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Switzerland, India Committed To Free Trade

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

04 September 2017


Switzerland and India have reiterated their commitment to a free trade agreement between India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

Swiss President Doris Leuthard held official talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 31.

According to a statement issued by the Swiss Federal Council, both Switzerland and India are aware that the potential benefits of their bilateral economic relationship are not being fully exploited.

They both reiterated their commitment to bringing the EFTA-India negotiations to a conclusion, and Leuthard stressed that Switzerland is seeking pragmatic solutions. Leuthard is also seeking a bilateral investment protection agreement between Switzerland and India.

Free trade negotiations between the EFTA and India began in 2008, with 13 rounds being held until November 2013. Talks resumed in October 2016, and the most recent round of negotiations was held in May-June 2017. The next round is scheduled to take place this autumn.

Leuthard and Modi also discussed international tax issues. Switzerland and India signed a joint declaration on the automatic exchange of tax information in 2016.

Leuthard told reporters that her government hopes that legislation to implement the agreement can be passed by the end of the year, and that the first exchanges can take place in 2019.

Modi added: "As per the provision of the declaration, after the completion of [the] internal process in Switzerland, information will be shared with us on an automatic basis."

TAGS: compliance | tax | investment | free trade agreement (FTA) | tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) | tax compliance | India | export duty | trade treaty | agreements | legislation | Switzerland | import duty | revenue statistics | trade | Europe | Tax | Tax Evasion

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