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Norway, Switzerland Attempt To Finalise Trade Deal With India Before Elections Of 2024

Updated: Dec 15, 2023 02:04:50pm

Norway, Switzerland Attempt To Finalise Trade Deal With India Before Elections Of 2024

New Delhi, Dec 15 (KNN) Norway and Switzerland have expressed optimism about settling an agreement on a trade pact with India as their respective Trade Ministers concluded their visit to Delhi this week, reported India Today.

The trade pact would be with four European countries that make up the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) outside the European Union (EU): Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

Negotiations for a trade deal began 15 years ago, and the attempt is to sign an agreement before the General Elections due in India in May 2024, reported India Today.

In an exclusive interview with India Today TV, Norwegian Trade Minister Jan Christian Vestre and Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs Helene Budliger Artieda spoke about their vision to enter into a trade pact with India.

When asked about the timeline, Jan Christian Vestre, Norwegian Trade Minister told India Today, “Let’s see. Let’s find out. But we are progressing. And we have, you know, put our best experts on this journey on the Indian side, the minister himself, Goyal, is very personally engaged in those topics. He is extremely knowledgeable.”

“He’s representing India in a great way. We are here. We brought our colleagues. As well. So I think, in respect of the negotiations, it's a bit too early to say it, but it's a good progress. And that makes us happy, of course,” added Vestre.

Talking about the benefits, Helene Budliger Artieda, Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs, said, “India is going currently very strong so that's maybe also what pushed us. We really feel great ambition and great hunger by Swiss companies to strengthen their presence in India.”

Emphasising the size of the Indian market, Jan Christian Vestre, Norwegian Trade Minister, said, “ So, access to a lot of skilled workers, people. Great business opportunities. I think in terms of exports, yes. But even more important, in terms of investments, great potential. But also kind of equal-minded countries. We do share the same hopes and the same dreams.”

“We really admire the Vision 2047 platform India has stated out and again, to us, this doesn't only represent business opportunities. It's more about what we as great important countries, one very big, a few others smaller, but also representing a lot of knowledge of R&D innovation, high-skilled workers, cutting edge technologies, and so on can accomplish and achieve together. I think that's the main goal of this,” said Vestre.

(KNN Bureau)


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