Signing of free trade agreement between EFTA and Canada
Bern, 26.01.2008 - On 26 January Federal Councillor Leuthard and the ministers of the other EFTA (European Free Trade Association: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) countries signed a free trade agreement with Canada in Davos.
The free trade agreement between EFTA and Canada was signed at the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos. EFTA was represented by the head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, Iceland's Minister for Economic Affairs and External Trade Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladottir, Liechtenstein's Minister for Foreign Affairs Rita Kieber-Beck and Norway's deputy Trade and Industry Minister Annelene Svingen. The Canadian delegation was headed by the Minister for International Trade David Emerson.
The agreement with Canada will eliminate or reduce duties on industrial goods and processed agricultural products. Alongside the free trade agreement the individual EFTA states have concluded signed bilateral agriculture agreements with Canada that contain customs concessions for selected agricultural products. In terms of trade in services, investment and public procurement the agreement provides for the taking up of negotiations at the latest three years after its entry into force. The agreements will come into force on completion of the ratification process, probably at the beginning of 2009.
The new free trade agreement strengthens economic and trade relations with Canada and guarantees mutually improved market access. The agreement with Canada serves to consolidate the network of free trade agreements established by the EFTA states since the beginning of the 1990s. In terms of trade flow, Canada will be the largest free trade partner of the EFTA states after the European Union.
For Switzerland, a country dependent on exports with diversified markets worldwide, the conclusion of free trade agreements with important partner countries - alongside membership of the WTO and the contractual relations with the European Union - is one of three main pillars in its policy of market liberalisation and of improving the general conditions for foreign trade.
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Christian Etter, Ambassador, Federal Council Delegate for Trade Agreements, SECO, Foreign Economic Affairs Directorate, Tel: 079 334 32 53
Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research
Last modification 12.02.2020
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