EFTA States and Ukraine sign Free Trade Agreement

Published 24-06-2010
Reykjavik - 24 June 2010 - Ministers from the Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland - and Ukraine signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) today. The FTA will further enhance the economic ties and promote trade and investment between the two sides.

The EFTA-Ukraine FTA was signed by Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Iceland; Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein; Trond Giske, Minister of Trade and Industry of Norway; Doris Leuthard, President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs; and Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

The EFTA States and Ukraine signed a Joint Declaration on Cooperation in 2000. Free trade negotiations were launched in April 2009 and concluded in early June 2010.

The EFTA-Ukraine FTA has a comprehensive coverage, including trade in goods (industrial and processed agricultural goods, fish and other marine products), trade in services, investment, trade facilitation, competition, protection of intellectual property rights and government procurement. Bilateral arrangements on agricultural products concluded between the individual EFTA States and Ukraine also form part of the instruments establishing the free trade area between the two sides. A Joint Committee will supervise the functioning of the FTA, which will enter into force after parliamentary approval in the EFTA States and in Ukraine.

Total merchandise trade between the EFTA States and Ukraine amounted to USD 716 million in 2009, with EFTA’s exports to Ukraine at USD 578 million and imports at USD 138 million. Annual growth of merchandise trade between 2003 and 2009 reached 18%. Ukraine is EFTA’s third most important export destination in Europe outside the EU. Trade in services and foreign direct investment has also grown in recent years.

With a combined population of only 12 million, the EFTA States are the world’s tenth largest merchandise trader, as well as significant actors in the areas of trade in services and foreign direct investment. They now have concluded 21 FTAs with a total of 30 partner countries outside the EU.

Contact:
Mr Tore Groenningsaeter
Information and Communication, EFTA Secretariat
+32 2 286 17 19
tgr@efta.int