India's Minister for Information Technology

India's Minister for Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw addresses an audience during the 'SemiconIndia 2023', India’s annual semiconductor conference, in Gandhinagar, India, July 28, 2023. 

Feb 7 (Reuters) - India is close to finalizing a trade deal that could see a small group of European nations invest as much as $100 billion over 15 years for easier trade access to the country reported on Wednesday.

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which includes Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, made a commitment as part of a trade pact that is in final negotiations, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The investment in India from the EFTA countries will see more than 1 million jobs created in the country, the report said, adding that the investment would be aimed at existing and new manufacturing projects, and will mostly come from state-sponsored organizations and private businesses.

The trade deal will ensure market access for some agricultural projects, and guarantee easier movement of Indian professionals to EFTA countries, Bloomberg said.

India's Commerce Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment and EFTA declined to comment on the report.

Last month, the country's Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told Reuters India is eyeing $100 billion in annual foreign direct investment (FDI) "in the next few years".

India has been attracting investments from several countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, which is considering investing as much as $50 billion in the country.