India signs $100bn free trade deal with four European countries

India and a consortium of four non-European Union European countries have entered into a free-trade agreement (FTA).

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) agreement will result in $100 billion (£77.8 billion) in investments in India, according to the trade minister of the country.

Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein comprise the EFTA.

The announcement comes after two years of FTA negotiations between the United Kingdom and India.

“This historic agreement reaffirms our dedication to fostering economic development and generating prospects for our younger generation,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a formal declaration.

As we fortify our ties with EFTA nations, he continued, the future will be filled with increased prosperity and reciprocal expansion.India signs $100bn free trade deal with four European countries

Achieving this agreement required nearly sixteen years of negotiations. In exchange for 15-year investments, India will eliminate the majority of import tariffs on industrial products from the four countries under the terms of this agreement.

Anticipated investments are anticipated to be distributed among various sectors, such as manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and machinery.

EFTA-India Trade Agreement Progress

The EFTA stated in a statement that the agreement simplifies customs procedures and improves market access, thereby facilitating the expansion of operations in the respective markets for Indian and EFTA businesses.

Subsequent to its implementation, ratification of the agreement by Switzerland and the four EFTA nations is mandatory; India is expected to do so within the next year.

General elections are scheduled to take place in India this year, coinciding with Mr. Modi’s pursuit of an unprecedented third term in office.

India has entered into trade agreements with both Australia and the United Arab Emirates over the past two years.

Last week, Kemi Badenoch, the trade minister of the United Kingdom, expressed the “challenging” nature of the situation if the country were to execute a free trade agreement with India prior to the country’s elections.

She further stated, “I have my doubts that this will be the case because I do not wish to use an election as a deadline.”

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