UK trade markets 'growing faster than EU markets' says Truss
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And one analyst has said the £23billion trade deal which Mrs Truss signed off on during her recent Indian trip will help power Boris Johnson’s Global Britain vision – as well as helping the UK bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic. Mrs Truss, MP for South West Suffolk, struck a confident tone during a comment piece from the Sunday Express in which she hailed the Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) as a “new chapter in the UK’s national story”.
She explained: “We are seeing the strength of our partnership – built on our common values – in our steadfast support for each other in the fight against coronavirus.
“Living up to its reputation as the ‘pharmacy of the world’, India has kept supplies of critical medicines and medical-grade PPE flowing to the UK.
“Meanwhile, the Serum Institute – which I visited on Monday – is set to produce over a billion doses of our life-saving Oxford vaccine.”
She said: “There are few markets around the world that offer greater potential than India.
“This huge market of 1.4 billion people is already emerging as the world’s fastest-growing major economy and is expected to become the second biggest in the world by 2050, making it a crucial long-term trading partner.
“Securing new opportunities will help our businesses grow by investing in their staff and commercial future, whether it is Twinings selling tea to India, Brompton selling its bicycles, or the Dunstable bakery exporting their naan bread.”
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The close relationship between the UK and India was already paying dividends, Mrs Truss stressed.
For example, the Indian multinational tech firm, Tata Consultancy Services, has announced 1,500 new jobs across the UK.
Mrs Truss added: “The Indian pharmaceutical giant Wockhardt has extended its contract in Wrexham, showing its long-term commitment to providing jobs in North Wales as more vaccines roll off its plant’s production line.
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“I am proud to be pushing on with our Enhanced Trade Partnership, which will secure more high-quality jobs as we work towards a full free trade agreement.”
Her optimism was backed up by Nayan Gala, Founding Partner at venture capitalist firm JPIN VCATS.
He said: “It’s great to see that the UK and Indian governments have agreed to an enhanced trade partnership.
“India is a 21st-century powerhouse the UK-India trading relationship is already worth almost £24 billion, with 383 Indian companies in the UK employing more than 82,000 people.
“The ETP will help to fuel economic recovery in a post-Brexit, post-Covid UK and really allow the UK to benefit from the immense growth India is about to experience in the coming decade.
“A free trade deal with India could be as high as £50-100 billion and will open the door to 1.3 billion potential customers for UK businesses, and provide opportunities for business improvement, consolidation, foreign expansion and diversification in a rapidly growing market.”
Boris Johnson had been scheduled to visit India in January to meet President Narendra Modi, but his trip was postponed as a result of the pandemic.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab visited in December for talks with counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
Afterwards, he said: “What I think we recognise is the possibilities of a deeper trading relationship.
“The contours of our economies would allow that and we, certainly, as foreign ministers see a very powerful strategic case.”
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