- India's pursuit of data localisation is a major stumbling block in free cross-border data flows between the UK and India.
- Increased market access for India in certain sectors could have a negative impact on some developing countries in South Asia, South-East Asia, and East Africa.
- Despite these challenges, both the UK and India are committed to finding mutually beneficial solutions and strengthening their economic ties through continued collaboration and negotiation.
The United Kingdom and India have been engaged in free trade agreement negotiations, with the hope of strengthening economic ties and boosting trade between the two nations. However, a recent parliamentary report by the House of Commons International Trade Committee has highlighted some potential stumbling blocks in these negotiations.
One of the main areas of concern is India's pursuit of data localisation. The UK industry has stressed the importance of free and trusted cross-border data flows, but India's legislation on data localisation could make this difficult. The report notes that this issue could be a major stumbling block in the negotiations.
The report also cautions that increased market access for India in certain sectors, such as textiles, clothing, footwear, and horticultural products, could have a negative impact on some developing countries in South Asia, South-East Asia, and East Africa. These countries currently benefit from preferential access to the UK market.
Despite these challenges, the report emphasizes the importance of continued collaboration and negotiation between the UK and India. The two sides are also discussing other issues related to digital trade, such as preventing the mandatory transfer of source codes, algorithms, and encryption keys, banning digital tariffs and discrimination against digital formats, and recognizing e-signatures and electronic contracts.
Overall, while there are some potential hurdles to overcome in the negotiations, both the UK and India are committed to strengthening their economic ties and finding mutually beneficial solutions. With continued dialogue and collaboration, the hope is that a successful free trade agreement can be reached that benefits both nations and promotes greater economic growth and prosperity.