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Free Trade Agreement with India "The EU should follow the example of EFTA"


11 Mar 2024


Frankfurt/Brussels, 11 March 2024 – On the occasion of the Free Trade Agreement concluded between India and the EFTA group of states during the weekend, Thilo Brodtmann, Executive Director of the VDMA, says:
  • „The fact that the four EFTA states Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have now been able to conclude a Free Trade Agreement with India shows that it is possible!"
  • "This should be an incentive for the EU to finally make a success of the negotiations with India, which began many years ago, as well as with other third countries. If other European countries manage to agree on new Free Trade Agreements, then the EU should follow this example."
  • "The EU should refrain from overburdening free trade agreements with non-trade issues. Excessive social and environmental requirements are beyond the tolerance threshold for countries such as India or Indonesia. A sensible balance is needed here."
  • "India is the second most important market in Asia for the mechanical engineering industry. A Tree Trade Agreement with this high-customs country would improve the competitiveness of European industry. This should undoubtedly be in the interests of EU legislators."
A photo of Thilo Brodtmann, VDMA Executive Director can be found here.
VDMA represents more than 3600 German and European mechanical and plant engineering companies. The industry stands for innovation, export orientation and SMEs. The companies employ around 3 million people in the EU-27, more than 1.2 million of them in Germany alone. This makes mechanical and plant engineering the largest employer among the capital goods industries, both in the EU-27 and in Germany. In the European Union, it represents a turnover volume of an estimated 770 billion euros. Around 80 percent of the machinery sold in the EU comes from a manufacturing plant in the domestic market.


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