The small group of nations in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) may invest up to $100 billion in India over the next decade-and-a-half as part of a comprehensive trade deal, Bloomberg reported, citing unidentified people aware of the matter.
Press Insider last month reported that India and Switzerland have agreed on “balanced solutions” to most issues in the EFTA-India trade and economic partnership agreement (TEPA).
Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein form the EFTA.
“After 16 years of negotiations we found balanced solutions to the main open issues of the EFTA-India trade agreement,” Swiss economy minister Guy Parmelin posted last month on social platform X.
“Our teams are working around the clock to settle the last details so that it can be signed as soon as possible,” Parmelin wrote in the post, while including a photograph of the negotiations with Goyal.
While India is pushing for the investment pledge to be legally binding, the commitment may be included as a goal in the final document, the Bloomberg report added.
India and the EFTA states have been in talks to strike a trade deal since 2008.
The Swiss embassy said patent protection, a controversial issue in the past, “as well as a new type of investment promotion chapter” have been agreed upon.
“The texts are still to be finalized and both parties have agreed not to disclose the details at this stage,” the embassy statement said.
Switzerland’s ambassador to India, Ralf Heckner, last month expressed optimism that the deal would be wrapped up before this year’s general election, Press Trust of India reported.
India’s merchandise trade with EFTA countries in FY23 stood at $18.7 billion, including $1.9 billion in exports.
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