India is important for our future trading arrangements after we leave the EU. In 2017, UK-India bilateral trade was over £18bn, an increase of 15% on the previous year. The UK has been the top G20 investor in India over the last ten years, with the stock of UK FDI in India at £13.2bn in 2016. UK exports to India in 2017 amounted to £6.7bn (a 14.9% increase from 2016). Travel (28.8%), Transportation (19.8%), and Telecommunications (12.3%) were the biggest export sectors.
The UK-India Joint Trade Review (JTR) announced during the Prime Minister’s visit to India in 2016, has enabled us to better understand the bilateral trade relationship. The review has audited existing trade flows and mapped non-tariff barriers that could be collaboratively addressed, both at present and as we leave the EU.
In April 2018, both Prime Ministers agreed to forge a dynamic new trade partnership – taking forward recommendations from the Review - to develop new trading arrangements, facilitate investment in both directions and intensify collaboration on shared or complementary strengths.
Following the recommendations of the JTR, the UK and India agreed to use the next phase of collaborative work to focus on addressing non-tariff measures in three sectors: food and drink, life sciences and ICT. This will be pursued though further business engagement and regulator to regulator dialogues, reporting back to Ministers at the next Joint Economic and Trade Committee.
A further outcome of the JTR was a toolkit for Commonwealth Countries to follow and conduct their own trade reviews, available at http://www.cominnowealth.org/display/country-profiles/united-kingdom/. The UK-India joint statement as part of the Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK in April 2018 is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-india-joint-statement-shared-values-global-capability