A POST Brexit trade deal with India could be bigger and better than an agreement with the United States, experts have said.
The Government is laying on the charm to try to seal a deal with New Delhi as part of a tilt towards the Indo-Pacific.
Boris Johnson has sent his senior lieutenants, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and trade chief Anne Marie Trevelyan, to charm the Indians in recent months.
New analysis by the Resolution Foundation (RF) think-tank finds the UK stands to make more money with a tilt towards India than America.
Sophie Hale, an RF economist, said a trade deal with India could bring in megabucks – but is also very risky.
She said: “Trade liberalisation with India is expected to boost UK manufacturing in the short term, but could also benefit business services, where UK firms already enjoy a competitive advantage, and where demand is set to soar.
“But India is changing as well as growing, so any trade deal means accepting uncertainty about the competition that will face UK firms, as the price for access to a fast-expanding market.”
India is expected to become the world’s third biggest market for imports by 2050 – providing massive opportunity for British exports.
Currently UK business services – one of our biggest sectors – only have a tiny slice of the pie, accounting for just 1.8 per cent of India’s imports.
British firms face eye watering 19 per cent tariffs when they sell into India.
The Resolution Foundation said if Britain strikes quickly and signs a trade deal with India before the US and EU then we will get “first mover competitive advantage”.