Bilateral trade: Securing a global supply chain: why an India-UK trade deal will be key to countering China’s might

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) meets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bilateral talks during the G7 summit in August 2019 in France.


Domination over seven of the largest global shipping hubs gives Beijing a strong grip over nearly every country’s supply chain. In the post-pandemic world, finding an alternative to China has been an urgent need for developed countries. An India-UK free-trade agreement could be the first of a string of bilateral deals.

In November 2019, India took a bold geopolitical decision by opting out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on concerns that an influx of cheap imports from member countries, especially China, would hurt its domestic industry and agriculture. The surprise move by one of the original negotiating partners of the world’s largest free-trade agreement not only dented China’s business prospects in India but also sent out a clear

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