EFTA and Albania hold first round of free trade negotiations

Published 15-05-2009
The first round of negotiations between the EFTA States and Albania took place in Tirana on 12-14 May 2009. The substantive progress achieved bodes well for the further process towards the conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement.

Building on longstanding relations between EFTA and Albania, notably a Joint Declaration on Cooperation that dates back to 1992, the four EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and the Republic of Albania held a productive first round of negotiations on 12-14 May 2009 in Tirana. 

The Parties agreed to aim at an agreement focusing on the liberalisation and facilitation of trade in goods, trade facilitation and on the strengthening of intellectual property rights. During the meetings, all parts of the draft agreement were discussed and significant progress achieved. To keep up the momentum, delegations agreed to meet again at the end of June 2009.

The EFTA delegation was led by Mr Hanspeter Tschäni, Minister, Head of International Economic Law Division for the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs Switzerland (SECO), while Ms Pranvera Kastrati, Director for Trade Policy from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy, led the Albanian side. Total EFTA-Albania trade in 2008 amounted to 42 million USD.