A TRADE deal with India could be worth up to £100billion, the biggest Brexit trade agreement signed so far – and offering a massive endorsement for Boris Johnson’s Global Britain vision in the process, an economist has said.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was in India this week helping to build closer relationships in the Indo-Pacific region. With a fortnight left before the end of the transition period, India is certain to be a crucial partner going forward, with Mr Raab and Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s meeting intended to map out relations between the two countries.
Mr Johnson is also scheduled to visit India in January to strengthen the relationship – and Gaurav Singh, founding partner at JPIN, India’s biggest investment incubator, told Express.co.uk the potential benefits for both sides were enormous.
Mr Singh told Express.co.uk: “India and UK have been working to improve trade and it can really allow the UK to benefit from the immense growth India is about to experience in the coming decade.
“Business, economy and consumer experience will definitely improve – Samsung’s recent decision to move its manufacturing to India is a testament on high quality and cost effectiveness in the country.
“I feel Brexit was not about leaving Europe but about better access to other markets and improved consumer experience. This is exactly in that direction.”
The UK-India trade and investment relationship is already worth around £24billion and supports more than half a million jobs across the UK – but Mr Singh said there was massive potential for scaling up the extent of their trading relationship.
International Trade secretary Liz Truss has already sewn up deals worth almost £200billion – but Mr Singh, who describes India as a “21st century powerhouse”, said a wide-ranging agreement would be bigger than any agreed so far.
He added: “It should easily be in tens of billions as a minimum.
“As high as £50-100 billion two way is easily achievable, given India was a top two foreign direct investment (FDI) source for the UK and the UK has been a top six investor into India.
“Both economies and job creation will prosper, especially as the UK has been a second home to many Indians for generations.”
Significant work remained to be done, Mr Singh acknowledged.
He said: “Any deals need to be truly two-way in nature.
“India has demonstrated agility and UK diplomatic visits to India are a sign of openness.
“With an open mind and faith, key milestones can be set and achieved.
The trust is there, it now just needs to be executed well.”
The benefits would be felt across the Uk economy, he stressed.
He added: “Amazing Indian startups are now seeing the UK as next steps instead of the US, which will bring a lot of capital and growth.
“British businesses are also looking to access the massive Indian market.”
“British products are highly rated and respected in India, so everything from technology, software, fintech through automotive, education, to food and beverages, consumer goods, and several other sectors should be positively impacted.
“JPIN VCATS is building the largest bi-directional UK-India growth and investment corridor for startups, and is currently supporting several British ventures in fintech and cybersecurity (among others) in accessing and scaling within India.”