India and EFTA

India and EFTA

News: Recently, India and the four European countries that form the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) have expressed their willingness to resume their negotiations for a Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA).

What is EFTA?
 It is an intergovernmental organization that was established in 1960 as 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.
 EFTA is India's 9th largest trading partner, accounting for about 2.5% of India's total merchandise trade in 2020-21.

  • What is TEPA?
     It aims to create opportunities for trade and investment between India and EFTA by eliminating/reducing tariffs and
    non-tariff barriers on a wide range of products.
     It aims to ensure fair and transparent market access conditions for service providers and investors and will enhance cooperation on intellectual property rights protection and enforcement.
     TEPA aims to facilitate trade procedures and customs cooperation along with effective mechanisms for dispute resolution.
  1. What trade does it cover?
     Trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition, government procurement, trade facilitation, trade remedies, dispute settlement, and other areas of mutual interest.
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