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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

Efta continues to extend its influence
While world trade talks remain deadlocked, the European Free Trade Association (Efta), of which Switzerland is a member, continues to extend its network of free trade accords.
Free trade agreement with Egypt signed
Switzerland and its fellow European Free Trade Association (Efta) members have signed a free trade agreement with Egypt. A statement also announced that Efta ministers had met the Indonesian trade minister with a view to concluding a similar accord.
Egypt, EFTA to sign free trade agreement Saturday
A free trade agreement is scheduled to be signed between Egypt and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) on Saturday in Davos.
Egypt, European trade group agree on free trade zone
Egypt and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) have agreed to establish a free trade zone between the two sides, Egypt’s news agency MENA reported on Wednesday.
«EFTA FTAs may have serious consequences on Thailand and Indonesia» tell civil society representatives to EFTA governments
Lobby travel from Indonesian and Thai civil society in EFTA countries (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Oslo)
Swiss minister promises a favour
Switzerland’s Economics Minister, Joseph Deiss, led a business delegation comprised of senior officials from Novartis, Credit Suisse, SACC and Economy Swiss, to Malaysia.
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.


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