Business Standard

India-EFTA FTA: Goyal to meet Swiss investors on on $100-bn FDI commitment

The minister's visit to Switzerland will also see discussions on the ratification of the trade deal by both sides

Piyush Goyal, Piyush

Photo: PTI

Shreya Nandi New Delhi

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Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal is set to travel to Switzerland on Sunday to meet investors, in line with the $100-billion investment commitment under the India-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) trade deal signed earlier this year.

The minister’s visit will also see discussions on ratification of the trade deal by both sides.

EFTA nations comprise Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, and Liechtenstein.

The trade agreement between EFTA and India was signed in March after 16 years of negotiations, involving 21 rounds.

Under the trade agreement, EFTA nations have made an investment commitment of $50 billion within 10 years and an additional $50 billion in the next five years.

For the foreign direct investment (FDI) to materialise, India’s nominal gross domestic product (GDP) needs to grow around 9.5 per cent in dollar terms over the next 15 years.

“Sunday’s agenda will involve industry interaction…to see what we can do to kick-start investments. This is because $100 billion can't happen overnight,” Goyal said at an industry event organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Ficci) on Wednesday.

The meeting is likely to see the presence of the industry, mostly from Switzerland.

Though investment will flow from private players, the governments of EFTA countries will only nudge them to invest.

India can partially withdraw tariff concessions if the investment commitments are not met.

However, Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs Helene Budliger Artieda, who led the negotiations on the EFTA side, had told Business Standard in March that the commitment was not legally binding on EFTA countries.

FTA with the UK

The minister further said that India and the United Kingdom (UK) are ‘deeply committed’ to signing a free-trade agreement.

“The initial comments being made by the UK government is encouraging…the Labour Party is deeply committed and so is the Modi government,” Goyal told reporters.

Keir Starmer became Britain’s Prime Minister on Friday after Labour Party’s landslide electoral victory against Rishi Sunak-led Conservatives.

Startmer’s win has renewed hopes in the long-pending India-UK trade deal.

India and the UK have been negotiating a trade agreement for two and a half years now.

Both sides were looking to seal the deal in July after a new government formed in New Delhi, following the general elections. However, an early election in the UK further delayed the whole process.

Decision on lifting ban on certain non-basmati rice

Piyush Goyal said a group of ministers (GoM) will take a decision on lifting the ban on certain varieties of non-basmati rice after considering demand-supply and price situation.

The GoM always takes a balanced decision, he added.

The Centre had banned export of non-basmati white rice in July 20, 2023, to boost domestic supply. 

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First Published: Jul 10 2024 | 6:41 PM IST

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