India and UK held the 14th Joint Economic and Trade Committee meeting on 24th July, 2020 virtually. It was co-chaired by Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and UK Secretary of State for International Trade , HE , Ms Elizabeth Truss. They were assisted by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Hardeep Singh Puri and his counterpart, UK Minister of State for International Trade, HE Mr Ranil Jayawardena.
Minister Goyal and Ms Truss affirmed their shared commitment to a Free Trade Agreement and towards that, Early Harvest deals in a staged manner. MOS Puri and Minister Jayawardena will have monthly meetings to intensify the dialogue. It was decided that a meeting led by Minister Goyal and SOS Truss will be held in Autumn 2020 in New Delhi to carry forward the dialogue. 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.
The formal talks were followed by a plenary session led by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Hardeep Singh Puri, UK Minister of State for International Trade, Mr Ranil Jayawardena and UK Minister of State for Investment, Mr. Gerry Grimstone interacting with business leaders which included Chandrajit Banerjee DG CII and Alay Piramal, Co-Chair of the India UK CEOs’ Forum.
Both sides approached the talks with open minds and shared commitment to revival and revitalisation of the long standing trade and economic linkages between India and the UK. Both sides also resolved to cooperate in health Sector especially in view of the present Pandemic of COVID-19.