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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : The U.K.-India relationship is alive with opportunity

 

            

Source: The Hindu

 

  • Prelims: Current events of international importance(FTA, India-UK relations, G20, tariff etc)
  • Mains GS Paper II & III: Bilateral, regional and global grouping involving India and affecting India’s interests etc

 

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • The U.K. and India share a thriving trading relationship, worth £36 billion in 2022.

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

India-U.K relations:

 

India-United kingdom economic and trade relations:

  • India is the 2nd largest investor in the UK. While the UK ranks 18th as a trading partner of India, it is 3rd as an investor in India.
  • The Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO)(2005) was inaugurated in New Delhi aimed at boosting two-way bilateral investments.
  • In the services sector, the UK is the largest market in Europe for Indian IT services.

 

India’s main exports to the UK are:

  • Ready-made garments and textiles
  • gems and jewelry
  • engineering goods
  • petroleum and petrochemical products
  • transport equipment and parts
  • spices
  • manufactures of metals
  • machinery and instruments
  • drugs & pharmaceuticals and marine products.

 

The main imports from the UK to India are:

  • precious and semi-precious stones
  • metalliferous
  • ores and metal scraps
  • engineering goods
  • professional instruments other than electronics
  • non-ferrous metals, chemicals, and machinery.

 

What is an FTA?

  • FTA is a pact between two or more nations to reduce barriers to imports and exports among them.
  • Under a free trade policy: Goods and services can be bought and sold across international borders with little or no government tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or prohibitions to inhibit their exchange.
  • Protectionism: The concept of free trade is the opposite of trade protectionism or economic isolationism.
  • FTAs can be categorized as:
    • Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA)
    • Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA)
    • Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)

 

What does FTA cover?

  • Tariff reduction impacting the entire manufacturing and the agricultural sector
  • Rules on services trade
  • Digital issues such as data localisation
  • Intellectual property rights that may have an impact on the accessibility of drugs
  • Investment promotion, facilitation, and protection.

 

Current economic scenario:

  • Figures from the U.K.’s Department for Business and Trade: India retained its position as the U.K.’s second largest source of investment projects in the last financial year,
    • 118 new projects creating 8,384 new jobs across the U.K
  • India’s sixth largest investor, between April 2000 and March 2023
    • The U.K. has invested $34 billion in India in foreign direct investment.
  • K. companies are creating jobs and growth opportunities: There are 618 U.K. companies in India with a combined turnover of around $50 billion employing about 4 lakh 60 thousand people directly as of 2021.

 

Way Forward

  • The partnership extends far beyond trade and investment into culture, sport, education and tourism too.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi: there is very much a ‘living bridge’ between our nations
    • Shared love of Bollywood to see this in action.
  • A vibrant Indian diaspora of over 1.6(one point six) million people makes a significant contribution across all walks of life in the U.K., from education through to the workforce
    • with Indian students making up one of the U.K.’s largest groups of international students
  • The U.K. is launching ‘Alive with Opportunity’, a £1.5 million(one point five)marketing campaign designed to showcase the tremendous bond between our countries and build on the continuous exchange of people, ideas and culture.
  • As part of the U.K.’s ambitions to double trade with India by 2030, the campaign aims to stimulate interest and demand for U.K. goods and services
    • increase the U.K.’s ability to grow their business through trade with India, and attract new Indian inward investment.

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

The judicial systems in India and the UK seem to be converging as well as diverging in recent times. Highlight the key points of convergence and divergence between the two nations in terms of their judicial practices.(UPSC 2020) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)