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EFTA to increase stock of FDI by USD 100 billion in India in next 15 years

01:12 AM Mar 11, 2024 IST | GK NEWS SERVICE
efta to increase stock of fdi by usd 100 billion in india in next 15 years
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New Delhi, Mar 10: India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) officially signed the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA), marking a significant milestone in bilateral relations.

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Dr S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, hailed this momentous occasion as a triumph for India's partnership with EFTA member states - Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. In a message, he expressed his congratulations to his colleague CIM @PiyushGoyal, emphasizing the bold achievement of the TEPA and its implications for international economic collaboration.

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The TEPA represents the culmination of extensive negotiations between India and EFTA countries, including Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein. Approved by the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, this agreement underscores India's commitment to fostering free trade and economic integration for mutual benefit. EFTA, established in 1960 as an intergovernmental organization, has emerged as a crucial platform for promoting economic cooperation among its four member states.

Comprising 14 comprehensive chapters, the TEPA addresses various aspects of trade relations, including market access for goods, rules of origin, trade facilitation, investment promotion, and intellectual property rights. With a focus on enhancing market access and ensuring a level playing field, the agreement sets the stage for deeper economic engagement between India and EFTA countries.

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EFTA holds significant economic potential, serving as a vital regional group within Europe. Among EFTA nations, Switzerland emerges as India's largest trading partner, followed closely by Norway. The TEPA is poised to unlock new opportunities for enhancing bilateral trade and investment flows between India and EFTA member states, bolstering economic growth and prosperity for both parties.

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Here are the key points of the agreement:

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Promoting Investments: EFTA aims to boost investments in India by $100 billion over the next 15 years, creating 1 million jobs. These investments focus on creating direct employment and don't include foreign portfolio investment.

Historic Commitment: This is the first time in FTA history that there's a legal commitment to promote targeted investments and job creation.

Market Access: EFTA offers access to 92.2% of its tariff lines, covering 99.6% of India's exports. India, in return, offers access to 82.7% of its tariff lines, covering 95.3% of EFTA exports, with some sensitive sectors excluded.

Sub Sector Offers: India offers 105 sub-sectors to EFTA and secures commitments in 128 sub-sectors from EFTA countries.

Stimulating Service Exports: TEPA will boost India's services exports, particularly in IT, business, education, and entertainment sectors.

Improved Access: EFTA offers improved access to its services through digital delivery, commercial presence, and better entry conditions for key personnel.

Mutual Recognition Agreements: TEPA includes provisions for mutual recognition agreements in professional services like nursing, accountancy, and architecture.

Intellectual Property Rights: TEPA ensures commitments at TRIPS level, addressing concerns about generic medicines and patent regulations.

Commitment to Sustainable Development: The agreement signals India's commitment to sustainable development, inclusive growth, and environmental protection.

Facilitating Trade Procedures: TEPA aims to streamline trade procedures, fostering transparency, efficiency, and harmonization.

Boosting Exports and Investments: TEPA empowers exporters with access to specialized inputs, boosting exports and providing opportunities for the services sector to access more markets.

Integration into EU markets: TEPA provides an opportunity for Indian companies to integrate into EU markets, particularly through Switzerland.

Promoting Domestic Manufacturing: TEPA encourages domestic manufacturing in various sectors, supporting initiatives like "Make in India" and "Atmanirbhar Bharat."

Job Creations: TEPA is expected to create a large number of direct jobs for India's young workforce over the next 15 years, along with better vocational and technical training facilities.

Technology Collaboration: TEPA facilitates technology collaboration and access to leading-edge technologies in various sectors like precision engineering, health sciences, renewable energy, innovation, and research and development.

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