The UK and India will launch negotiations on an Free Trade Agreement at an event in New Delhi.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan will meet with her counterpart, Indian minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, to formally start talks on a deal that could create huge benefits for both countries.

India is one of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies and a bold new deal would put UK businesses at the front of the queue to supply India’s growing middle class, forecast to increase to a quarter of a billion consumers by 2050. India is set to become the world’s third biggest economy by 2050, with a bigger population than the US and EU combined.

A deal has the potential to almost double UK exports to India, boost UK total trade by as much as £28 billion a year by 2035, and increase wages across the UK by up to £3 billion. Investment from Indian companies already supports 95,000 jobs across the UK.

The UK wants an agreement that slashes barriers to doing business and trading with India’s £2 trillion economy and market of 1.4 billion consumers, including cutting tariffs on exports of British-made cars and Scotch whisky.

A deal with India would be a big step forward in the UK’s strategy to refocus trade on the Indo-Pacific, home to half of the world’s population and 50% of global economic growth.

A new economic partnership with India, alongside UK membership of the massive Asia-Pacific trading bloc, CPTPP, will create a pillar in the region supporting free and fair trade.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

"A trade deal with India’s booming economy offers huge benefits for British businesses, workers and consumers.

As we take our historic partnership with India to the next level, the UK’s independent trade policy is creating jobs, increasing wages and driving innovation across the country.

"The UK has world-class businesses and expertise we can rightly be proud of, from Scotch whisky distillers to financial services and cutting-edge renewable technology.

"We are seizing the opportunities offered in growing economies of the Indo-Pacific to cement our place on the global stage and deliver jobs and growth at home."