India to finalise trade agreement with EFTA

European Free Trade Association (EFTA) comprises Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland

January 23, 2024

Piyush Goyal recently met with Swiss Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin in Mumbai to discuss these matters

Negotiations for the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) have been ongoing since January 2008 to enhance economic ties

EFTA currently has 29 free trade agreements (FTAs) with 40 partner countries, including Canada, Chile, China, Mexico, and Korea

In 2022-23, India's exports to the EFTA trading block amounted to US$ 1.92 billion

India and the EFTA, consisting of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, are on the verge of finalising a trade agreement. According to a senior official, both parties have reached a mutual understanding on key issues after extensive negotiations.

The Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal, recently met with Swiss Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin in Mumbai to discuss these matters. The latest round of talks between the countries concluded on January 13 in India. Notably, negotiations for the TEPA have been ongoing since January 2008 to enhance economic ties.

The ongoing negotiations cover various chapters, including trade in goods, rules of origin, intellectual property rights (IPRs), trade in services, investment promotion and cooperation, trade and sustainable development, and trade facilitation.

EFTA currently has 29 free trade agreements (FTAs) with 40 partner countries, including Canada, Chile, China, Mexico, and Korea. These agreements involve substantially reducing or eliminating customs duties on traded goods, along with eased norms to encourage trade in services and investments.

It’s important to note that EFTA countries operate independently from the European Union (EU), functioning as an inter-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting and intensifying free trade.

In the fiscal year 2022-23, India’s exports to the EFTA trading block amounted to US$ 1.92 billion, compared to US$ 1.74 billion in 2021-22. Meanwhile, imports totalled US$ 16.74 billion in the last fiscal year, down from US$ 25.5 billion in 2021-22.

Source: Mint

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