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Four European countries just signed a free-trade deal with India—and committed to invest $100 billion



India signed a trade agreement with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland on Sunday that includes a commitment of $100 billion investment and creating 1 million direct jobs in India in the next 15 years, officials said.

India on its part committed to reducing import tariffs on industrial products from the four European countries that comprise the European Free Trade Association, or EFTA.

“The landmark agreement between India and EFTA is set to bring significant economic benefits, such as better integrated and more resilient supply chains, new opportunities for businesses and individuals on both sides leading to increased trade and investment flows, job creation, and economic growth,” an EFTA communique said.

India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said India for the first time had signed an agreement with an important economic bloc in Europe. India is also working on trade pacts with Britain and the European Union.

The agreement includes trade in goods and services, investment promotion and cooperation, intellectual property, government procurement, trade and sustainable development, and dispute settlement. It will provide a window for Indian exporters to access European and global markets, Goyal said in a statement.

The agreement was signed in New Delhi by Goyal, his Swiss counterpart Guy Parmelin, Iceland’s Foreign Minister Bjarni Benediktsson, Liechtenstein’s Foreign Minister Dominique Hasler, and Norway’s Trade and Industry Minister Jan Christian Vestre.

Parmelin, speaking on behalf of the EFTA member states, said that “EFTA countries gain market access to a major growth market. Our companies strive to diversify their supply chains while rendering them more resilient. India, in return, will attract more foreign investment from EFTA, which will ultimately translate into an increase in good jobs.”

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