By PTI | 15 Oct, 2014
Switzerland hopes to resume India-EFTA free trade pact talks
NEW DELHI: Switzerland today expressed hope that negotiations along with three other countries on broad-based trade and economic partnership agreement with India would resume at the earliest.
European Free Trade Association (EFTA) - comprising Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway - has been in discussions with India for a free trade agreement.
Swiss Ambassador to India and Bhutan Linus von Castelmur said the negotiations have been going on for past seven years in order to give an additional impetus to their exports and to further boost Indian exports to Switzerland.
"Unfortunately and despite the determination on both sides to conclude before the elections, this did not materialise.I can assure you that progress was made and the gap could be narrowed substantially in various areas...," he said.
Further, Castelmur said it would be important to resume the negotiations as quickly as possible now that the new Indian government has taken over with the principle that what was agreed is agreed.
The Ambassador was speaking at an event organised by industry body Assocham on ’Switzerland - the business gateway to Europe’. On Tuesday, President Pranab Mukherjee hoped for an early conclusion of talks between India and EFTA on free trade agreement.
"I hope for an early conclusion of the on-going negotiations for a Trade and Investment Agreement between India and the EFTA, of which Norway is one of the four member nations," the President had said in his speech at a seminar on business, science and technology in Oslo.