EFTA - 20 August 2023
EFTA and India make strides towards a comprehensive Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement
Representatives of the EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) and India gathered in New Delhi from 17 to 19 August 2023 to advance negotiations aimed at a mutually beneficial Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA).
Ambassador Markus Schlagenhof, Delegate of the Federal Council for Trade Agreements and head of the World Trade Division at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, acted as the EFTA spokesperson, while L. Satya Srinivas, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, led the Indian delegation.
The sessions fostered collaborative dialogues, engaging both high-level officials and subject-matter experts. Key focal points of the discussions included trade in goods, trade in services, rules of origin, technical barriers to trade (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS), intellectual property rights (IPR), trade and sustainable development, as well as trade remedies.
H.E. Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Textiles, Commerce and Industry of India, and the EFTA spokesperson held a stocktaking meeting to evaluate the negotiation progress and address pertinent challenges.
In the coming weeks, delegates from EFTA and India are scheduled for regular engagements to build upon the progress made during this session. Another round of negotiations is anticipated.
EFTA’s full report of the round will be accessible here in the coming days.
Economic relations between the EFTA States and India
Over the past two decades, the total trade between the EFTA States and India has been growing steadily. In 2022, the combined EFTA-India merchandise trade surpassed USD 6.1 billion. The primary imports to the EFTA States consisted of organic chemicals (27.5%), while machinery (17.5%) and pharmaceutical products (11.4%), excluding gold, constituted the main exports to India. Furthermore, services trade and foreign direct investment have also reached substantial levels.