Norway enters into historic trade deal with India

Norway and the other EFTA countries have reached an agreement with India on a trade deal. The agreement is historic and will provide zero tariffs on almost all Norwegian exports to India.

-       This is a very important agreement for the business sector. India is the world’s fifth-largest economy and represents a huge market that will provide big export opportunities for Norwegian businesses. After the EEA agreement, this could become one of the most important trade agreements Norway has ever entered, says Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

The agreement was signed in New Delhi on the 10th of March by among others, Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre, and India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal.

-       We have during the last year worked intensely and in a result-oriented manner to achieve this. Norwegian businesses that export to India today meet high tariff barriers of up to 40 percent on certain goods. With this new agreement we have secured zero tariff on allmost all Norwegian export to India. This is a breakthrough that can mean a lot for workplaces throughout Norway, says Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre.

The trade agreement is a part of the government’s export initiative “Hele Norge eksporterer”. As the first in Europe, Norwegian enterprises get exemption from customs duties on most of the goods they export to India. These are advantages enterprises in EU countries and the UK do not yet have. 

-       A good example is Norwegian seafood businesses that today must pay a full 33 percent tariffs in India. With this agreement, Norwegian salmon and mackerel will be subject to zero tariffs after five years. This gives Norwegian exporters large competitive advantages compared to competitors in Europe and the rest of the world, says Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre.

Human Rights and Climate

With this agreement, India confirms its  commitment to implement the Paris Agreement, other ratified multilateral conventions on the environement, ILO conventions, and international conventions on gender equality. The agreement also includes a reference to human rights.

-       Human rights are a central part of Norwegian foreign policy. Therefore, it has been important for Norway to include human rights and international environmental conventions as a part of the agreement, says Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

Will promote investments

The trade agreement contributes to strengthening the cooperation between the countries and provides Norway with a new platform for discussions with India.

-       In a turbulent world, with geopolitical tensions, it is important to strengthen the ties between India and the West. The agreement also elevates climate ambitions and will ensure worker’s and women’s rights, says Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre.

The EFTA countries commit to promoting investments and the creation of more jobs in India. A designated office will be established in India to support Norwegian businesses in operating in the Indian market.

-       India will undergo a major green- and digital transition, and in this context, Norwegian businesses have a lot to offer, within everything from renewable energy, health technology, green mobility, and seafood. The agreement provides large possibilities for trade and investments in a market that is growing rapidly. Through investments in India, Norwegian businesses can contribute to sustainable development, says Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre.

Translated into English by Norwegian Embassy in New Delhi. Press release in Norwegian available on www.regjeringen.no