India, EFTA discuss ways to boost bilateral trade and economic partnership

Ministers and high-level representatives from India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) gathered in New Delhi on Wednesday to discuss the prospects of resuming their negotiations towards a Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA).

The meeting provided an opportunity for both sides to exchange views on the state of play of their negotiations and explore ways to advance the talks. 
According to a joint statement issued after the meeting, the participants acknowledged the challenges posed by the current global economic and trade environment, as well as the need to address the bilateral trade and economic partnership issues in a constructive and pragmatic manner. Both sides agreed to continue their efforts to resolve all outstanding issues and work towards deepening and 
The statement added that both sides agreed to continue their efforts to resolve all "outstanding issues and work towards deepening and strengthening the economic partnership, while contributing to a more inclusive global trading system."
The resumption of trade talks between India and the EFTA countries is expected to help boost trade ties between the two sides. India has been seeking to strengthen its economic relations with EFTA countries, as it seeks to diversify its export markets.
The EFTA countries, on the other hand, are looking to expand their presence in the fast-growing Indian market. 
The high-level delegations included Piyush Goyal, India’s minister of commerce and industry, consumer affairs and food and public distribution and textiles; Jan Christian Vestre, minister of trade and industry of Norway; Helene Budliger Artieda, Swiss state secretary at the state secretariat for economic affairs (SECO); Martin Eyjólfsson, permanent secretary of state of Iceland at the ministry for foreign affairs; Kurt Jäger, ambassador and permanent representative of Liechtenstein to EFTA, WTO and the UN in Geneva; and Henri Gétaz, secretary-general of the European Free Trade Association.