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EFTA

While often overlooked, the European Free Trade Association — composed of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland — actively seeks comprehensive bilateral FTAs much like its rivals the EU, the US, Japan, Canada or Australia. EFTA’s outward push towards FTAs is led and dominated by corporate powerhouse Switzerland, home to some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical, agricultural biotechnology, banking and insurance companies.

EFTA has established important bilateral FTAs with Chile (2003), Israel (1992), Jordan (2001), Korea (2005), Lebanon (2004), Mexico (2000), Morocco (1997), the Palestinian Authority (1998), Turkey (1991), Singapore (2002), Tunisia (2004), the Southern Africa Customs Union (2006), Egypt (2007), Canada (2007), the GCC (2008), Colombia (2008) and Peru (2008).

The group is currently negotiating FTAs with India, Indonesia, Thailand, Algeria and Pakistan. It is expected to launch talks shortly with Malaysia and Vietnam, while similar deals with Russia and Ukraine are planned for later.

last update: May 2012


Swiss release more details over EFTA - Mercosur deal
Concessions in the agricultural sector went too far. In the area of beef the Swiss had made more concessions than their EU counterparts, says Swiss Farmers’ Union.
Brazilian free trade deal ignites fury
Norway and its fellow members of the European Free Trade Association have entered into a free trade agreement with Brazil and several other South American countries.
Mercosur and EFTA move closer to finalisation of their FTA negotiations
With some chapters of the free trade agreement already concluded, the working groups convening this round included trade in goods and in services, investment, intellectual property.
Swiss-Malaysian free trade talks back on track
Swiss Economics Minister has re-started negotiations with Malaysia over a proposed FTA. Talks had previously broken down over the contentious topic of palm oil.
Civil society letter on EFTA-Indonesia comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA)
CSOs stress that the EFTA-Indonesia trade deal must not include any obligation that requires Indonesia to join or implement the UPOV 1991
Indonesia, EFTA sign long-delayed free trade deal
Indonesia signed an economic agreement with EFTA, tariffs and non-tariff barriers would be eliminated for thousands of products between Indonesia and the EFTA countries.
Free trade agreement with Indonesia to be signed in Jakarta on 16 December
Indonesia - EFTA trade deal will be signed, 98 per cent of Swiss exports to Indonesia will be exempt from customs duties over the coming years.
Switzerland should stop pushing for TRIPS-plus measures in trade agreement with Indonesia
Swiss and Norwegians civil society groups addressed their serious concerns over TRIPS-plus provisions being included in the trade agreement under negotiation between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Indonesia.
Indonesia-EFTA CEPA TRIPS-plus, threat for access to medicines and the right to health of millions of people in Indonesia
In many countries, the implementation of the TRIPS-plus measures has significantly increased the cost of medicines.
Free trade agreement between EFTA and Indonesia concluded in substance
On 1 November, negotiations on a free trade agreement between EFTA and Indonesia were concluded in substance, with Switzerland acting as lead negotiator. The agreement means 98% of Swiss goods will be exempt from customs duties in medium term.

    Links


  • EFTA FTAs
    Database of all FTAs entered into by the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.)
  • EFTA Secretariat
    Website of the EFTA Secretariat