PM Modi, Narendra Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is anticipated to give precedence to finalizing free trade agreements with Britain and Oman within the initial 100 days of the next government, should he secure victory in the forthcoming elections as indicated by prevailing opinion polls, according to two sources within the government.

PM Modi has instructed Indian ministries to establish yearly objectives for the forthcoming five years, aligning them with a 100-day action plan to strategically propel further growth in Asia’s third-largest economy. As per the sources privy to the discussions, the trade ministry aims to include the pending agreements with Britain and Oman in its objectives for the 100-day plan, given that negotiations for both deals are in their conclusive stages.

The sources have requested anonymity, citing the confidentiality of the plan’s details. This month, PM Modi emphasized the integration of India into global trade as a paramount priority during discussions with senior government officials, as per a document reviewed by Reuters.

Certain objectives will be deliberated upon on May 1, amidst India’s seven-phase election process, scheduled to commence on April 19 with vote counting slated for June 4, during which PM Modi will be vying for an uncommon third term. Neither the trade ministry nor PM Modi’s office, responsible for finalizing priorities, responded to requests for comment.

A spokesperson for Britain’s department for business and trade stated that both countries are “continuing to work towards an ambitious trade deal,” although refraining from commenting on the specifics of ongoing negotiations. The spokesperson reiterated the commitment to signing a fair and balanced deal that aligns with the best interests of the British people and economy.

Ahead of India’s elections, negotiations between both nations have been temporarily suspended this month after two years of deliberation, while affirming their dedication to a new pact aimed at doubling trade by 2030. Britain also anticipates elections this year.

Efforts to contact an official from Oman were unsuccessful. However, trade ministers from India and Oman convened in December, expressing urgency in concluding discussions on a comprehensive agreement to expedite the signing of a deal. Trade between the two countries has witnessed exponential growth, more than doubling in the past two years to reach $12.39 billion in the last fiscal year.