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Updated December 19th, 2023 at 07:52 IST

Jaishankar rejects criticism on India-UK FTA delays

Negotiations between India and the UK for the ambitious FTA have progressed, with over 20 of the 26 chapters reportedly finalised.

Business Desk
India-UK Free Trade Agreement
India-UK Free Trade Agreement | Image:ANI
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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar defended India against criticism over perceived delays in finalising the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with the UK. 

Addressing concerns at a book release ceremony, Jaishankar highlighted a prevailing narrative questioning why India isn't swiftly concluding the FTA, while overlooking the UK's pace. He stressed the need for careful scrutiny in such negotiations, recognising the potential impact on people's livelihoods. 

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Negotiations between India and the UK for the ambitious FTA have progressed, with over 20 of the 26 chapters reportedly finalised. 

However, certain contentious issues, including mobility of people and import duty concessions, are still under discussion. Despite setting a Diwali deadline in April of the previous year, the agreement faced delays due to differences and political developments in the UK.

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Jaishankar urged a judicious consideration of the merits and risks of FTAs, the far-reaching consequences for millions of people and their livelihoods. 

He critiqued the tendency of some major powers to cherry-pick elements of FTAs, creating ostensibly fair systems that may not truly level the playing field. 

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Additionally, he underscored the importance of introspection regarding India's foreign policy over the past 75 years.

(With PTI Inputs)

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Published December 19th, 2023 at 07:47 IST

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