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EFTA and India make headway in free trade negotiations
Delegations from the EFTA States and India convened for a 12th round of negotiations from 14 to 18 October 2013 in New Delhi, addressing key open issues in the envisaged broad-based free trade agreement (FTA).
Building on several meetings between the chief negotiators since the last round of negotiations, as well as on interaction between experts in several fields, the delegations focused on the main elements outstanding in the draft FTA. Progress was achieved in areas such as trade in goods, rules of origin, trade facilitation and sustainable development.
An ambitious work plan was agreed for the coming weeks, including further meetings at the level of chief negotiators and experts. At the round in New Delhi, State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch from Switzerland acted as EFTA’s spokesperson, while Shri Rajeev Kher, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, led the Indian side.
In 2012, EFTA’s merchandise trade with India amounted to USD 5.3 billion. Trade in services and direct investments between the two sides also stand at significant levels.