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European Free Trade Association keen to sign trade pact with India: Union Minister Piyush Goyal

Updated: Mar 31, 2023 03:14:04pm

European Free Trade Association keen to sign trade pact with India: Union Minister Piyush Goyal

Mumbai, Mar 31 (KNN) Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that the four-member European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is keen on signing a trade pact with India.

Talking to the Media in Mumbai on Sunday, Goyal said that the EFTA has given assurances that it will come with very attractive proposals in terms of opening up services and a deeper understanding of India's own concerns around our patent laws and the need to protect our domestic industry.


The European Free Trade Association comprises of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

According to reports earlier this month, India has ruled out any relief in the gold import duty or relaxing intellectual property rights rules as part of any agreement with the European Free Trade Association, reported Moneycontrol.

India imports gold heavily from Switzerland, which is also home to pharma giants like Novartis that consider India's intellectual property rights as rigid.

"I can assure you that (FTA) talks are going on very well with the United Kingdom, Canada and other 26 EU countries. We are also in dialogue with Israel and many other countries,” he informed.

Goyal, who was in the city for the first meeting of the G20 Trade & Investment Working Group, also said that many countries had shown interest in the settlement of trade with India in rupees, although the matter was mostly discussed bilaterally.

Earlier this month on March 14, the finance ministry informed Parliament that the Reserve Bank of India had granted approvals to correspondent banks from 18 countries, including those from major nations such as the UK and Germany, to open Vostro accounts to settle international trade in rupees.

Under the RBI's mechanism to settle international trade in rupees, authorised Indian banks must open Special Rupee Vostro accounts of correspondent banks of the partner trading country to settle these transactions.  (KNN Bureau)


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