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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


No more EFTA power play against the South!
Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Norway are undermining farmers’ rights to seeds in the countries of the global South
Swiss supermarkets ban produce from occupied Western Sahara
The Swiss Federal Council stated on several occasions that it did not consider its free trade agreement with Morocco to apply to the large part of Western Sahara that is under Moroccan occupation.
Call to action! Stop EFTA countries to undermine farmers’ rights to seed in free trade agreements
Sign-on the letter for organisations.
Ecuador will approve the trade agreement with EFTA
The plenary session of the Assembly will process the agreement between Ecuador and the European Free Trade Association, after having the Constitutional Court approved it.
Swiss communists support “STOP Palm Oil” referendum against the FTA with Indonesia
The Swiss parliament ratified a Free Trade Agreement between the European Free Trade Association and Indonesia, allegedly without addressing the environmental concerns regarding Indonesian palm oil production.
Signing of Switzerland-Turkey trade deal put on pause
The Swiss government has delayed fully signing off on the expanded free-trade deal between EFTA and Turkey amid concern about human rights abuses.
Swiss release more details over EFTA - Mercosur deal
Concessions in the agricultural sector went too far. In the area of beef the Swiss had made more concessions than their EU counterparts, says Swiss Farmers’ Union.
Brazilian free trade deal ignites fury
Norway and its fellow members of the European Free Trade Association have entered into a free trade agreement with Brazil and several other South American countries.
Mercosur and EFTA move closer to finalisation of their FTA negotiations
With some chapters of the free trade agreement already concluded, the working groups convening this round included trade in goods and in services, investment, intellectual property.
Swiss-Malaysian free trade talks back on track
Swiss Economics Minister has re-started negotiations with Malaysia over a proposed FTA. Talks had previously broken down over the contentious topic of palm oil.

    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