Duties on imports of scotch whiskey and cars from the UK to India could reportedly be slashed as the two countries thrash out trade agreements ahead of their respective national polls.
What Happened: India and the UK are showing flexibility in trade talks as New Delhi plans to reduce tariffs on British cars and scotch, while the UK considers easing visa rules for Indian professionals, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.
Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Rishi Sunak aim to double bilateral trade by 2030 through tariff cuts and market access improvements in what would be India’s biggest free trade agreement ever.
The UK is willing to accept India’s environmental and labour standards, which are key to the growth of the latter’s domestic industry, the sources added. However, visa negotiations are complex due to immigration sensitivity and any relaxations will likely be limited, the sources told the publication.
Negotiations are progressing well after Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal’s UK visit, they said. Discussions include potential reimbursement for Indians’ UK social security payments.
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Key points under consideration are lowering car import duties to 75% from 100% and cutting scotch duties to 100% from 150%. Both sides are also discussing an investment protection treaty.
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