labels: trade
India, four European countries in `free trade'' talksnews
14 February 2007

Mumbai: India is in talks with Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to strike a comprehensive economic agreement that would facilitate free trade relations with the four Europen countries, Swiss officials said.

India and the four European free trade area countries (EFTA states) have set up a joint study group to explore the feasibility of such an agreement, the officials said.

Conclusion of such an agreement establishing free trade relations would be a major milestone in economic ties between the countries and provide a fresh impetus in this direction, said Monika Ruhl-Burzi, head of Berne-based bilateral economic relations division of the Swiss state secretariat for economic affairs, said. She was addressing an investment conference in New Delhi organised by "Location Switzerland".

Speaking at the conference, Swiss ambassador Dominique Dreyer said Switzerland was trying to set up a working group with India on intellectual property rights and also seeking to enhance cooperation in science and technology fields.

''Location Switzerland'' is the official programme of the Swiss government for the promotion of investments in that country.

Swiss officials said "access to European markets, a highly specialised and multinational workforce and a modest corporate tax rate are just some of the many attributes Switzerland provides foreign companies".

India, in fact, is seeking a larger free trade agreement with EU. Commerce minister Kamal Nath said the FTA between India and EU could open vast opportunities on both sides and negotiations on this should begin soon.


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India, four European countries in `free trade'' talks