According to a statement released on Monday, a free trade agreement between India and the EFTA, a group of four countries, will improve two-way trade, investment flows, job creation, and economic growth.

Piyush Goyal, the minister of commerce and industry, met with representatives of the EFTA states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland while he was in Brussels to discuss the terms of engagement for advancing a comprehensive Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA).

A press release issued after the negotiations concluded stated that “India and the EFTA states…discussed the modalities of engagement for working towards a comprehensive TEPA.”

It stated that in order to reach an understanding, the delegations decided to step up their efforts and keep the conversations moving forward at a steady pace, with numerous additional meetings scheduled over the upcoming months. on crucial TEPA-related concerns.

To reach a fair, equitable, and balanced agreement, both parties stressed the significance of basing their discussions on the tenets of trust and respect for one another’s sensibilities, it was stated.

In fact, the publication stated that a TEPA between EFTA and India “could indeed bring significant economic benefits, including integrated and resilient supply chains and new opportunities for businesses and individuals on both sides leading to increased trade and investment flows, job creation, and economic growth.”Goyal met with Kurt Jäger, Ambassador, Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to EFTA, Guy Parmelin, Swiss Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research; Einar Gunnarsson, Ambassador, Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Iceland in Geneva; and and Erik Andreas Underland, Director Specialised at the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries of Norway.

TEPA is the name given to the two regions’ free trade agreement.

Such agreements ease regulations to encourage trade in services and investments while also reducing or eliminating customs tariffs on the maximum amount of goods that can be traded between two trading partners.The European Union (EU) does not include the EFTA nations.

An intergovernmental association called EFTA exists to advance and strengthen free trade. It was established as an alternative for nations which wished to remain outside of the European Community.India exported USD 1.67 billion to EFTA nations between April and February 2022–23 as opposed to USD 1.74 billion in 2021–22. The total amount of imports during the Comparing an 11-month period to USD 25.5 billion in 2021–22. The EFTA group benefits from the trade imbalance.