India, US and African Countries Participate In Cutlass Express Naval Exercise

  • INS Tir, the lead ship of the First Training Squadron, participated in Exercise Cutlass Express – 24 (CE – 24) held at Port Victoria, Seychelles from 26 Feb – 08 Mar 24. 
  • The exercise was inaugurated by the President of Seychelles and attended by dignitaries from India, USA, and Africa.
  • The Indian Navy engaged with participants from 16 friendly foreign countries, conducting training on Maritime Interdiction Operations, Visit Board Search and Seizure procedures, and Diving operations. 
  • The ship hosted R Adm Calvin M Foster, Deputy Commander of US Navy 6th Fleet, who appreciated the importance of maritime cooperation and shared commitment in the region.
  • The exercise culminated at a closing ceremony held at Seychelles Defence Academy, Ile Perseverance on 08 Mar 24. 
  • The deployment of INS Tir at Seychelles and participation in Exercise Cutlass Express underscores the close ties between the Indian Navy and the regional Navies towards joint training, fostering interoperability, and building friendships. India and Europe’s EFTA sign the TEPA deal 
  • India-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) has signed a Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) with Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein. 
  • The agreement, approved by the Union Cabinet, aims to boost India’s Make in India and provide opportunities for the young and talented workforce. 
  • The agreement includes 14 chapters focusing on market access related to goods, rules of origin, trade facilitation, trade remedies, technical barriers to trade, investment promotion, market access on services, intellectual property rights, trade and sustainable development, and other legal and horizontal provisions.
  • EFTA has committed to promoting investments and creating 1 million direct jobs in India over the next 15 years. 
  • India offers 92.2% of its tariff lines, covering 99.6% of India’s exports, and 82.7% of its tariff lines, and covering 95.3% of EFTA exports. 
  • TEPA will stimulate services exports in sectors of India’s key strength and interest, including IT services, business services, personal, cultural, sporting, and recreational services, other education services, and audio-visual services. 
  • TEPA has provisions for Mutual Recognition Agreements in Professional Services like nursing, chartered accountants, architects, etc. 
  • The agreement fosters transparency, efficiency, simplification, harmonization, and consistency of trade procedures.
  • TEPA provides an opportunity to integrate into EU markets and encourages domestic manufacturing in sectors such as Infrastructure and Connectivity, Manufacturing, Machinery, Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals, Food Processing, Transport and Logistics, Banking and Financial Services, and Insurance.
Posted in Current Affairs.