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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


Switzerland ratifies EFTA-Georgia free trade deal
The new Georgia-Swiss trade relations will come into effect on May 1st 2018.
FTA Switzerland – Indonesia: Respect human rights and nature – keep palm oil outside!
Palm oil must be excluded from the free trade agreement between Switzerland and Indonesia. In an open letter to Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann, Swiss environmental, human rights, consumer and farming organizations are calling for this.
EFTA and Ecuador progress free trade talks
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland – and Ecuador have concluded the fifth round of talks towards an agreement that will reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers to bilateral trade.
EFTA states, Turkey close to concluding free trade deal
Delegations from the European Free Trade Association states and Turkey met in Ankara for the sixth round of negotiations on the modernization and expansion of their existing free trade agreement.
EFTA and Ecuador make progress towards FTA
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states and Ecuador held their fourth round of negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement on October 9-13 in Geneva, Switzerland.
EFTA and MERCOSUR hold first round of negotiations
After four days of discussions, the 1st Round of Negotiations between the MERCOSUR and the EFTA States on a Free Trade Agreement was successfully concluded.
MSF response on the India-EFTA free trade agreement negotiations in Liechtenstein this week
Through this deal, Swiss pharmaceutical corporations are working to erode India’s ability to produce and supply generic medicines for people across the developing world.
EU suppliers push for Mercosur trade deal
The election of Donald Trump to the presidency in the U.S. and its potential impact on EU-U.S. trade talks has made the Mercosur negotiations that entered a new round this week a high priority for the European Commission.
Switzerland wants stricter intellectual property rules in India that could harm generic drug makers
Switzerland is pushing for tighter patent protection, data exclusivity and dropping compulsory licencing under a new free trade agreement.
Leaked document: Note by Switzerland on India EFTA TEPA IP Chapter
In this note, Switzerland is proposing that India agree to broader patentable subject matter, particularly as regards biologic products.

    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