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EFTA, India Hold Ninth-Round FTA Negotiations

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

25 October 2011


Delegations from the four European Free Trade Association states (Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway), and India have met for a ninth round of negotiations towards a broad-based free trade agreement.

Building on work since the last round of negotiations in June, EFTA said that significant progress was made on most parts of a future comprehensive trade pact.

Talks continued to focus on outstanding areas in relation to trade in industrial goods, fish, agriculture products, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, rules of origin, customs procedures and trade facilitation, trade defence, competition and legal and institutional issues.

Other subjects, such as investment, government procurement, intellectual property rights and sustainable development, were also discussed, EFTA said.

Negotiations towards a Free Trade Agreement were initiated in January 2008. A feasibility study, endorsed by the ministers at this 2008 meeting, set an objective of achieving freer trade through the reduction of trade tariffs for mutual benefit.

Upon launching the negotiations, EFTA noted that trade flows between the bloc and India have grown rapidly despite the absence of an FTA. Trade amounted to approximately USD2.7bn in 2006, an increase of 30% on 2005.

EFTA and India have agreed to reconvene for a tenth round of negotiations at the end of November 2011.

TAGS: tax | Iceland | India | export duty | intellectual property | tariffs | Liechtenstein | Norway | Switzerland | import duty | trade

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