India, Four-Nation European Bloc To Sign Trade Deal

India, Four-Nation European Bloc To Sign Trade Deal

India and a European bloc comprising Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland are set to finalise a trade pact on March 10, with India aiming for a $100 billion investment commitment from the group.

This pact consists of goods, services, and investment promotion, with a groundbreaking provision for targeted investment from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in India, aiming to create employment opportunities.

India is considering duty reductions on specific gold imports from Switzerland. The agreement targets a $50 billion investment commitment over the first decade post-implementation and an additional $50 billion over the subsequent five years to generate 1 million direct jobs in India.

Sectors, like processed agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and processed food, are expected to gain greater access to EFTA markets. However, products like soya and dairy will remain excluded from duty concessions.

The pact, named the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA), encompasses 14 chapters, including provisions on intellectual property rights and government procurement. The signing ceremony may include ministers such as Guy Parmelin, Bjarni Benediktsson, Dominique Hasler, and Jan Christian Vestre, representing the EFTA bloc.

Negotiations between India and EFTA have been ongoing since January 2008, aiming to strengthen economic ties between the parties.