On July 24, 2020, the 14th Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting 2020 was held virtually for the first time amid COVID-19 between India and United Kingdom (UK), which was co-chaired by Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Vedprakash Goyal and UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Elizabeth Mary Truss. They were assisted by Minister of State (MoS) for Commerce and Industry Hardeep Singh Puri and his counterpart, UK Minister of State for International Trade, Ranil Jayawardena.
- Both nations have affirmed their shared commitment towards Free Trade Agreement (FTA). In this regard, the two sides will engage in early harvest schemes or limited trade agreements in a staged manner as steps towards FTA.
- It should be noted that the Early Harvest Programme basically consists of those projects which are to be implemented within a short timeline.
-As the UK leaves European Union (EU), both sides are exploring the building blocks that would allow for more ambitious trade arrangements in the future.
–Both sides have identified five key sectors: food and drink, information communications technology (ICT), life sciences and services, and chemicals to address non-tariff barriers to trade.
-It was also decided that a deliberation led by Mr Goyal and Ms Truss will be held in Autumn 2020 in New Delhi to carry forward the dialogue. Apart from this, Hardeep Singh Puri and Ranil Jayawardena will conduct monthly meetings for the same.
-Both sides also resolved to cooperate in the health sector especially in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
-The Co-chairs of Business led Joint Working Groups on Life Science and Health, ICT and Food and Drink set up during the last JETCO made their recommendations to the Ministers.
About United Kingdom (UK):
Currency– Pound sterling
Prime Minister– Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson
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