India will ask Britain to revisit work visa restrictions imposed in 2017 as it had negatively impacted the IT industry of India when Trade Ministers of both countries meet at the JETCO (India-UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee) meeting in London later in January 2018.
An Indian government official was quoted by The Hindu Business Line as saying that in India’s agenda, the issues for discussion include work visa restrictions that have affected Indian IT companies in the UK and certain non-tariff obstacles for exports that include quality standards. The official said that discussed also will be ways to attract more investments into India from the UK.
Suresh Prabhu, Indian Commerce and Industry Minister, will lead the Indian delegation. The official said that although the UK is planning on increasing the visa numbers for talented people, the restrictions it has imposed on other categories cannot be glossed over.
According to the official, the UK would, meanwhile, want to emphasize on enhancing access for them in the services market of India which would include sectors such as financial, legal and accountancy. Britain has been asking India to provide better access to a variety of services sector and is expected to continue pushing for it. It is also said to have shown interest in luring Indian investments in sectors such as infrastructure and real estate.
The UK is among India’s crucial trading partners. In fact, the UK was the 15th largest trading partner for India in 2016-17. The European country is also the fourth largest foreign investor in India as its aggregate equity investment during April 2000-June 2017 was $24.73 billion. After it voted to leave the European Union, it has become more important for the UK to improve further its bilateral relations with partner countries separately.
The UK can engage in FTA (free trade agreement) discussions with countries like India only after the Brexit process is complete, talks are already said to be taking place unofficially.
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