The United Kingdom is keen on enhancing ties with India through a free trade agreement, post the country’s exit from the European Union.

The British Deputy High Commission introduced the new U.K. Department of International Trade (DIT) in Chennai, which was created post the EU referendum and was launched in July. The aim of DIT is to promote British trade across the world.

India a key market

“India has been one of the key markets for us and would continue to play an important role after we leave the European Union,” Tammy Sandhu, Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Department of International Trade said.

She also mentioned that the mood has been positive both in India and in the U.K. in terms of opportunities post the exit from European Union.

Negotiations on

“Hopefully we can have a free trade agreement with India for which negotiations are on and have attractive trade policies to boost opportunities for both Indian and U.K. investors,” Ms. Sandhu said.

She also pointed out that sectors like healthcare, renewable energy, robotics, high end technology, smart cities were key areas for collaboration between Indian and U.K. firms.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May would be visiting India next month along an business delegation, her first visit outside Europe since she took on the role. She would be launching the India-UK tech summit along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Bharat Joshi, British Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai said that commercial ties between both the countries have been stronger.

Jobs created

He noted that Indian firms created over 7,000 jobs in the U.K. last year, second only to the U.S., while one in 20 jobs in the formal sector in India have been created by U.K. firms.