In 2020, the European Free Trade Association is celebrating its 60th anniversary. The EFTA Convention was signed in Stockholm on 4 January 1960 and entered into force on 3 May that year. On Tuesday 27 October EFTA Ministers met virtually for their annual EFTA Ministerial meeting and released video messages celebrating 60 years since the establishment of EFTA in 1960
The meeting reinforced EFTA’s commitment to open & rules-based multilateral international trade to fuel economic recovery from COVID and ensure stable trading conditions, including supply chain security. They also welcomed the conclusion of work towards revising the model chapter for trade and sustainable development in EFTA FTAs. The revised chapter covers climate change, biological diversity, sustainable fisheries, aquaculture, forest management, agriculture, inclusive trade, responsible business conduct, & a reinforced mechanism to settle possible disputes.
Ministers also welcomed progress developing a new chapter on e-commerce reflecting EFTA’s willingness & ability to adapt trade agreements to new economic needs & changing technology. Ministers underlined the importance of continuity in EFTA’s trade policy & their willingness to continue negotiations with India Malaysia & Vietnam & the review of the existing agreements with the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) & Chile. They confirmed their willingness to continue negotiations with Mexico on modernising the agreement & updating the agreement with the Palestinian Authority to include revised agricultural protocols.
Ministers further agreed to continue the preparations for negotiations with Pakistan, Kosovo and Moldova and expressed the desire to resume negotiations with Thailand shortly. Switzerland 🇨🇭 aims at consolidating and further developing its bilateral relations with the EU. This requires the search for solutions to the institutional mechanisms of mutual market access.
@ParmelinG 🇨🇭 Federal Councillor, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research said
@GudlaugurThor 🇮🇸 Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation said
@KatrinEggenb 🇱🇮 Minister of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Culture of the Principality of Liechtenstein said
@IselinNybo 🇳🇴 Minister of Trade and Industry said
EFTA is a strong, positive, outward and forward-looking organisation based on trade but without political integration & looking to the future with confidence.
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