EFTA and India conduct second round of free trade negotiations

Published: 19-12-2008
Negotiating teams from the EFTA States and India met on 16-19 December 2008 in Geneva to continue talks on a broad-based Free Trade Agreement.

Following up on a first round of negotiations held in New Delhi in October 2008, the meetings allowed both sides to further discuss the structure and main contents of an agreement that would go beyond existing commitments under the WTO.

During the round, discussions focussed on issues relating to trade in goods, including rules of origin and technical barriers to trade, as well as on trade in services, where several sectors of particular interest to the Parties were dealt with in dedicated sessions. Investment and intellectual property rights were further topics addressed by expert groups.

Both sides agreed on a work programme in preparation of the next round which is foreseen to take place in February 2009 in New Delhi.

The EFTA team was led by Ambassador Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, from Switzerland, while Dr Rahul Khullar, Special Secretary of India's Department of Commerce, headed the Indian delegation.