Hammond sweet-talks Delhi with prospect of trade deals as EU looks on warily

Hammond sweet-talks Delhi with prospect of trade deals as EU looks on warily
By Robert Hackwill
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Britain's finance minister is in India trying to drum up some post-Brexit trade support as two nations agree to set up joint investment fund.

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Britain’s Finance minister Phillip Hammond, while forbidden to talk serious turkey in his globetrotting attempts to secure trade deals for the UK post-Brexit until after the UK has quit the EU, is doing his best to prepare the ground.

He has been exploring possible trade relationships far and wide, and is currently in the former jewel in the crown of empire, India. He has a new slogan, “Build in India, finance in Britain”, and the two countries have set up a joint investment fund.

Great to meet some fantastic Indian entrepreneurs in #Delhi. Importance of trade between our 2 nations will only grow after we leave EU pic.twitter.com/fFzYts1Yhg

— Philip Hammond (@PHammondMP) 4 avril 2017

Indian firms now invest in Britain and the boot is on the other foot as the country rises and the former imperial master declines.

“We hope to be able to a negotiate a deep and special relationship with the European Union that will allow us to go on trading together, go on investing in each other’s economy, but at the same time, allow us to rebuild our relationships with our partners and allies around the world,” said Hammond.

India’s finance minister expects the two will do business together, but in a partnership of equals.

“UK post-Brexit is looking at a different level of relationship with India. And there is a huge aspiration in India itself also to add to and improve upon that relationship,” said Arun Jaitley.

Addressing media with Mr PHammondMP</a> after the India UK Economic & Finance Dialogue in Delhi, April 4, 2017 <a href="https://t.co/UXfXDJ4CC1">pic.twitter.com/UXfXDJ4CC1</a></p>— Arun Jaitley (arunjaitley) 4 avril 2017

Many nations, even without entry to the wider EU market, will want to sell to the UK’s 60 million consumers. What is less clear is if many will rush to buy British products.

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