Trade with EFTA to boost bilateral trade and investments: Govt

Both India and the States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) have agreed to resume negotiations

May 16, 2023

Piyush Goyal discussed modalities for Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) with the EFTA representatives

A TEPA between EFTA and India could bring significant economic benefits, including integrated and resilient supply chains

India's exports to EFTA countries during April-February 2022-23 amounted to US$ 1.67 billion

On the other hand, imports aggregated at US$ 15 billion

A trade agreement between India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), consisting of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, would enhance commerce, investment flows, job creation, and economic growth for both regions, according to a government statement. 

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, recently held talks with representatives from EFTA to discuss modalities for a Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) in Brussels. Both sides have agreed to resume negotiations for the agreement and will continue discussions to reach a common understanding on critical issues. The aim is to build their discussions on principles of trust and respect for each other’s sensitivities to achieve a fair, equitable, and balanced agreement.

A free trade agreement between the two regions is officially known as TEPA, under which two trading partners significantly reduce or eliminate customs duties on the maximum number of goods traded between them, besides easing norms to promote trade in services and investments.

A TEPA between EFTA and India could bring significant economic benefits, including integrated and resilient supply chains and new opportunities for businesses and individuals on both sides, leading to increased trade and investment flows, job creation, and economic growth.

EFTA countries are not part of the European Union and serve as an alternative for states that did not join the Union. India’s exports to EFTA countries during April-February 2022-23 amounted to US$ 1.67 billion compared to US$ 1.74 billion in 2021-22, while imports aggregated at US$ 15 billion during in 11 months as compared to US$ 25.5 billion in 2021-22, with the trade gap in favour of the EFTA group.

Source: Financial Express

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