India-European Free Trade Association signed Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) on 10th March 2024

India has been recently working towards a Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) with EFTA countries comprising Switzerland, Iceland, Norway & Liechtenstein.

India-European Free Trade Association signed Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) on 10th March 2024

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister has approved the signing of the TEPA with the EFTA States. EFTA is an inter-governmental organization set up in 1960 for the promotion of free trade and economic integration for the benefit of its four Member States.

The agreement comprises 14 chapters with the main focus on market access related to goods, rules of origin, trade facilitation, trade remedies, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, investment promotion, market access on services, intellectual property rights, trade and sustainable development and other legal and horizontal provisions.

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EFTA has committed to promoting investments to increase the stock of foreign direct investments by USD 100 billion in India in the next 15 years, and to facilitate the generation of 1 million direct employment in India, through such investments. The investments do not cover foreign portfolio investment. EFTA is offering 92.2% of its tariff lines which covers 99.6% of India’s exports.

The EFTA’s market access offer covers 100% of non-agri products and tariff concession on Processed Agricultural Products (PAP). India is offering 82.7% of its tariff lines which covers 95.3% of EFTA exports of which more than 80% of import is Gold. The effective duty on Gold remains untouched.

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Sensitivity related to PLI in sectors such as pharma, medical devices & processed food etc. have been taken while extending offers. Sectors such as dairy, soya, coal, and sensitive agricultural products are kept on the exclusion list.

India has offered 105 sub-sectors to the EFTA and secured commitments in 128 sub-sectors from Switzerland, 114 from Norway, 107 from Liechtenstein, and 110 from Iceland. Services offered by EFTA include better access through digital delivery of Services (Mode 1), commercial presence (Mode 3), and improved commitments and certainty for entry and temporary stay of key personnel (Mode 4).

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