New Delhi: The dynamics of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is very positive, with both sides in a position where they weren't closer before, Switzerland State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Helene Budliger Artieda said on Wednesday.

She also praised the role of India as an emerging market as well as a Democracy and affirmed that New Delhi can be the "Lighthouse of Democracy" amid a series of conflicts across the globe.

Speaking to ANI, Artieda said, "The negotiations are never talk about ongoing negotiations. What I can just tell you is that I feel that the dynamics are very positive. It's been ongoing for 15 years and I think we're now in the position where the five countries are really motivated to dedicate time and resources".

"In the end...the ink needs to dry underneath the document and then we can say we've achieved it and until then it's an ongoing negotiation. But I think we've never been closer during these 15 years," she added.

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a regional trade organisation of four countries -- Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland -- that aims to promote free trade and economic integration

The Swiss Secretary added that the two countries are focussing on making sure that it's a balanced and fair agreement and the sensitivities of all countries are respected in the negotiations.

On being asked if there is a deadline towards finalising this FTA, Artieda said, "No, there is no deadline because of these negotiations. I think maybe the greater audience has difficulty grasping how technical they are. You look at different chapters and some of these are not linear conversations where you say let's start at A and then we go B, C, D. This is really, truly a complex negotiation," she further said.

She also praised the potential of Indian markets, stating that it is going to be the next big thing in terms of market, innovation and research and development (R&D), adding that around 300 Swiss companies are currently operating in generating around 2,00,000 well-paid jobs.

Speaking on India-Switzerland ties, she stated that both countries share 75 years-old friendship and New Delhi can very well be the "Lighthouse of Democracy" amid a series of global conflicts.

"India and Switzerland actually unites a friendship for 75 years. We were among the first to sign a friendship agreement with India...I would underline that for us friendship actually also has great value. And I say I feel very honoured because I get that same sense of friendship and respect from Minister Piyush Goyal," Artieda said.

She added, "We are seeing conflicts everywhere on the increase. We are seeing that less than 50 per cent of people actually live in non-democratic countries and I think India absolutely has what it takes to be that lighthouse for democracy".