Business secretary to launch preliminary trade talks with India
Business secretary Sajid Javid will be in Delhi where he will launch initial discussions on the UK’s future trade relationship with India.
First in a series of visits to key trade partners the business secretary is expected to undertake across the globe.
Business secretary also confirms government will rapidly build its expertise on trade, with up to 300 specialist staff to be in place by year end.
Business secretary Sajid Javid will kick-off preliminary trade talks with India later on Friday 8 July when he meets the Indian finance and commerce ministers during a series of discussions in Delhi.
The Business secretary will use meetings with Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley and Indian commerce & industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman to outline his vision for what a future trade relationship between the UK and India might look like outside the EU.
It is the first in a series of trade meetings the business secretary will conduct over the coming months, which also is expected to include trips to the USA, China, Japan and South Korea.
The business secretary has also confirmed that to aid in discussions, the government plans to rapidly build its trade capability – up to 300 specialist staff, including new trade negotiators – by the end of the year.
Sajid Javid, business secretary, said:
“Following the referendum result, my absolute priority is making sure the UK has the tools it needs to continue to compete on the global stage.
“That is why I am in India today to launch these initial trade discussions. There is a strong bilateral trade relationship between our two countries and I am determined that we build on this.
“Over the coming months, I will be conducting similar meetings with other key trade partners, outlining the government’s vision for what the UK’s future trade relationship might look like.”
As part of the discussions, the business secretary is expected to make clear that he would like the UK and India to have a trade agreement in place as soon as possible after the UK leaves the EU.
The business secretary has also been speaking to British diplomats this week, urging them to utilise their expertise and meet with their governments and local investors to make clear the UK remains an open and viable trade partner.
Speaking at the FCO Leadership Conference on Tuesday, the business secretary urged diplomats to make it known to their countries’ governments that the UK was looking to expand its options for trade deals.
Trade and investment minister Lord Price has been in Hong Kong and China this week, attending the G20 trade ministers meeting in Shanghai and meeting key government and business representatives. This is part of the government’s engagement with key trade partners, reinforcing the UK’s ongoing commitment to maintaining and strengthening the economic relationship between the countries.
Alongside visiting Delhi, the business secretary will also be in Mumbai where he will meet senior Tata Group board members to discuss the ongoing sale of their UK steelmaking assets.