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EFTA and Albania discuss implementation of new free trade agreement
The Joint Committee established under the free trade agreement between the EFTA States and Albania held its first meeting on 5 February 2013 in Tirana.
The EFTA-Albania Free Trade Agreement has been in force for all Parties since October 2011. The Joint Committee took stock of this initial period, noting with satisfaction the smooth implementation of the agreement and positive trends in bilateral trade. Among other issues discussed, delegations addressed a possible extension of the agreement to provisions on trade and sustainable development. A meeting of the Sub-Committee on Customs and Origin Matters preceded the Joint Committee.
The EFTA team was led by Martin Zbinden, Head of the Free Trade Agreements/EFTA Division in the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, while Director Pranvera Kastrati, from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy, headed the Albanian delegation.
Total bilateral merchandise trade between the EFTA States and Albania amounted to USD 49 million in 2011. EFTA-based companies are also significant investors in Albania, notably in the energy sector.