EFTA | 16 January 2024
EFTA and India meet in Delhi for 21st round of negotiations towards a Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement
Delegations from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) States – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – and India gathered in Delhi from 8 to 13 January 2024 for an intense 21st round of negotiations towards a 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 focus of this round was on addressing issues remaining at the level of both heads and experts in the following areas; trade in goods, trade in services, rules of origin, trade facilitation, investment promotion and cooperation, intellectual property rights and trade and sustainable development.
In conjunction with the EFTA-India TEPA negotiations, two online Ministerial meetings were held between Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles on the Indian side, and Helene Budliger Artieda, Swiss State Secretary at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (acting as the EFTA Spokesperson), Jan Christian Vestre, Minister of Trade and Industry of Norway, Martin Eyjólfsson, Permanent Secretary of State of Iceland, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and Kurt Jäger, Ambassador, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to EFTA, WTO and the UN, Geneva, on the EFTA side.
The parties anticipate further meetings at both Ministerial and negotiating team levels in the coming days, reflecting the commitment to concluding discussions and reaching a mutually beneficial agreement as soon as possible.
A report of the 21st round of negotiations will be published in the coming days.
Economic relations between the EFTA States and India
Over the past two decades, total trade between the EFTA States and India has been growing steadily. In 2022, combined EFTA-India merchandise trade surpassed USD 6.1 billion, with the primary imports to the EFTA States consisting of organic chemicals (27.5%), while machinery (17.5%) and pharmaceutical products (11.4%), excluding gold, constituted the main exports to India. Services trade and foreign direct investment have also reached substantial levels. Read more about merchandise trade between EFTA and India here.