Can India benefit from Brexit?

India after BrexitAttractive partner for Great Britain

"Brexit is finally here and India is well prepared to benefit from Brexit". This is the headline of the online edition of the English-language magazine India Today. India is now on the list of several countries with which Britain plans to sign new trade deals. Brexit, says Saurabh Shukla, editor-in-chief of, is a good chance for India:

"Good chance to improve trade relations with the British."

"Great Britain will need more allies now, and India is a natural partner in this case. Many of our students go there. Great Britain also says that they want to make it easier for well-educated Indians to obtain visas. Before that, these bodies had to be preferred to be filled with Europeans. I see a good chance for Indian start-ups to improve trade relations with the British. "

(Deutschlandradio / imago / Jürgen Schwarz)

Saurabh Shukla is also hoping for this himself, the business journalist founded a mobile news platform more than five years ago, with which, according to his own statement, he reaches around 30 million users. His workplace is in Gurugram: a young city that borders directly on New Delhi. A hub for finance and technology, with glittering skyscrapers, malls and hip restaurants. On the office floor of Saurabh Shukla, young Indians sit in glass cubes and meet to brainstorm on chic red sofas. This is digital India, which the country would like to spread to the world as a brand: modern, flexible and in tune with the times. And of which Saurabh Shukla is completely convinced. And from his point of view, this digital India is the exact opposite of the European Union:

"It's much easier to negotiate bilaterally with countries than with this bloc of the European Union. It's a construct with too many different countries, all the egos that have to be satisfied and this excessive bureaucracy. You have the best people out of yours Countries gathered there, but this compromise-finding sometimes becomes a huge obstacle. That is why India's relations with individual European countries are much better than with the EU itself. "

Negotiations on a free trade agreement broken off

India and the European Union have been negotiating a free trade agreement since 2007. In 2013 the negotiations were completely broken off and they were only resumed two years ago - so far with no prospect of quick success. There are problems with patent protection that India does not want to develop.

The EU wants to open up the retail sector to European trading groups. But retail is the second largest economic sector in India, and the many small businesses are therefore untouchable for the Indian government. Brussels would also like to set environmental and social standards in the planned free trade agreement. Here, too, the Indians exclude even negotiating about it. Because India, currently the fifth largest economy in the world, forbids political interference from outside. Just a few days ago, a debate in the EU Parliament ruined the mood of the Indian government.

Helena Dalli, MEP from Malta, will give a lecture on the revision of the Indian Citizenship Act, which many describe as discriminatory against Muslims. The European Parliament is preparing a resolution condemning anti-democratic developments in India. The Indian government then sent letters of protest to the parliamentarians. The vote on the resolution has now been postponed.

For India, the EU is more important than the UK

Experts discuss the possible consequences of Brexit on Indian television. Here, too, it is a question of who will be more important for India in the future: the European Union or Great Britain. The clear favorite for Jayant Dasgupta, who was an Indian envoy to the World Trade Organization, is the EU:

"Great Britain is not a big market for us. We now finally have to negotiate the free trade agreement with the EU; that is a priority."

Because of its high growth rates, India has often been referred to as the "bright spot of the world economy" in recent years. But the International Monetary Fund's growth forecast for India has deteriorated significantly. Still, India is the fastest growing major economy in the world. Editor-in-chief Saurabh Shukla therefore sees rosy times in India after Brexit, because this would open up two markets for his country if they heeded his advice:

"Be more open, be more accommodating for our country. Whoever suggests something first, the first pitch is the most important."

From Saurabh Shukla's point of view, India is so attractive that both the EU and Great Britain should quickly seek know-how from his country.

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