EFTA-Hong Kong free trade agreement enters into force

Published 28-09-2012
Following ratification by all Parties, the free trade agreement between the EFTA States and Hong Kong, China will enter into force on 1 October 2012 for Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and on 1 November 2012 for Norway.

The broad-based agreement was signed on 21 June 2011 in Schaan, Liechtenstein. It covers trade in goods (industrial and processed agricultural goods, as well as fish), trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, government procurement, competition and trade and environment. Bilateral arrangements on basic agricultural products between the individual EFTA States and Hong Kong complement the instruments establishing the free trade area between the two sides, along with a side agreement on labour.

Bilateral merchandise trade between EFTA and Hong Kong amounted to over USD 11 billion in 2011. Top EFTA exports to Hong Kong include watches, precious stones and metals, electrical machinery, pharmaceutical products, optical, medical and surgical instruments as well as fish.

The agreement will further enhance trade and investment relations between the two sides by creating new opportunities for economic operators from both sides. 

The agreement with Hong Kong is EFTA’s third treaty with an Asian partner, following those with Singapore and the Republic of Korea. EFTA's network of free trade agreements currently comprises 24 agreements covering 33 partners outside of the European Union.

For more information on the agreement, please visit the EFTA website on Hong Kong, China.