Launch of free trade negotiations between EFTA and India

Bern, 26.01.2008 - On 26 January Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard and the ministers of the other EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) took the decision in Davos to launch free trade negotiations with India.

On the fringes of the WEF Annual Meeting 2008, EFTA ministers represented by the head of the FDEA, Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, Iceland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladottir, Liechtenstein's Minister for Foreign Affairs Rita Kieber-Beck and Norway's deputy Trade and Industry Minister Annelene Svingen, met with India's Minister of Commerce and Industry, Kamal Nath.

A joint study group last year conducted a feasibility study at an official level of a comprehensive trade and investment agreement between the EFTA states and India. The subsequent report concludes that a comprehensive trade and investment agreement between the EFTA states and India would significantly enhance bilateral economic relations (trade in goods, services, investment) and could strengthen the competitiveness of firms of both parties. The report recommends the adoption of free trade negotiations.

The ministers acknowledged the report of the study group and took the decision to open negotiations. India is one of the world's ten largest economies. From Switzerland's point of view the agreement sought should contribute to improving the competitiveness of Swiss firms on the Indian market and to enhancing access to one of the most promising markets.

For Switzerland, a country dependent on exports with diversified markets worldwide, the conclusion of free trade agreements with important partner countries - alongside membership of the WTO and the contractual relations with the European Union - is one of three main pillars in its policy of market liberalisation and of improving the general conditions for foreign trade.

Address for enquiries

Ambassador Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, Federal Council Delegate for Trade Agreements, SECO, Foreign Economic Affairs Directorate, Tel. 079 271 96 22


Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research

Last modification 30.01.2024

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