Updated March 11th, 2024 at 11:26 IST

'Watershed Moment': Prime Minister Modi Hails India-EFTA Trade Agreement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the India-EFTA Trade & Economic Partnership Agreement calling it a “watershed moment” in India's ties with Europe.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
PM Modi lauds India's FTA with EFTA | Image:PTI / X - @PiyushGoyal
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New Delhi – Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the India-EFTA Trade & Economic Partnership Agreement calling it a “watershed moment” in the bilateral ties between India and the continent of Europe. On Sunday, New Delhi signed a trade agreement with four European nations including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland which included a commitment of $100 billion in investments in the next 15 years. The agreement also focuses on creating one million direct jobs in India within this duration. Expressing his delights over the landmark pact, the Prime Minister shared his message on the matter on X, formally known as Twitter. 

“Delighted by the signing of the India-EFTA Trade & Economic Partnership Agreement. This landmark pact underlines our commitment to boosting economic progress and creating opportunities for our youth. The times ahead will bring more prosperity and mutual growth as we strengthen our bonds with EFTA nations,” PM Modi wrote on X, formally known as Twitter. In his extended remarks, PM Modi went on to call it a “well-balanced” pact. “The tenth of March 2024 marks a new turn and a watershed moment in the bilateral relationship between India and EFTA countries of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Heartiest congratulations and best wishes to the negotiators and signatories involved in the signing of the India-EFTA Trade and Economic Participation Agreement (TEPA),” PM Modi explained. “The culmination of efforts to finalise an innovative, well-balanced trade deal that reflects our respective developmental aspirations is commendable. One of the most pioneering free trade agreements ever concluded between our countries, TEPA emphasises our steadfast commitment to shared prosperity and our drive to cultivate a stronger, more inclusive partnership between India and EFTA, furthering the aspirations of our people,” he furthered. 

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Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal called the agreement historic, adding that it was the first time India had signed an agreement with an important economic bloc in Europe. The India-EFTA agreement includes trade in goods and services, investment promotion and cooperation, intellectual property, government procurement, trade and sustainable development, and dispute settlement. It also provides an opportunity for Indian exporters to access the European and overall global markets.

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Beginning of a new chapter: PM Modi

In his message, Prime Minister Modi reiterated his goal to make India the third-largest economy in the world. He went on to call the agreement a new chapter to India's move towards prosperity. “In the last 10 years, India's economy has taken a quantum leap, moving from being the world's eleventh-largest economy to the fifth-largest. Our next goal is to make India's economy the third-largest economy in the world. Through wide-ranging reforms, we have enhanced the ease of doing business and have helped our nation touch new heights in business, manufacturing and exports,” the Prime Minister explained. "India will extend all possible support to EFTA countries and facilitate industry and businesses, not only to achieve the committed targets but also go beyond them.
May this agreement mark the beginning of a new chapter in the journey of our nations toward a more prosperous future for us all," he concluded. 

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The historic agreement was signed in New Delhi by Goyal, his Swiss counterpart Guy Parmelin, Iceland’s Foreign Minister Bjarni Benediktsson, Liechtenstein’s Foreign Minister Dominique Hasler, and Norway’s Trade and Industry Minister Jan Christian Vestre.
 

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Published March 11th, 2024 at 11:26 IST