Global economic diplomacy: India advances on multiple fronts with key trade partners UK, Czech Republic and Oman

New Delhi [India], December 15 (ANI): India has made significant strides in fortifying trade relations with the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, and Oman, reflecting the country’s commitment to fostering global economic partnerships.

The India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations, inaugurated on January 13, 2022, as a follow-up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement in May 2021, are now in the 13th round since September 18.

This sustained engagement showcases substantial progress, with the majority of the chapters either closed or at an advanced stage of negotiations.

The recent visit of a high-level UK delegation to India, coupled with detailed discussions at both higher and team levels, underscores the determination to iron out differences and propel the FTA forward.

Notably, the Indian delegation is currently in the UK, further emphasizing the commitment to resolving any lingering issues in this crucial bilateral agreement.

Importantly, there is no specified deadline for the India-UK FTA, underscoring the dedication to achieving a comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade deal.

Simultaneously, India has been actively engaged with the Czech Republic, as evidenced by the 12th Session of the India-Czech Republic Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation (JCEC) held on December 5 in New Delhi.

Co-chaired by the Commerce Secretary and the Director-General of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, the JCEC addressed various sectors such as Engineering, Industrial Machinery, Energy (including Renewable Energy), Mineral Resources, Mining Industry, Defence, Airspace, ICT, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Equipment, Chemicals, Infrastructure Development, Environmental, and Agriculture Technologies.

A preceding Business-to-Business (B2B) meeting organized by CII and the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic on December 4 in New Delhi, laid the groundwork for enhanced economic collaboration.

In the Gulf region, India’s strategic partnership with Oman has reached a significant juncture with negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Oman, India’s third-largest export destination within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, has seen bilateral trade skyrocket from USD 5.01 billion in 2018-19 to USD 12.39 billion in 2022-23.

India’s exports to Oman have surged from USD 2.25 billion in 2018-19 to USD 4.48 billion in 2022-23, marking an impressive growth of approximately 100 per cent.

The formal commencement meeting for India-Oman CEPA took place on November 20, 2023, followed by the first round of negotiations in New Delhi from November 27 to 29.

The negotiations continued with the second round in Muscat from December 9 to 11.

Notably, negotiations on the text of most chapters have been concluded by both sides, showcasing a positive trajectory in bilateral economic engagements.

These simultaneous advancements in multiple trade agreements underscore India’s diplomatic finesse and commitment to fostering robust economic ties on the global stage.

As the negotiations progress, these agreements have the potential to usher in new opportunities, strengthen economic partnerships, and contribute to the global trade landscape. (ANI)




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