Swiss businesses want free trade with India in the near future

01 December 2023 14:09


Geneva - The 19th meeting of the Switzerland-India Joint Economic Commission focused on discussions towards a free trade agreement. A high-profile delegation of Swiss business representatives reiterated its interest in the negotiations being concluded rapidly.

Officials from Switzerland and India, in addition to representatives from the Swiss business world, took part in the 19th meeting of the Switzerland-India Joint Economic Commission on November 24 at the EFTA Secretariat in Geneva. The discussions were centered around the ongoing negotiations towards the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) between the EFTA states and India. This 19th annual exchange was organized in parallel with the 20th round of negotiations on the free trade agreement.

These discussions were intended to take stock and provide a platform for the private sectors on both sides to exchange views and address issues in their respective markets. According to a press release issued by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), fields of action with particularly high potential, including health, energy, digitalization and large infrastructure projects, as well as education, research and innovation, were all discussed at this year’s talks.

The high-profile business delegation was composed of 16 representatives from the associations economiesuisse, scienceindustries, Swissmem and Swiss Textiles, Switzerland Global Enterprise and the Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce, as well as the companies Novartis, Geobrugg, Georg Fischer, HESS, Julius Bär, MSC, Novartis and Takeda Pharmaceuticals, UBS, SGS and Zurich Insurance. They were unanimous in reiterating their desire for the TEPA negotiations to be concluded rapidly and the renewal of a bilateral investment agreement. Among other organization, economiesuisse, Swiss Textiles and CITI all supported this by issuing press releases of their own. ce/mm

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