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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

EFTA to pursue FTA with Malaysia
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA), comprising Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, intends to pursue a free trade agreement (FTA) with Malaysia and will decide on it by year-end.
First EFTA free trade agreement in sub-Saharan Africa
The Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA, comprising Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU, comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland) signed a free trade agreement on 1 July 2006.
EFTA free trade relations
An overview report on EFTA’s free trade agreements with non-EU countries.
NGOs take aim at free-trade accords
Developing countries risk losing out under agreements struck with Switzerland and its European Free Trade Association (Efta) partners, say campaigners.
Signature of an investment protection agreement and a Declaration on Cooperation with Colombia
Switzerland and Colombia signed two agreements in Bern on 17 May 2006. The first was an agreement on the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments between Switzerland and Colombia. The second was a Declaration on Cooperation between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Colombia.
Swiss set course to free trade
Parliament is due to discuss a free-trade accord between Switzerland and South Korea - the latest such deal aimed at liberalising economic ties abroad.
NGOs urge EFTA countries not to endanger public health, food security and development in Thailand
In a letter addressed to the trade and foreign ministers from EFTA states, 50 organisations urged the trade association’s member states to drop provisions from a free trade agreement with Thailand that would restrict access to cheap medicines and credit and limit farmers rights.
AELE: Accord de libre-échange signé avec la Corée du Sud
Le ministre de l’économie fédéral Joseph Deiss et ses homologues de l’AELE ont signé jeudi à Hong Kong un accord de libre-échange avec la République de Corée. L’accord entrera en vigueur le 1er juillet prochain
Deiss seals free trade deal with Seoul
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which Switzerland is a member, has concluded a free trade agreement with South Korea.
EFTA-Thailand negotiations: NGOs appeal to UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health
17 NGOs from Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein submitted today a request to the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health. They urge him to warn the four member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA: Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) not to restrict access to affordable generic medicines in Thailand.


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