting the doors," the chamber said. 

As services are an area of great strength to both India and Britain in areas like information technology and financial, insurance, the future trade deal must prominently include these as the core of the arrangement. 

"With over 800 Indian companies having operations or trade with the UK, India has a large stake in the smooth transition of the British economy from a part of the European bloc entity to a standalone economy," Kanoria said, adding the issue of restrictions on movement of persons, an integral part of the services trade, is also of paramount importance to India. 

"We should make the best out of the visit of the Britain Prime Minister Theresa and get all Brexit related concerns addressed. These concerns also relate to different sectors like steel, pharmaceuticals, and information technology," he added.
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