Free trade with India draws closer

15 May 2023 10:41

SICC

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Bern/Brussels - The EFTA states have come one step closer to a free trade agreement with India. On May 14, high-ranking delegates met in Brussels to discuss the key topics for an agreement that could bring significant economic advantages to both sides.

High-ranking delegates from the states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and India forged ahead with negotiations on a free trade agreement in Brussels on May 14. Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin led the EFTA delegation while the Indian side was headed up by Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Textiles.

According to a press release from the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), this second high-level meeting followed a raft of expert meetings that had taken place online during the preceding week. It is said to have offered a new opportunity to discuss key topics to ensure an advantageous agreement for both sides. Overall, according to the EAER, it was “a positive step to drive forward negotiations on a free trade agreement between EFTA and India that could bring substantial economic advantages for both parties.” Specifically, the EAER anticipates increased trade and investment, job creation, and economic growth.

India recorded a trade surplus in 2022: imports from India to EFTA increased by 16.4 percent, while exports to India rose by 7.4 percent. EFTA above all exported machines and chemical products, while imports from India mainly consisted of organic chemicals, textiles, and metals. ce/mm

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