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India Signs Free Trade Agreement With European Free Trade Association

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New Delhi: India has taken a significant stride towards enhancing its global trade relations by signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) bloc. The agreement was formalized on Sunday, with Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal co-chairing the pivotal meeting held in the national capital to finalize the India-EFTA trade pact.

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a regional trade organisation of four countries–Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland–that aims to promote free trade and economic integration.

Earlier in the day, the Foreign Minister of Iceland, Bjarni Benediktsson, and Liechtenstein, Dominique Hasler, arrived in the national capital for the signing of Trade and Economic Participation Agreement (TEPA).

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson, Randhir Jaiswal posted about her arrival sayng that the visit by the Liechtenstein minister will boost economic and commercial partnership between the two countries. He added that Benediktsson’s visit would further strengthen India-Iceland ties, including in spheres of trade and investment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated the negotiators and signatories involved in the signing of the Trade and Economic Participation Agreement (TEPA).

“May this agreement mark the beginning of a new chapter in the journey of our nations toward a more prosperous future for us all,” PM Modi said in a letter.

EFTA and India began negotiating a free trade agreement 15 years ago and the deal was eventually closed after 20 rounds of negotiations. Over the past few months, India and EFTA have significantly intensified their engagement, highlighting the commitment of both parties to achieving an early conclusion to the TEPA negotiations.

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