Understanding the $100bn trade deal between India and four European nations

India has made a significant move by signing a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), consisting of Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, bringing investments of $100bn into the country. This landmark pact aims to boost economic progress, create opportunities for the youth, and strengthen bonds with the EFTA nations. The agreement, after almost 16 years of negotiations, involves lifting import tariffs on industrial goods from these nations in exchange for investments over 15 years. The key sectors expected to benefit include pharmaceuticals, machinery, and manufacturing, enhancing market access and simplifying customs procedures for businesses in both markets. However, the agreement is subject to ratification by India and the EFTA nations before taking effect, with Switzerland set to do so by next year. This move comes amid India’s efforts to expand its trade relationships, having recently signed deals with Australia and the UAE. With general elections approaching in India, and the UK also in talks for an FTA with India, the trade landscape is evolving with potential opportunities and challenges ahead.