# 2 / 2024

Free trade agreement with India: a milestone for Swiss foreign trade

India's FTA negotiations with the EU and UK

While the EFTA states were able to sign the FTA with India, India's free trade negotiations with the EU and the United Kingdom (UK) are still ongoing. An overview of the current status of these two negotiations can be found below:

FTA India-EU

  • On 17 June 2022, the EU resumed negotiations with India on an FTA and initiated separate negotiations on an investment protection agreement and an agreement on geographical indications.
  • The FTA negotiations are currently at a standstill. It is unlikely that they will be finalized before the elections in India in April/May.
  • Problem areas include the opening of the food market (the EU wants a reduction in import duties on dairy and other agricultural products), industrial tariffs (especially on vehicles) and the level of protection for intellectual property in India.
  • India is also vehemently opposed to the EU's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (EU-CBAM). Since 1 October 2023, the EU has been implementing administrative measures for the import of certain high-emission raw materials and products from third countries. A levy is to be imposed on these products at a later date.

FTA India-UK

  • The negotiations are in the final phase. The two parties entered the 14th round of negotiations in February 2024. It remains to be seen whether the agreement will be finalized.
  • Business circles have reported that British companies are not satisfied with the results so far and are calling for the negotiations to be suspended. For them, the Indian offers in the areas of intellectual property and financial services in particular are inadequate.
  • Other points of contention include the following:
    • India is making high demands in the area of the free movement of persons, which the British government is unlikely to fulfil.
    • India wants to reclaim social security payments totaling tens of millions of pounds for its employees in the UK.
    • India is asking the UK for bilateral consultations if it introduces a measure similar to the EU's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (see above).