NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India has finalized a groundbreaking $100 billion free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), comprising Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. The deal, signed after 16 years of negotiations, heralds a new era of economic collaboration, with India agreeing to lift most import tariffs on industrial products from these countries over 15 years.

According to India’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, the pact represents a significant milestone in the partnership between India and the EFTA nations. The agreement spans various sectors, including pharmaceuticals, machinery, and manufacturing, promising substantial investments in India.

Under the terms of the agreement, Indian agricultural exporters will benefit from liberalized trade rules, while professionals will enjoy relaxed visa requirements to work in the EFTA zone. The pact also addresses modern trade elements such as intellectual property rights and gender equity, ensuring a fair and equitable arrangement for all parties involved.

Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein will gain access to India’s fast-growing market of 1.4 billion people, opening up new avenues for trade and investment. In return, India will phase out customs duties on a wide range of industrial goods from the EFTA nations, facilitating smoother trade relations.

The agreement is expected to boost exports, promote investment, and create employment opportunities, contributing to mutual growth and prosperity. It underscores India’s commitment to enhancing economic cooperation on the global stage and harnessing the potential of international partnerships for sustainable development.

With the pact set to take effect after ratification by all five countries, including India and the four EFTA nations, the stage is set for enhanced economic engagement and closer ties between India and Europe. As India continues to expand its trade horizons, such agreements play a crucial role in driving economic growth and fostering international collaboration.