NFU responds to call for input on future UK-India trade deal

07 September 2021

An image of colourful shipping containers stacked up on the deck of a large ship out at sea

The NFU submitted a response to the DIT (Department for International Trade) consultation on the future trading relationship between the UK and India.

The government ran a 14-week consultation on future free trade with India, which closed on 31 August 2021.

The UK government is seeking a deal that removes or reduces tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade and investment between the UK and India.

We gathered input from members in order to respond.

You can read our response in full here: NFU consultation response on UK-India trade deal

NFU response – our key points

Increased potential for 'Brand Britain'

In the UK, we can demonstrate safe, traceable, and audited food supply chains. This means ‘Brand Britain’ should have great potential to win market share if access is provided.

However, India is among the top 10 agricultural exporters globally. This includes commodities such as:

  • eggs
  • horticulture products
  • sugar

India already enjoys preferential access to the UK market via the Generalised Scheme of Preference (GSP) for certain key commodities.

Any agreement must ensure our farmers and growers are not undercut by allowing in agri-food imports that would be illegal to produce domestically.

Trade barriers

Currently, UK businesses are met with considerable trade barriers when exporting to India – both tariffs and non-tariff barriers.

These barriers reduce UK business’ ability to trade into the market efficiently.

We have asked, therefore, that in the UK-India FTA, efforts should be made to not only liberalise the Indian market but also reduce the non-tariff barriers to trade for UK business.

Market development

To make the most of the opportunity presented by the Indian market the government must be prepared to invest in market promotion and development.

This includes a requirement for advisers on the ground in India who can talk to the various bodies, ports, retailers, and inspectors to ensure any UK exports reach the Indian consumers as quickly and economically as possible.

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