India-EFTA trade pact likely by early 2014

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 18 2013, 09:25am hrs
India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) comprising Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein are planning to ink a broad-based bilateral trade and investment agreement (BTIA) by early 2014.

Officials from the EFTA member countries are in the capital for the 12th round of negotiations. The negotiations had begun in October 2008 with a view to boost bilateral trade and investment as well as to strengthen ties in other areas of economic cooperation.

"We have come to the conclusion that there is a window of opportunity and energy on both sides to conclude the negotiations in the next few weeks. If everything goes right, the agreement would be signed by early next year," Swiss ambassador Linus von Castelmur told reporters at an event organised by the Embassy of Switzerland.

He said the agreement will be beneficial to India and the EFTA countries as it would lead to greater investment and enhanced market access for goods and services.