EFTA States and the Palestinian Authority discuss implementation of their Interim Agreement on free trade

Published 16-06-2003
Delegations from the EFTA States (Iceland, Leichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and the Palestinian Authority held their first Joint Committee meeting on the basis of their Interim Agreement on Free Trade of 1998 in Geneva on 11 June 2003. Mr. Saeb Bamya, Director General, International Relations Department, Ministry of National Economy, chaired the Palestinian Delegation while Mr. Ole Lundby, Deputy Director-General, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Norway, was the Spokesman for the EFTA side. A meeting of customs and origin experts took place prior to the Joint Committee meeting on 10 June 2003.

Delegations took stock of their economic relations. They shared the expectation that the improved implementation of their Interim Free Trade Agreement would lead to a further deepening of trade exchanges between the Parties. To that end, the Joint Committee adopted five decisions, including decisions that upgrade the Agreement and allow for a more efficient implementation of its rules to the benefit of the economic operators both in the Palestinian Territories and the EFTA States.

The EFTA-PLO/PA Interim Agreement covers trade in goods and contains provisions for a possible future liberalization of other areas of common interest such as services and investment.