India inks landmark trade deal with EFTA Bloc

$100 Bn. in Investments and 1 Million Direct Jobs in the next 15 Years

After 21 rounds of talks and 16 years of negotiations, India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) signed a trade deal on March 10, 2024. The agreement, known as the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA), is expected to boost trade and provide benefits for both sides.

EFTA, a group of four nations comprising Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, is a strong economic force with a combined GDP exceeding $1 trillion. The agreement commits to streamline trade by eliminating or reducing tariffs on various goods from diverse industries.

It allows EFTA nations an open door to export processed food and beverages, electrical machinery, and other engineering products to the vast Indian market at lower tariffs. Pharmaceutical and medical devices industries of the bloc will also benefit from this landmark deal.

Indian consumers can expect easier access to EFTA’s high-quality goods, and it will also simplify customs procedures and attract investment.

Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Food and Consumer Affairs and Textiles shared, “TEPA is a modern and ambitious Trade Agreement. For the first time, India is signing an FTA with four developed nations – an important economic bloc in Europe. For the first time in the history of FTAs, a binding commitment of $100 bn investment and 1 million direct jobs in the next 15 years has been given. The agreement will give a boost to Make in India and provide opportunities to the young & talented workforce. The FTA will provide a window to Indian exporters to access large European and global markets.”

Overall, this deal looks like a positive step towards deeper economic integration. It has the potential to generate substantial economic growth, create jobs, and foster closer ties between the regions.

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