"The EFTA-cooperation is extremely important to safeguard Norwegian export interests in a world characterized by unpredictability and increasing protectionism", says Minister of Trade and Industry, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (H).
At the ministerial meeting, the EFTA-ministers expressed their concern regarding the increasingly uncertain global trade environment, both due to the uncertain outcome of the Brexit process and escalating trade tensions. They emphasized their commitment to remain a responsible and reliable partner dedicated to the values of free trade and a rules-based multilateral trading system as the best possible basis for inclusive economic development.
Ministers reiterated their commitment to expanding and deepening EFTA’s global network of Free Trade Agreements. In particular, Ministers hailed the progress made with Mercosur since the previous ministerial meeting and expressed their desire to conclude negotiations quickly. Ministers also reiterated their willingness to preserve the close trade relations between the EFTA States and the United Kingdom and expressed their determination to participate in any transitional arrangements until a permanent framework for future trade relations with the UK can be agreed. The EFTA States will continue to consult with each other to help achieve this goal.
The communiqué from the ministerial meeting is available at EFTA.int