EFTA Ministerial Meeting, Sauðárkrókur, 25th June 2018

Bilde av EFTA-ministere i Saudakrokur
Photo: EFTA Secretariat

The EFTA summer Ministerial Meeting was convened in Sauðárkrókur, Iceland 25 June 2018. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Iceland. Attending the meeting were also Mr. Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Minister of Trade and Industry, Norway; Ms. Aurelia Frick, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Justice and Culture, Liechtenstein; Mr. Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, Federal Councillor, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Switzerland; and Mr. Kristinn F. Árnason, Secretary-General of EFTA.

At the ministerial meeting, the four EFTA-Ministers signed an enhanced and updated free trade agreement with Turkey and a new free trade agreement with Ecuador. The free trade agreement with Turkey is EFTA’s oldest, and as such it was ready for modernization. Turkey is an important market for Norwegian trade and industry, and the updated agreement is extended to topics such as trade in services. The free trade agreement with Ecuador is expected to increase trade between Norway and Ecuador.   

At the meeting in Sauðárkrókur, the EFTA Ministers reviewed developments in the important free trade negotiations with India and Mercusur.

- Norway is a small and open economy that depends on trade and the fact that international rules are adhered to. Free trade negotiations with large, important markets, such as Mercosur and India, are of particular importance for Norwegian industries. Furthermore, free trade agreements contribute to ensuring a sustainable welfare society, says Minister of Trade and Industry, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (H).

The ministers reiterated their commitment to open trade on the basis of a rules-based, transparent and inclusive multilateral trading system. They also discussed Brexit and relations with the US. Furthermore, the ministers reviewed EFTA’s free trade negotiations with other partners, took stock of existing free trade agreements and discussed EFTA’s relations with other countries that EFTA has signed joint declarations with. Relations with the European Union were another topic at the ministerial.   

The conclusions from the ministerial meeting have been put forward in a joint communiqué. For the full text of the EFTA Ministers’ Communiqué, please visit EFTA.int

For further information about the modernized and expanded free trade agreement with Turkey, please visit EFTA.int

For further information about the free trade agreement with Ecuador, please visit EFTA.int

For the Norwegian news article about the EFTA ministerial meeting, please visit regjeringen.no