The Navhind Times | 14 February 2007
India in free trade talks with four European countries
Bangalore, Feb 13 — India is in talks with four European countries - Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein - to strike a comprehensive economic agreement that would facilitate free trade relations, Swiss officials said here.
A joint study group has been established by India and the four countries (EFTA states) to explore the feasibility of such an agreement, they said.
“We hope that draft of that agreement could be finished by November this year”, Swiss ambassador to India, Mr Dominique Dreyer, told PTI here. “Then, draft has to be ratified by the five countries concerned”.
Earlier, addressing an investment conference here today organised by “Location Switzerland”, ambassador, Ms Monika Ruhl-Burzi, head of Berne-based Bilateral Economic Relations Division, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, said conclusion of such an agreement establishing free trade relations would be a major milestone in economic ties between the countries and provide a fresh impetus in this direction.
Mr Dreyer said Switzerland was trying to set up a working group with India on intellectual property rights and also seeking to enhance cooperation in science and technology fields.
‘Location Switzerland’ is the official programme of the Swiss government for the promotion of investments into that country.
Swiss officials said “access to European markets, a highly specialised and multinational workforce and a modest corporate tax rate are just some of the many attributes Switzerland provides foreign companies”.