The progress of the negotiations was reviewed by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and UK’s Secretary of State for Trade Kemi Badenoch on August 26.
Four-nation bloc EFTA is looking at significant reduction in trade barriers on sectors such as machine tools, advanced chemicals, pharma, chocolates, Norwegian and Icelandic fish in the proposed free trade agreement with India, a Swiss minister said.
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).
India and the four-nation bloc EFTA have agreed for early conclusion of negotiations for a free trade agreement, which aims at increasing economic ties between the countries, the commerce ministry said.
India and the EFTA agreed in April to resume negotiations on a trade and economic partnership agreement following a push from the European states.
The Indian government and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states are making progress toward a new Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA), according to a joint statement released by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry said.
The development comes in the backdrop of a meeting between high-level delegations from India and EFTA to boost bilateral trade and economic partnership.
Four ministers of the European Free Trade Association are coming on April 26 to discuss potential trade engagement and free trade agreement, Goyal said here while addressing a business meeting.
The European Free Trade Association is a free trade area between four countries – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland — and the trade deal negotiations have lingered on for over 15 years.
The negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement between India and Switzerland will resume in February this year when the Swiss trade secretary will be on a visit to New Delhi.
Switzerland advocated for the quick completion of negotiations regarding the free trade agreement between the EFTA and India in a recent meeting held between Swiss federal councillor Ueli Maurer and Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi.
India hasn’t shunned efforts to forge “balanced” trade agreements despite renewed push for self-reliance, and talks with key partners, including the US, the EU and Australia, will gain momentum once the impact of the pandemic wanes considerably.
South Korea has secured 16 free trade partners — 12 countries and four trade blocs — around the globe since it started pursuing bilateral free trade agreements two decades ago.
India is making efforts to speed up free trade negotiations with the EFTA countries comprising Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Leichtenstein in parallel with its discussions with the European Union on a similar pact.
Several new trade pacts that cater to transnational corporations, like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or the proposed deals pending with Europe, threaten to radically change the map and wipe out India’s small dairy producers.
India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries are working on the nuts and bolts of their free trade agreement
The two leaders will also discuss, among other trade and business matter, the envisaged free trade agreement between India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which Switzerland is a member.
Under a free trade pact, partners offer market access to each other by eliminating or significantly reducing duties with a view to promoting bilateral trade in goods.
Switzerland insists on intellectual property commitments beyond TRIPS.
India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) will meet this month in an attempt to conclude their long pending negotiations, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here on Friday.