By Sarkaritel February 10, 2021 12:39


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International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has concluded a 5-day visit (February 5-9) to India, mapping the path to a potential future free trade deal and deepening trading ties between the UK and India.

On Saturday, the Minister agreed an outline of a new Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) with Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal as part of the development of a roadmap that would lead to a potential comprehensive free trade agreement, including considerations on an Interim Agreement on preferential basis.

Throughout the global pandemic, India and the UK have supported each other by keeping vital supply chains open, tackling protectionism and collaborating on vaccine research – whether that be the production of over a billion doses of the life-saving Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine at India’s Serum Institute or unlocking the export of nearly 3 million packets of paracetamol to the UK.

Liz Truss also announced a number of investment wins that will create jobs across the UK.

This includes a major investment by leading technology and digital firm Tata Consultancy Services that will bring 1,500 high-skilled jobs to sites all over the UK.

Indian pharmaceutical and biotechnology giant Wockhardt has confirmed further investment in Wrexham, Wales, leading to more than 40 new jobs and the extension of their Covid-19 vaccination contract to ensure the UK has uninterrupted fill and finish capacity for vaccines in 2022.

UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “India is the world’s biggest democracy and a nation that shares our belief in free enterprise. Deeper trading ties will create opportunities for UK businesses that were simply not there as part of the EU, and set the stage for a much closer partnership with one of the economic powerhouses of the present and future. 

“We will be collaborating much more closely in the industries of tomorrow like science, tech and green growth, so we can build back better and deliver an export-led, investment-led, jobs-led recovery from coronavirus.” 

The UK-India trade relationship, worth £23 billion in 2019, supports key industries such as technology and life sciences and around half-a-million jobs in each other’s economies.

Life sciences has been a priority sector for both nations, with UK pharmaceuticals exports to India growing by 21.4% to £96.75 million in 2019.

During her visit, the Minister met with UK respiratory digital health company, Smart Respiratory Products, which is helping doctors in India manage their patients remotely via a smartphone app and telemedicine platform. The firm recently secured a £5 million partnership with Indian company, Care Ability Healthcare, to supply their Smart Asthma respiratory solutions.

Demonstrating the strength of the UK tech and life sciences sector, AI healthcare start-up Behold.AI announced during the visit that it has partnered with India’s Apollo Group to provide a diagnostic tool which can quickly analyse chest x-rays to aid in screening patients for Covid-19.

And UK firm Micropore, which specialises in equipment and support services to enable pharma companies to improve the performance and economies of their formulated products is setting up in Hyderabad to supply its award-winning membrane emulsification technology to its customers in the region and neighbouring markets.

By Sarkaritel February 10, 2021 12:39