Economic DiplomacyIndia

India and European EFTA Bloc Forge Groundbreaking $100 Billion Free Trade Alliance

March 10, 2024 12:25 pm


In a landmark development aimed at fostering economic collaboration and bolstering trade relations, India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), comprised of non-European Union nations such as Norway and Switzerland, have inked a historic $100 billion free trade agreement.

The agreement, formally known as the India-EFTA Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA), represents a significant milestone in the growing partnership between India and the EFTA bloc. Under the terms of the deal, the EFTA nations, known for their robust economies, will invest $100 billion over the span of 15 years in India, solidifying its position as the world’s fifth-largest economy.

Trade Minister Piyush Goyal hailed the agreement as a “historic milestone,” emphasizing its potential to spur mutual growth and prosperity by facilitating increased exports, promoting investment, and generating employment opportunities in both regions. The culmination of several rounds of negotiations spanning 16 years, this agreement underscores the commitment of both parties to open, fair, and equitable trade practices.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the agreement’s significance as a testament to the shared commitment to fostering open and transparent trade relations. Swiss Economy Minister Guy Parmelin lauded the deal as a catalyst for leveraging the economic potential of both India and the EFTA states, creating additional opportunities for bilateral trade and investment.

Parmelin highlighted the mutual benefits of the agreement, emphasizing that EFTA countries would gain enhanced market access to India, a major growth market, while India would attract greater foreign investment from EFTA nations, leading to the creation of high-quality jobs.

Established in 1960 with the aim of promoting free trade and economic integration among its members, EFTA has emerged as a formidable player in global trade, ranking as the 10th largest trader in merchandise and the eighth largest in services in 2021.

This groundbreaking agreement comes on the heels of India’s recent trade pacts with Australia and the United Arab Emirates, signaling its commitment to expanding its global trade network. Additionally, negotiations for a long-anticipated trade deal with Britain are reportedly in the final stages, further underscoring India’s proactive approach to strengthening its economic ties with key international partners.

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