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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


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.
HK, Europe to start trade talks
Hong Kong and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which comprises Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, are set to begin talks aimed at hammering out a free trade pact in early 2010.
Panama advances on free trade dialogue with European countries
Panama will negotiate a free trade agreement with members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Panaman’s Ministry of Commerce and Industries said on Sunday.
Free trade agreement with Colombia under pressure
Citing “serious and systematic” human rights violations in Colombia, 33 non-governmental organizations led by Alliance Sud, the Berne Declaration and the Swiss Working Group on Colombia sent a letter 12 May to deputies urging them not to ratify the trade agreement between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which Switzerland is a member, and Colombia.
EFTA and Colombia conclude free trade negotiations
The EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and Colombia on 12 June 2008 finalized negotiations on a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
GCC, EFTA in agreement over free trade
Negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) have been finalized, said Secretary General of the GCC Abdulrahaman Al-Atiyya on Saturday, after five rounds of talks.
Criticism of the EFTA
Swiss NGOs call for a moratorium on bilateral free trade agreements with developing countries

    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