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India-UK FTA may help textile exporters to face stiff competition


The negotiations for the Indian-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) are expected to gather pace with Liz Truss becoming the new Prime Minister of the UK. Under the Truss regime, both countries are likely to expedite the process to finalise the FTA by Diwali in October this year. The FTA may help Indian textile exporters to face stiff competition in the UK market.

After the appointment of Truss as Prime Minister of the UK, Indian commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said that he hopes that the new UK PM will push the FTA to get finalised by Diwali.

While serving as international trade secretary, Truss had stated a few months back, “We are looking at a comprehensive trade agreement that covers everything, from financial services to legal services to digital and data, as well as goods and agriculture. We think there is a strong possibility for us to get an early agreement, where we lower tariffs on both sides and start to see more goods flowing between our two countries.”

The negotiations for the Indian-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) are expected to gather pace with Liz Truss becoming the new Prime Minister of the UK. Under the Truss regime, both countries are likely to expedite the process to finalise the FTA by Diwali in October this year. The FTA may help Indian textile exporters to face stiff competition in the UK market.

The UK-India Business Council (UKIBC) also expects an early completion of the trade deal under the Truss regime. Managing director Kevin McCole commented, “We at the UKIBC believe that the new UK Prime Minister will continue to champion the UK-India relationship, putting it at the centre of her approach to foreign affairs.” “In part, this is because of the hugely-successful diaspora community in the UK. It is also because our two countries’ economies are so complementary and getting even closer and stronger, particularly with FTA negotiations intensifying as we move towards the Diwali deadline for concluding the majority of talks,” McCole said in a mail to Fibre2Fashion. He further stated, “The signs are very positive, and it is our strong belief that the UK-India relationship will continue to benefit from the political will on both sides of the bilateral corridor.”

Indian textile exporters can benefit from the FTA as tariff and non-tariff barriers may be eased under the deal. Currently, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and some other countries get preferential treatment while exporting to the UK. Indian exporters feel that they are not getting equal treatment in the developed economies including the UK. It is expected that the FTA will provide Indian exporters with some exemptions enabling them to face stiff international competition.

According to Fibre2Fashion’s market insight tool TexPro, India holds the fifth position among top apparel suppliers to the UK. During last year, India exported apparel worth $1.094 billion, comprising 5.24 per cent of the UK’s total imports of $20.889 billion. China (21.57 per cent), Bangladesh (14.45 per cent), Turkiye ((8.23 per cent) and Italy (8.12 per cent) were the top four apparel suppliers to the UK.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (KUL)




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