UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is reportedly set to visit India in the last week of October, with the potential for him to attend an India-England cricket match and conduct discussions on the India-UK free trade agreement (FTA).
What Happened: Sunak’s visit is being eagerly anticipated as an opportunity to finalise the India-UK FTA negotiations, as per a Times of India report. This follows a recent meeting between Sunak and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G20 summit, where the two leaders reviewed the progress of the FTA. There is optimism that the remaining contentious issues will be addressed soon.
Sunak’s visit is tentatively scheduled for October 28, with a possibility of him attending the India-England cricket match in Lucknow the following day. The completion of the FTA negotiations is not a prerequisite for this visit, sources emphasized.
Despite the original Diwali deadline not being met, India and the UK are eager to finalise the FTA ahead of their respective elections next year. So far, 24 out of the 26 chapters in the proposed agreement have been settled.
Why It Matters: Sunak’s visit follows his recent trip to India during the G20 summit, where he also visited the Akshardham temple in New Delhi with his wife Akshata Murthy. This visit further emphasizes the strengthening ties between the two nations and their eagerness to finalize the FTA.
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The successful conclusion of the FTA negotiations will be a significant milestone for both countries, potentially paving the way for increased trade and economic cooperation.
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