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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
Photo: Campax


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.
India–EFTA trade talks may make medicines more expensive
MSF and civil society urge Swiss negotiators not to undermine the ‘pharmacy of the developing world’
EFTA and Malaysia hold eighth round of negotiations
Negotiations between EFTA and Malaysia have been ongoing since March 2014. The two sides have held eight rounds of negotiations, as well as intersessional expert meetings.
European states, Ecuador pushing for free trade deal
The European Free Trade Association states – Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Norway – and Ecuador have continued discussions towards a free trade agreement.
EFTA States, Mexico review free trade agreement
EFTA states and Mexico met in Switzerland mid-month for a third round of negotiations on the comprehensive review of the free trade agreement
EFTA states, Colombia to improve free trade deal
Colombia and the member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) have discussed making improvements to their bilateral free trade agreement.
EFTA, Indonesia progress free trade talks
Delegations from the European Free Trade Association states and Indonesia held the 11th round of negotiations on a proposed free trade agreement.
Shrimp and tuna could benefit from trade agreement with EFTA
Next October Ecuador is to begin the negotiations for a comprehensive trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
Georgia and EFTA sign Free Trade Agreement
The signing took place on the sideline of Georgian PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s two-day official visit to Switzerland and on the margins of EFTA ministerial meeting.

    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