EFTA and Turkey start negotiations on expansion of free trade agreement

Published 24-06-2014
At the 11th meeting of the Joint Committee under the EFTA-Turkey Free Trade Agreement (FTA), held on 19 June 2014 in Ankara, delegations agreed on the scope and process for further developing the agreement.

Delegations discussed a number of issues pertaining to the application of the FTA. Then, building on previous exploratory work, they focused on the scope of talks on extending the agreement, in addition to trade in services. Topics to be discussed will notably include sanitary and phytosanitary issues, technical barriers to trade, trade facilitation, intellectual property rights, competition and sustainable development. An agenda was set out for the further process, with the first negotiating round foreseen for September 2014.

The Joint Committee meeting was co-chaired by Mr Erik Andreas Underland, Chief Negotiator from the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fishery, on the EFTA side, and Mr Emre Orhan Öztelli, Deputy Director General of EU Affairs of the Turkish Ministry of Economy.

Bilateral EFTA-Turkey merchandise trade has increased steadily since 2001 and reached USD 5.2 billion in 2013, when EFTA’s main exports to Turkey were pharmaceutical products, machinery, mineral/fuel oil, chemical fertilisers and fish. Merchandise imports from Turkey consisted mainly of apparel articles and accessories, and vehicles.