Switzerland achieves breakthrough in free trade agreement with India

24 January 2024 12:41


Bern/Mumbai - Following a meeting convened at short notice with Indian negotiators, Guy Parmelin has announced an agreement on the main features of a trade agreement between the EFTA states and India. Work is now underway to clarify the final details.

Switzerland negotiated on behalf of the EFTA states (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway) in Mumbai on 19 and 20 January. Together with the Indian delegation, it concluded that a free trade agreement (FTA) is within reach. As Economics Minister Guy Parmelin announced via the microblogging site "X" on his return to Geneva, he traveled directly from the World Economic Forum in Davos to Mumbai at the last-minute invitation of his Indian counterpart Piyush Goyal. "Here, after 16 years of negotiations, we have agreed on the main features of the EFTA-India trade agreement," he wrote. 

The content of the agreement remains under wraps. In order to be able to sign the FTA "as soon as possible", continued Parmelin later on “X”, "our teams are working flat out to clarify the remaining outstanding details".

Economiesuisse welcomed this latest development. According to a statement from the umbrella organization of the Swiss economy, the agreement holds "great growth potential for Swiss foreign trade" in light of India's enormous economic growth. It is therefore "strategically important". Once the FTA has been signed, it will need to be ratified by parliament. ce/mm

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