Daily News Analysis » March 2024 » India-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Trade Agreement : 12 Mar 2024

India-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Trade Agreement : 12 Mar 2024

What is EFTA?

  • EFTA is an intergovernmental organization that was established in 1960
  • It is an alternative trade bloc for those European states that were unable or unwilling to join the European Union (EU).
  • EFTA comprises Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

Name of the Agreement:

  •  Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA)

Highlights of the Agreement:

  • Investment and Employment: EFTA commits to promoting investments to increase foreign direct investments by USD 100 billion in India in 15 years and generate 1 million direct jobs.
  • Market Access: EFTA offers 92.2% of its tariff lines, covering 99.6% of India’s exports. India offers 82.7% of its tariff lines, covering 95.3% of EFTA exports.
  • Service Sector: India has offered 105 sub-sectors with commitments secured in 128 to 114 sub-sectors from EFTA countries, focusing on IT services, business services, and more.
  • Intellectual Property Rights: Commitments related to IPR are at the TRIPS level, addressing India’s interests in generic medicines and concerns related to evergreening of patents.
  • Sustainable Development: TEPA emphasizes India’s commitment to sustainable development, inclusive growth, social development, and environmental protection.
  • Trade Facilitation: Aims to foster transparency, efficiency, simplification, harmonization, and consistency in trade procedures.

Why in News:

  • Recently, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) States and India signed a Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA).