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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

The Efta court clashes with Norway’s Supreme Court
Norway’s Supreme Court was wrong to rule that companies posting workers to the Norwegian shipbuilding industry must pay their travel, board and lodging expenses, argues the Efta Court’s President in a general attack on the Supreme Court. He accuses it of being disloyal to the EEA agreement and indicates the last word may still not been had.
European Free Trade Association and Customs Union negotiate on free trade agreement
Kazakh city of Astana hosts the seventh round of negotiations on free trade agreement between the member states of the Customs Union (CU) and the countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) on January 28-31, Kazakh Economy and Budget planning ministry reported on Monday.
HK’s first free trade agreement with European economies to enter into force
The Free Trade Agreement between Hong Kong and the Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA States), namely Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, will soon enter into force, a spokesman of Hong Kong’ government announced Friday.
EFTA, Indonesia Hold FTA Negotiations
The fourth round of negotiations towards a ’Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement’ between the European Free Trade Association states and Indonesia concluded on March 29, 2012.
Parliamentarians from EFTA and Indonesia support comprehensive economic partnership
A delegation from the EFTA Parliamentary Committee visited Jakarta, Indonesia, from 7 to 10 February to discuss the merits of strengthened EFTA-Indonesia trade relations with legislators, officials and stakeholders, and to support the ongoing negotiations between EFTA and Indonesia on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA)
Swiss seek fresh impetus from India trade talks
Switzerland is seeking to improve access to the Indian market for its chemical and pharmaceutical products, machines and watches and to extend patent protection to prevent Indian producers of cheap generic drugs benefiting from clinical tests developed by other companies
Colombian FTA with Switzerland starts July 1
Colombia’s free trade agreement with Switzerland will enter into force from July 1, making the European nation the first developed country to sign such an agreement with Colombia.
Oslo wants to sign free trade deal with China
Norway said Friday it wanted to wrap up a free trade agreement with China despite a warning from Beijing that jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize would “damage Sino-Norwegian relations.”
Leuthard launches Efta deal in Indonesia
Swiss President Doris Leuthard and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono have decided to begin negotiations over a comprehensive accord between Efta and Indonesia.
Vietnam, EFTA to study feasibility of free trade deal
The four members of the European Free Trade Association and Vietnam will start examining the possibility of establishing a free trade agreement, Switzerland said Tuesday.


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