EFTA and Chile acknowledge conclusion of modernized free trade agreement

28 February 2024 11:10

Liechtenstein

Abu Dhabi/Geneva - Ministers and high-ranking representatives of the EFTA states and Chile have acknowledged the conclusion of their modernized free trade agreement. The meeting took place on the fringes of the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi.

The EFTA states (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland) and Chile have successfully completed negotiations on the modernization of their free trade agreement. The updated agreement will be signed at the EFTA Ministerial Meeting in Geneva on June 24, 2024. According to a press release, ministers and high-ranking representatives from the EFTA states acknowledged the successful conclusion on the fringes of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi. Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide led the EFTA delegation, while Vice Minister of Trade Claudia Sanhueza headed up the Chilean delegation.

The free trade agreement entered into force in 2004. A modernized agreement was finalized on January 19, following seven rounds of negotiations. The agreement now includes new regulations on trade in goods, trade in services including financial services, intellectual property rights and government procurement. It also contains chapters on trade and sustainable development, digital trade, and a chapter on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for the first time in EFTA’s history. A press release issued by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs explains that in future, 99.99 per cent of all Swiss exports to Chile will now be duty-free.

Bilateral trade in goods between EFTA and Chile reached a volume of almost €847 million in 2022. EFTA’s most important export goods to Chile were pharmaceutical products, machinery and mechanical equipment. Imports from Chile mainly comprised chemicals, fruits and nuts, fats and oils, beverages and spirits, and animal feed. ce/gba 

 

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