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Narendra Modi dials Rishi Sunak, discusses 'early conclusion' of Free Trade Agreement
Rishi Sunak, Narendra Modi discuss early conclusion of FTA. Photo Courtesy: PIB

Narendra Modi dials Rishi Sunak, discusses 'early conclusion' of Free Trade Agreement

| @indiablooms | 13 Mar 2024, 09:51 am

Indian PM Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Rishi Sunak discussed 'early conclusion' of a mutually beneficial Free Trade Agreement on Tuesday.

Following his meeting with Sunak, Modi posted on X: "Had a good conversation with PM @RishiSunak . We reaffirmed our commitment to further strengthen the bilateral Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and work for early conclusion of a mutually beneficial Free Trade Agreement."

During their interaction, Modi and Sunak expressed satisfaction with the progress made under the Roadmap 2030 in diverse areas including trade, investment, defence, security, emerging technologies and others. 

The two leaders also exchanged views on regional and global developments of mutual interest.

"Both leaders agreed to remain in touch and exchanged greetings on the upcoming festive occasion of Holi," read a statement issued by the PMO.

India signs FTA with European Free Trade Association with investment commitment of $100 billion

India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) on Sunday (March 10, 2024) signed a Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA).

The main highlights of the agreement are EFTA’s commitment to promote investments to increase the stock of foreign direct investments by $ 100 billion in India in the next 15 years, and to facilitate the generation of 1 million direct employment in India, through such investments, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

The investments do not cover foreign portfolio investment.

EFTA is an inter-governmental organization set up in 1960 for the promotion of free trade and economic integration for the benefit of its four member states.

EFTA countries include Switzerland, Iceland, Norway & Liechtenstein.

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has approved signing of the TEPA with EFTA States, the statement said.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, Minister said, “TEPA is a modern and ambitious Trade Agreement. For the first time, India is signing FTA with four developed nations - an important economic bloc in Europe. For the first time in history of FTAs, binding commitment of $100 bn investment and 1 million direct jobs in the next 15 years has been given.”

Goyal emphasised that the agreement will give a boost to Make in India and provide opportunities to young and talented workforce, and open window to Indian exporters to access large European and global markets.

The agreement comprises 14 chapters with the main focus on market access related to goods, rules of origin, trade facilitation, trade remedies, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, investment promotion, market access on services, intellectual property rights, trade and sustainable development and other legal and horizontal provisions.

EFTA is an important regional group, with several growing opportunities for enhancing international trade in goods and services.

EFTA is one important economic block out of the three (other two - EU &UK) in Europe.

Among EFTA countries, Switzerland is the largest trading partner of India followed by Norway.

For the first ever time in the history of FTAs, a legal commitment is being made about promoting target-oriented investment and creation of jobs.

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