EFTA-India Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA): Two Ministerial gatherings to find common ground in the run up towards conclusion

Published 14-12-2023
From left to right: Helene Budliger Artieda, Swiss State Secretary, Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce of India, Jan Christian Vestre, Minister of Trade and Industry of Norway
New Delhi, 13 December 2023

On 12 and 13 December 2023, high-level delegations from EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) and India met in New Delhi to settle on common priorities and pave the way for the conclusive stages of the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations.

Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles of India headed the Indian delegations, while the EFTA delegation was co-led by Helene Budliger Artieda, Swiss State Secretary at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (acting as EFTA Spokesperson) and Jan Christian Vestre, Minister of Trade and Industry of Norway.

The first encounter aimed at taking stock, agreeing on the work to be carried out in the sensitive areas and providing guidance to the experts on the steps to be taken to finalise the negotiations. Subsequently, the second meeting, held in the newly inaugurated Indian Parliament House, brought together the high-level delegates in a smaller setting. The focus was on ensuring a common understanding on the way forward and maintaining dynamics. Both sides ended their addresses by thanking the negotiating teams for their resilience, flexibility and hard work during the final stretch.

On this basis, negotiating teams have agreed on concrete timelines with a schedule of meetings for the upcoming week to chart the path towards closure.

Economic relations between the EFTA States and India

Over the past two decades, the total trade between the EFTA States and India has been growing steadily. In 2022, the combined EFTA-India merchandise trade surpassed USD 6.1 billion. The primary imports to the EFTA States consisted of organic chemicals (27.5%), while machinery (17.5%) and pharmaceutical products (11.4%), excluding gold, constituted the main exports to India. Furthermore, services trade and foreign direct investment have also reached substantial levels. Read more about merchandise trade between EFTA and India here.

Senior Officer
Trade Relations Division

+41 22 332 26 32

Administrative and Communication Coordinator
Trade Relations Division

+41 22 332 26 39

Request more information

Questions about trade and our free trade agreements? The EFTA Secretariat is here to answer your questions on trade matters.

Was the content helpful?