[Answered] Consider the key features of TEPA, including investment targets, trade in goods, and services liberalization, and its strategic implications for India’s economic growth and employment generation.

Introduction: Describe TEPA.

Body: Highlight features and implications of TEPA

Conclusion: Way forward

The India-EFTA Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) is a comprehensive agreement that covers trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition, government procurement, trade facilitation, trade remedies, dispute settlement, and other areas of mutual interest with the EFTA (European Free Trade Association) countries — Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Key Features

  • Investment: TEPA aims to attract $100 billion in investments from EFTA nations to India over 15 years, with the goal of generating one million jobs. Additionally, the agreement permits India to retract tariff concessions if the specified investment objectives are not achieved, motivating EFTA countries to contribute to India’s economic development.
  • Trade in Goods: The agreement grants EFTA nations tariff concessions, improving their access to India’s market. India will phase out tariffs on many goods over 7 to 10 years, benefiting EFTA exports like seafood, fruits, coffee, oils, processed foods, smartphones, medical equipment, textiles, and machinery.
  • Trade in Services: Liberalization of services trade facilitates greater mobility of skilled professionals between India and EFTA countries. Indian service providers, particularly in sectors like yoga instruction, traditional medicine, and highly skilled professions, gain access to new markets in EFTA countries, fostering cross-border collaborations and knowledge exchange.
  • IPR: TEPA includes provisions on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) to address concerns raised by EFTA countries about India’s patent regime. Compliance with these provisions could provide more certainty and protection for innovators and investors, promoting technology transfer and innovation-driven growth.
  • Sustainable Development: The agreement also features a chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD), which commits to environmental protection and labor standards. These provisions aim to promote sustainability while requiring India to comply with international environmental and labor agreements.

Strategic Implications

  • Potential for Growth: Increased FDI, improved infrastructure, and technology transfer can boost economic growth.
  • Job Creation: New investments and a more competitive service sector can generate jobs.
  • Challenges: Lowering trade barriers and opening service sectors can lead to job losses in some industries.
  • Government’s Role: Policies for skill development, retraining programs, and promoting domestic industries can help address these challenges.


India’s successful FTA conclusion with developed nations like Switzerland and Norway signals its dedication to trade liberalization amid global protectionism.

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