The EFTA Ministerial Meeting, Malbun, 24th June 2019

Malbun, 24. June 2019 - Photo:Photo: EFTA
Photo: EFTA

The EFTA summer Ministerial Meeting was convened in Malbun, Liechtenstein 24 June 2019. Ms. Aurelia Frick Minister for Foreign Affairs, Justice and Culture, Liechtenstein chaired the meeting. Attending the gathering were also Mr. Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Minister of Trade and Industry, Norway; Mr. Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Island; Mr. Guy Parmelin, Federal Councillor, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Switzerland; and Mr. Henri Gétaz, Secretary-General of EFTA.

"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