U.K. PM Rishi Sunak, Indian PM Narendra Modi Agree on Early Conclusion of FTA

U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sat down for a discussion about a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries. It has been reported that the two agreed on the fact that it is important to reach a conclusion soon for a comprehensive and balanced FTA.

Rishi Sunak of Indian origin was recently appointed as the new British prime minister making him the first person of colour to take the responsibility. He is also the youngest British PM in 210 years at 42 years old. Even before his appointment, when Sanuk was Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was in favour of the FTA with India as he saw great opportunities for both countries in the insurance and fintech sectors. Now, PM Modi and Sanuk have sat down to have a discussion on the same. Both leaders have agreed that it is important to reach a conclusion toward a balanced FTA soon.

“Glad to speak to @RishiSunak today. Congratulated him on assuming charge as UK PM. We will work together to further strengthen our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” the Indian PM tweeted. He added that they both agreed on the importance of an early conclusion of a comprehensive and balanced FTA.

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Sunak responded through a tweet as well and said that he is excited about what the two democracies can achieve as the partnership deepens.

The negotiations for the FTA started back in January with an aim to reach a conclusion by Diwali, but that did not happen as an agreeable solution could not be found in time. As of now, there is no new deadline, but it seems like things are moving forward.

Rishi Sunak is the first Hindu to take on the position. His election comes following Liz Truss’ resignation from the post. Sunak announced his candidature on October 23 and after a fast-tracked selection process, he was announced as the leader of Britain’s Conservative Party. Sunak is now the third prime minister this year after Johnson and Liz Truss. Notably, Sunak has not been free from controversy. His and his wife Akshata Murty’s finances have been questioned in the past. Back in April, while it was legal, it was found that Murty did not pay U.K. tax on her overseas income.

Vineet Washington

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