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India may cut import duty on expensive Swiss chocolates

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Staff writer ▼ | March 3, 2014
Indian consumers may get high-end Swiss chocolates at cheaper rates as the Government is likely to reduce import duty on the product under free trade agreement with EFTA, a four-member bloc including Switzerland.
Swiss chocolate
Swiss chocolateIndian consumers may get high-end Swiss chocolates at cheaper rates as the Government is likely to reduce import duty on the product under free trade agreement with EFTA, a four-member bloc including Switzerland.


"The talks are progressing. Switzerland has asked India to reduce duty on its high-end chocolates from the current 30 per cent. The Commerce Ministry is looking at the issue positively," a senior government official told PTI.

India and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) are negotiating a free trade agreement and both the sides have completed 13—14 rounds of talks. The EFTA is a grouping of four countries — Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

"Reducing duties will be beneficial for Indian consumers. Today, a person coming from abroad always carry packets of Swiss or Belgian chocolates. So, why not give them an option to buy in India itself. I think domestic chocolate manufacturers should not have any problem in reducing the duties, at least for high-end Swiss chocolates," the official said.

India is one of the fastest growing chocolate markets in the world. Multinationals Cadbury and Nestle claim a big chunk of domestic chocolate market which is estimated at around Rs 3,000 crore. It is growing 15 per cent a year.

Two-way trade between India and EFTA stood at $34.48 billion in 2012-13 as against $37.5 billion in 2011-2012.


 

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