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March 29, 2024

“India’s Trade Ambitions: Modi Eyes Swift Deals with UK and Oman in Probable Next Term”

In anticipation of a potential third term, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is strategically positioning trade agreements with the United Kingdom and Oman at the forefront of his administration’s agenda. With opinion polls indicating favorable outcomes in the upcoming elections, Modi aims to expedite the finalization of free trade deals within the initial 100 days of his prospective new government, according to sources familiar with government deliberations.

Modi’s directive to various ministries underscores a comprehensive approach to set achievable objectives for the next five years, encapsulated within a 100-day action plan. Central to this strategy is the prioritization of bilateral trade agreements, particularly with key partners like the UK and Oman, as these negotiations near completion, insiders revealed on condition of anonymity due to the confidential nature of the discussions.

The trade ministry, entrusted with realizing these objectives, is poised to elevate the impending pacts with the UK and Oman to prominent positions within the 100-day plan. Sources privy to the matter suggest that discussions have intensified to ensure the seamless integration of these agreements into India’s broader economic framework.

In recent deliberations, Modi emphasized the imperative of integrating India into the global trade ecosystem, highlighting the significance of robust international partnerships in driving sustained economic growth. While specifics of the forthcoming trade agenda are expected to be deliberated upon during India’s seven-phase election, slated to commence on April 19 with results anticipated by June 4, Modi’s office and the trade ministry remained tight-lipped regarding their official stance on the matter.

Responding to queries, a spokesperson for Britain’s department for business and trade affirmed the ongoing efforts to advance bilateral trade discussions, emphasizing the commitment to secure a mutually beneficial arrangement. Despite the temporary halt in negotiations preceding India’s elections, both nations reaffirmed their dedication to forging a comprehensive pact aimed at bolstering bilateral trade volumes by 2030, coinciding with the electoral landscape in the UK.

In parallel, efforts to solidify trade relations with Oman have gained momentum, with trade ministers from both nations intensifying dialogues to expedite the finalization of a comprehensive agreement. The exponential growth witnessed in bilateral trade over the past two years underscores the mutual economic interests at stake, with trade volumes reaching $12.39 billion in the last fiscal year, signaling the potential for further expansion and collaboration.

As India navigates the intricacies of its electoral process, the prospective trajectory of trade negotiations with the UK and Oman stands as a testament to Modi’s commitment to fostering strategic alliances and propelling India’s economic agenda on the global stage. With the promise of a renewed mandate, Modi’s vision for India’s trade landscape appears poised for a transformative phase, underpinned by bilateral cooperation and inclusive growth initiatives.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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