2030 Roadmap for India-UK future relations – Financial and Professional Services

By christopher heyes

CSPs, FTAs, ETPs, EFDs; what are they and what do they mean for Financial professional services? After 20 years working in and around government, I like a good acronym as much as the next person but this week a barrage of them seemed to come out in the press statement after PM Modi and PM Johnson met virtually.

The ultimate aim from both Governments is a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) but to get there we need a roadmap – this was set out in the PM`s statement. The roadmap involves an Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) under a new Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) which is seen as a pathway to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  Now that is all sorted, what does this mean for the financial and professional services sector?

The governments committed to annual Economic Financial Dialogues (EFD) to review progress in key aspects of co-operation in Financial and Professional services. In a recent blog I wrote about what can be expected at the most recent one in 2020 and was pleased that the Indian government increased the FDI limits for insurance companies from 49% to 74% in the recent budget. This shows that dialogue works and focuses the governments on key areas which at present includes GIFT City, Trade and Investment, Fintech, India`s Corporate Bond Market and Green finance.

They also committed to sharing expertise and deepening co-operation in several other areas including financial market dialogue, resilient infrastructure financing and policy, sustainable finance, and the raising of finance by India companies in the UK (i.e. Masala Bonds).

This is extremely ambitious and marks a tectonic shift in UK India relations which I certainly welcome. We all know that at just £24bn UK India Trade punches well below its weight given how intertwined our two counties are.

I look forward to working with colleagues in government and our members to driving forward these ambitious plans and to breaking down barriers to help both countries achieve their true potential.

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