LONDON (AFP/Reuters) - Britain and India have agreed the text of a deal on civil nuclear cooperation, ministers from both countries announced after talks in London on Thursday. The two sides have discussed and negotiated a civil nuclear energy cooperation agreement and we hope that will be signed soon, Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said during a visit for trade talks. His British counterpart, Business Secretary Peter Mandelson, added: Weve got an agreed text on civil nuclear cooperation. This is a very, very significant advance, and I look forward to that text being signed off at a ministerial, political level before long. The ministers refused to give further details on the agreement, but officials here said it would provide major trade opportunities for firms involved in Britains nuclear industry. Mandelson said the agreement was ready to be signed soon. Theres absolutely no reason why it shouldnt be signed next week. It just needs the ministerial go-ahead and its there waiting to be signed. We shouldnt delay it any longer, he said, declining to give any details of the accord. Sharma, standing beside Mandelson, also said he hoped the agreement would be signed soon. A spokeswoman for UK Trade & Investment, the British governments trade arm, said British companies were keen to collaborate with Indian partners in civil nuclear technology. Britain was a market leader in the sector, with UK-based industry earning 700 million pounds ($1.11 billion) in overseas business each year and employing 80,000 people, she said. UK nuclear equipment and services companies have a long track record of design, construction and management, and are particularly experienced in the life-extension and decommissioning of nuclear plants, she said. India and the United States signed a civilian nuclear deal in 2008, ending Indias nuclear isolation since it tested a nuclear device in 1974 and opening up its atomic market for firms such as General Electric Co and Westinghouse Electric Co, a subsidiary of Japans Toshiba Corp. But with delays in implementation of the deal, US firms have lagged in a competitive scramble with Russian and French firms whose governments guarantee their liability in case of an industrial accident. Mandelson said Britain and India were seeking greater collaboration in high-technology manufacturing, including defence, where he said India wanted to be overwhelmingly self-sufficient in growing its defence manufacturing base. We have British companies who are able and willing to help bring that about by locating their production in India, by bringing their high technologies and knowledge and research and development to India, he said, singling out armoured vehicles and air tankers as products where there could be cooperation.