India and the UK launched the talks for FTA in January 2022. (FILE)
India and the UK are "trying to crack the toughest knots" in the Free Trade Agreement negotiations, British High Commissioner Alex Ellis said on Friday.
He said this during an interactive session at the Annual Convention of FICCI.
"We are now trying to crack the toughest knots in the FTA negotiations. It is not that easy. I don't think we could do it in three months. I don't know how to do it in three months," he said.
Ellis said the FTA with the UK will be the broadest India has done and will also have an investment treaty with it.
"This will be by far the broadest FTA India has done, if we manage to do it. And there is an investment treaty as well," he said.
India and the UK launched the talks for FTA in January 2022, with an aim to conclude talks by Diwali last year, but the deadline was missed due to political developments in the UK.
There are 26 chapters in the agreement, which include goods, services, investments and intellectual property rights.
The Indian industry is demanding greater access for its skilled professionals from sectors like IT, and healthcare in the UK market, besides market access for several goods at nil customs duties.
On the other hand, the UK is seeking a significant cut in import duties on goods such as scotch whiskey, automobiles, lamb meat, chocolates and certain confectionary items.
Britain is also looking for more opportunities for UK services in Indian markets in segments like telecommunications, legal and financial services (banking and insurance).
The bilateral trade between India and the UK increased to USD 20.36 billion in 2022-23 from USD 17.5 billion in 2021-22.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)