techUK welcomes the announcement of a new Enhanced Trade Partnership between the UK and India
In yesterday’s virtual meeting the PM and Prime Minister Modi agreed deeper cooperation between the UK and India including a new Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) paving the way for a future UK-India Free Trade Agreement. The package contains over £533m of new Indian investment into the UK, which is expected to boost jobs creation in vital and growing sectors, including technology. New investment deals include some of techUK’s members such as HCL Technologies, Wipro and Infosys.
Technology is one of key under-pins to the strong India-UK bilateral partnership. India is the second largest source of FDI into the UK, whereas UK is Indian tech industry’s second largest export market after the US. Alongside large Indian tech companies with well-established presence in the UK and a strong record of investment in local skills development, Indian tech SMEs increasingly see the UK as an important market. Technology partnerships and innovation in areas like Cloud, AI, IoT, Robotics, etc. will become key drivers for this relationship to flourish further. Both countries are the world leaders in technology and innovation, with huge potential for strengthening the bilateral technology partnership.
Opportunities are great, but so are challenges of reaching an ambitious trade agreement for our industry. There is a number of market access barriers to be overcome to maximize cross-border innovation, and bilateral trade and investment in the tech sector. The technology community has been calling for a comprehensive free trade agreement that enables cross-border free flow of data with a strong data protection regime, investment, and innovation, and reduces market access barriers such as mandatory local data storage and re-imposing custom duties on e-commerce trade to drive bilateral trade in the digital technology space.
Julian David, CEO, techUK said:
“We are pleased to see that the Enhanced Trade Partnership recognises the critical importance of knowledge and technology-driven trade between both countries. Digital services are going to drive the future of UK-India trading and it is therefore important that digital trade is central to future bilateral trade relations. To capitalize on emerging opportunities and drive collaboration and innovation across borders we must ensure that a future trade agreement includes strong provisions for cross-border data flows with an adequate data protection regime, increased mobility of talent and investment whilst also reducing barriers to business growth. techUK will continue working with the UK and Indian tech communities to advocate for comprehensive digital trade arrangements in the future UK-India trade relationship.”
Mohit Joshi, President, Infosys said:
“The Economic Trade Partnership and 2030 Roadmap is the start of an exciting era of cooperation which will create new opportunities for both UK and Indian Companies. The focus on priority sectors including technology and healthcare will help foster innovation, growth and the creation of high value jobs. Infosys is committed to supporting innovation and the UK’s economic recovery and we plan to hire 1,000 workers into cutting edge jobs in the digital space over the next three years. We are hopeful that both governments will continue to support the tech sector and to ensure greater collaboration and leadership on emerging technologies.”