New Delhi: India on Tuesday said it wants to enter into a free trade agreement (FTA) with the four-nation European Free Trade Association (Efta) within a year, even as its ambitious trade pact with the European Union seems to have run into differences.
“Negotiations on the FTA will be commencing shortly. We believe that we will be able to conclude the Efta trade agreement within one year,” commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath said here after meeting Swiss Federal Counsellor Doris Leuthard.
The Efta states are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. It is an inter-governmental organization to promote free trade and economic integration among the four.
India and Efta had agreed to launch negotiations on the broad-based trade and investment agreement in January this year, following recommendations of a Joint Efta-India Study Group set up in December 2006. The agreement is likely to include trade in goods, services, investment, intellectual property rights and technical cooperation. The two ministers also discussed the ongoing Doha Round of WTO talks, particularly the forthcoming proposed ministerial conference in May.