EFTA and Tunisia Discuss Free Trade Relations

Published 01-03-2007
Delegations from the Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) - Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland - and Tunisia held their first Joint Committee meeting on 27-28 Feb, to discuss various aspects relating to the agreement and its implementation since the entry into force.

Mr. Metrez Ben Rhouma, Head of the Directorate General Relations with EU and EFTA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed the Tunisian Delegation.  Mr. Norbert Frick, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein to EFTA and the international organisations in Geneva, acted as EFTA Chairman.

The Parties agreed that the implementation of the agreement has run smoothly. It is expected that mutual trade will increase and co-operation further intensify. The delegations also reaffirmed their commitments with regard to technical assistance in various fields and discussed possible future projects.

According to the EFTA Secretariat statistical sources, the value of EFTA-Tunisia merchandise trade amounted to around 130 million USD in 2005.  This represented a 7.1% increase in nominal terms compared to 2004.  In 2005, the EFTA States exported goods to Tunisia worth 80 million USD (a 5% decrease from 2004) and imported goods from Tunisia worth near 50 million USD (up 36% from 2004).

 

The EFTA States' leading exports in 2005: 

Machinery and mechanical appliances constituted Switzerland's largest single export item to Tunisia (representing 20% of its overall merchandise exports to Tunisia) - followed by pharmaceutical products (12%) and tobacco (10%).  Norway's most important export item was electrical machinery representing 34% of its exports to Tunisia - followed by machinery and mechanical appliances (23%), and other special import provisions (13%).  Iceland's main exports to Tunisia also consisted of machinery and mechanical appliances (80%), followed by fat and oils (20%).

 

The EFTA States' leading imports in 2005:

Electrical machinery represented Switzerland's largest import item from Tunisia (accounting for 21% of its imports) - followed by woven apparel and clothing accessories (11%) and toys and sports equipment (8%). Norway's leading import item from Tunisia was woven apparel and clothing accessories (42%), salt, sulphur, earths and stone (37%) and knitted apparel and clothing accessories (12%).  Iceland's main import from Tunisia consisted of salt, sulphur, earths and stone (49%), followed by woven apparel and clothing accessories (34%).