The £1bn India trade boost is hardly a game-changer for UK plc


Analysis: the UK is unlikely to win a big bang deal when Delhi’s big ask is fewer curbs on Indians working in Britain

Closer Anglo-Indian economic cooperation makes sense, so it is not hard to see why Downing Street has trumpeted up to £1bn of new trade and investment deals with India, ahead of Boris Johnson’s virtual meeting on Tuesday with Narendra Modi, his Indian counterpart.

There are four big reasons why the UK wants to boost trade with the world’s second most populous country: the historic links between the two countries ought to make a deal easier; India’s large and well-educated middle class provides a potentially lucrative market; the desire to pivot away from China makes the need for an alternative partner in Asia more pressing; and the realisation that there is plenty of scope for improvement.

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