Iceland takes over chair of the EFTA Council

Published 11-07-2012
The EFTA Council met on 11 July 2012 in Geneva. Iceland, holding the rotating Council chair for the second half of the year, presented its priorities. The Council also reviewed the Ministerial meeting in Gstaad, Switzerland and the recent negotiating round with Indonesia.

Regarding ongoing free trade negotiations, Iceland’s priorities for the second half of 2012 include finalising negotiations and signing a free trade agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The priorities further aim at moving forward in the talks with India, the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan as well as Vietnam. In relation to new partners, the priorities include launching negotiations with Malaysia, signing a joint declaration on cooperation with Pakistan and further exploring the possibilities of developing closer trade relations with countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Continued work on the maintenance and development of EFTA’s existing free trade agreements was also identified as a priority.

The Council reviewed the Ministerial meeting on 28 June in Gstaad, where EFTA Ministers signed a Joint Declaration on Cooperation with Georgia.

The Council also discussed the fifth round of negotiations with Indonesia on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which was held in Engelberg, Switzerland from 3 to 6 July 2012.

The next Council meeting will take place on 4 October 2012.