Fibre2Fashion - 11 August 2022
Switzerland keen on closing free trade agreement talks with India
Switzerland advocated for the quick completion of negotiations regarding the free trade agreement between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and India in a recent meeting held between Swiss federal councillor Ueli Maurer and Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi. Switzerland is a member of the EFTA along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.
Trade between India and Switzerland reached around $31.8 billion in 2021, making the former the second-biggest Asian trading partner of the latter, as per statistics released by the Swiss government.
“Both sides discussed areas for enhanced cooperation, including on fintech, automatic exchange of information, renewable energy, sunrise sectors as well as infrastructure investments and sustainable finance,” said the Indian ministry of finance on Twitter.
The Swiss Federal Department of Finance also issued a statement promoting the finalisation of the negotiations on an EFTA free trade agreement with India. “Maurer promoted open markets and emphasised that stronger trade has a positive impact on a country’s prosperity in the long term,” the statement added.
While India’s exports to the EFTA amounted to $1.7 billion in FY22, its imports touched $25.5 billion in the same period. Of these, imports just from Switzerland were valued at $23.4 billion. Discussions regarding a broader trade and investment agreement between India and EFTA members officially began in January 2008 until they were put on hold in 2013, and recently picked up in October 2016.