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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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    HomeWorld News"India and EFTA Await Free Trade Agreement Announcement"

    “India and EFTA Await Free Trade Agreement Announcement”

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    India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states are on the brink of unveiling a significant free trade agreement, pending political approval from both parties. Simultaneously, British negotiators have arrived in New Delhi to advocate for a proposed trade deal, despite facing obstacles related to tariffs, market access, and professional mobility.

    The negotiations between India and the EFTA states, comprising Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, have reached an advanced stage, with a mutually agreeable draft awaiting endorsement. The proposed Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) encompasses various aspects such as trade in goods and services, rules of origin, intellectual property rights, investment promotion, trade facilitation, and sustainable development.

    A key motivation behind the TEPA is to address India’s significant trade deficit with European nations, which exceeded $18.57 billion in 2023. The agreement is expected to bolster bilateral trade by expanding beyond traditional sectors and exploring opportunities for long-term investments.

    Both sides have demonstrated a willingness to accommodate each other’s concerns, leading to concessions on issues like intellectual property rights and long-term investments. India’s exports to the EFTA region during January-December 2023 amounted to $1.87 billion, highlighting the potential for further growth in trade volumes.

    Meanwhile, negotiations between India and the UK face challenges, particularly concerning tariffs for alcohol, access to the Indian automobile market, and India’s demand for enhanced professional mobility in the UK. Despite efforts to revive discussions, immediate progress appears unlikely before India enters its election cycle.

    Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ambition to finalize the trade deal by October 2022 has encountered setbacks due to prevailing political dynamics and uncertainties surrounding the UK’s upcoming elections. While British negotiators remain optimistic, there is limited enthusiasm in New Delhi to expedite the agreement, given prevailing perceptions about the potential outcome of the UK elections.

    Overall, the developments underscore the intricate dynamics surrounding international trade negotiations, with India and its counterparts navigating complex issues to promote economic cooperation and address trade imbalances. As discussions continue, stakeholders remain hopeful for fruitful outcomes that benefit all parties involved.

    Sources By Agencies

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