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End of tariffs in Switzerland to help exports

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NEW DELHI : Abolition of tariffs or import duties on industrial goods in Switzerland is seen to help exporters of Indian textiles, shoes and other industrial inputs going into the European nation.
The move comes at a time when India is in the final stages of concluding talks for a trade treaty with European Free Trade Association (EFTA), comprising Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

In the trade talks, government typically bargains for duty cuts on products of its interests, along with opening up of services and investment flows into the country.
Chemicals and precious and semi-precious stones are among the top export items from India. Swiss negotiators have been seeking easier intellectual property rights, especially patent, rules for pharma companies in return for a promise to invest more in India.
While duties have been abolished on industrial goods, ranging from bicycles, household appliances to clothing, tariffs will still apply to farm products, including processed food and fisheries, Swiss authorities said. “As of January 1, 2024, imports of industrial products to Switzerland are exempt from customs duties. This will result in direct tariff savings and less administrative work for Swiss importers and lower prices for consumers. The total welfare gain for Switzerland is estimated at over CHF 860 million (over $1 billion),” an official statement said.

In addition, Swiss authorities have estimated indirect gains, such as those related to productivity for companies, at around CHF 270 million.

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