EFTA's first two FTAs with Turkey and Israel were followed in the early to mid-1990s by a series of FTAs with Central and Eastern European countries. The EFTA States concluded these agreements, in parallel with similar EU agreements, not only to improve mutual market access, but also to support economic reforms in the transition countries. Eight of these agreements, with Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, were terminated on May 1st 2004, as were those with Bulgaria and Romania on January 1st 2007 and the one with Croatia on July 1st 2013, as a result of the accession of these partners to the EU. Free trade relations between Switzerland and the new EU member States remain, but as from now on the basis of the 1972 FTA between Switzerland and the EU. EFTA free trade agreements are currently in force with Croatia, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Ukraine and Montenegro. The FTA with Bosnia-Herzegovina has been signed on 24 June 2013. Free trade negotiations are in progress with the Russia/Belarus/Kazakhstan customs union.
Since the mid-1990s, the EFTA network of FTAs has been gradually extended into the Mediterranean region. EFTA's aim is to lay the ground for participation in the planned greater Euro-Mediterranean free trade area, which, according to the EU-led Barcelona process. By concluding FTAs, the EFTA States contribute to the promotion of economic cooperation in the Euro-Mediterranean area. EFTA has so far concluded FTAs with eight Mediterranean partners: Turkey, Israel, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia and Egypt. Negotiations with Algeria are currently underway.
Given the growing world-wide tendency towards the conclusion of regional and, yet more often, supra-regional FTAs, the EFTA States have since end of the 1990s begun to extend their free trade policy towards overseas partners. So far, FTAs have been concluded with Mexico, Singapore, Chile, the Republic of Korea, the SACU States (Southern African Customs Union: Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland), Canada, Colombia, Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman), Peru, Hong Kong and the Central America States (Panama and Costa Rica). Negotiations are currently ongoing with India, other Central America States, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.
A bilateral Free Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement between Switzerland and Japan is in force since September 2009. Switzerland is the first European country to have signed such an agreement with Japan. In addition, a Free Trade Agreement between Switzerland and China has been signed on 6 July 2013. China is, after the USA, the world's second-largest economy and, after the EU and the USA, Switzerland's third most important trade partner.
Furthermore, Switzerland and the other EFTA States continue to develop an active dialogue with other potential partners such as for example the Mercosur States (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay), in order to facilitate possible future free trade negotiations.
An overview of Switzerland's current network of free trade agreements as well as ongoing negotiations or negotiations in preparation is available under the heading "Free trade agreements" (List of Free Trade Agreements of Switzerland).