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"Never before in the history of FTAs...": Piyush Goyal on India-EFTA Trade & Economic Partnership Agreement

New Delhi: Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday said that "never before in the history of FTAs has such an FTA ever happened," after India signed a USD 100-billion free trade pact with the four-nation bloc European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

"Never before in the history of FTAs has such an FTA ever happened. This is an FTA that is very well-balanced, fair, equitable and opens up opportunities for Indian industry to get the best of technologies, get innovation to India, get a huge amount of investment of USD 100 billion as FDI, which will in a way translate to project investments which could lead to USD 300-400 billion of investments. That's about Rs 30 lakh crores coming into India as investments at the project level and at least 10 lakh jobs, a million jobs being created directly...," said the Union Minister.
Goyal said that it is a momentous occasion and the signing of the Trade and Economic Participation Agreement with the European Free Trade Association marks the culmination of nearly 15 years of hard work, tremendous energy, and effort.

"It is a momentous occasion. The signing of the Trade and Economic Participation Agreement with the European Free Trade Association marks the culmination of nearly 15 years of hard work, tremendous energy, and effort. While we are celebrating 75 years of our partnership, friendship, and diplomatic ties with Switzerland to celebrate such a momentous year with a momentous TEPA makes it double joyful for all of us. Incidentally, today is also the International Day of Awesomeness. What could be more awesome than this?" said Goyal.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated the negotiators and signatories on the signing of the Trade and Economic Participation Agreement (TEPA) between India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), saying that despite structural diversities in many aspects, "Our economies possess complementarities that promise to be a win-win situation for all nations."

Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal co-chaired the meeting on the India-EFTA trade agreement in the national capital on Sunday.

PM Modi, in a letter, said March 10, 2024, marks a new turn and a watershed moment in the bilateral relationship between India and the 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)," he wrote.

PM Modi also commended the culmination of efforts to finalise an innovative, well-balanced trade deal that reflects our respective developmental aspirations

Calling it one of the most pioneering free trade agreements ever concluded between our countries, PM Modi wrote, "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."

"Despite structural diversities in many aspects, our economies possess complementarities that promise to be a win-win situation for all nations," he added.

Further, in his congratulatory letter, PM Modi added that with the opening up of enormous trading and investment opportunities, India has reached a new level of trust and ambition.

"The trade agreement symbolizes our shared commitment to open, fair, and equitable trade, as well as generating growth and employment for the youth," PM Modi added.

He noted that in the last 10 years, India's economy has taken a quantum leap, moving from being the world's 11th-largest economy to the 5th-largest.

Detailing his 'next goal', PM Modi said, "Our next goal is to make India's economy the third largest economy in the world."

"We have enhanced the ease of doing business, through wide-ranging reforms, which has helped our nation touch new heights in business, manufacturing and exports," PM Modi stated, adding, "The global leadership of EFTA countries in innovation and R&D across diverse spheres such as digital trade, banking and financial services, transport and logistics, industrial machinery, bio-technology, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, food processing and clean energy, will open up new doors of collaboration."

He assured that India will extend support to EFTA countries and facilitate industry and businesses.

"India will extend all possible support to EFTA countries and facilitate industry and businesses, not only to achieve the committed targets but also to go beyond them," he said, adding, "May this agreement mark the beginning of a new chapter in the journey of our nations toward a more prosperous future for us all." 

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