EFTA Ministerial Meeting, Longyearbyen, 25th – 27th June 2017

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From left: Mr. Kristinn F. Árnason, Secretary-General, EFTA; Mr. Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Iceland; Ms. Monica Mæland, 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. Photo: EFTA, Geneva.

The EFTA summer Ministerial Meeting was convened in Longyearbyen, Norway, from the 25th to the 27th of June 2017. The meeting was chaired by Ms. Monica Mæland, the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry. Attending the meeting were also Mr. Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Iceland; 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, the Secretary-General of EFTA.

Recent developments internationally show how important it is to oppose protectionism. Our wealth depends on trade. Therefore, Norway needs an open, non-discriminatory and predictable multilateral framework for trade. EFTA’s work on free trade agreements is very important for employment and economic growth in Norway, said Minister Mæland.

The Ministers discussed an array of issues relevant to the international economic and trade environment. They also exchanged views on EFTA’s global network of free trade agreements, relations with the European Union and relations with the UK.

The conclusions from the meeting have been put forward in a joint communiqué. In that communiqué the Ministers underline the importance of safeguarding the ideals of free trade on the basis of mutually agreed international commitments, and of raising awareness of the benefits that trade can bring. The ministers further underline their commitment to open trade on the basis of a rules-based, transparent and inclusive multilateral trading system, and they stress the importance of making the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires a success that delivers positive outcomes and a path forward.

 

For the full text of the EFTA Ministers’ Communiqué, please visit:

http://www.efta.int/About-EFTA/news/EFTA-Ministerial-meeting-Communique-504016

For the Norwegian news article, please visit:

https://www.regjeringen.no/no/aktuelt/diskuterte-brexit-pa-svalbard/id2563466/