India and the European Free Trade Association agree on an early conclusion of the free trade agreement

India and the four-nation bloc EFTA have agreed to an early conclusion of negotiations on a free trade agreement aimed at strengthening economic ties between the countries, the Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday.

India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – are negotiating the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA).

Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal discussed the progress of the agreement on July 11 and 12 in London with a delegation from the European Free Trade Association led by the Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Helene Budliger Artieda.

Helene Budliger Artieda was also accompanied by industry representatives from the pharmaceutical, machine and electronics industries in the EFTA countries.

“The consultations between Minister Piyush Goyal and State Secretary Helene Budliger Artieda were fruitful and detailed discussions on crucial issues with the common goal of concluding the TEPA negotiations quickly,” it said.

The main objective of these negotiations is to conclude a fair, mutually beneficial and comprehensive trade agreement between India and EFTA.

In recent months, India and EFTA have intensified their engagement and underlined the commitment of both parties to an early conclusion of the TEPA negotiations, it said.

The London meeting further strengthened this commitment and both sides showed their strong willingness to make progress towards a final agreement.

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