EFTA-Israel Joint Committee adopts two decisions

Published 21-11-2018
Swiss Ambassador Markus Schlagenhof and director Daniel Kolbar.
The ninth meeting of the Joint Committee established under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EFTA States and Israel took place on 21 November 2018 in Geneva. Ambassador Markus Schlagenhof, Head of World Trade at Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, acted as the EFTA Spokesperson, while the Israeli delegation was led by Mr Daniel Kolbar, Director of Bilateral Trade Agreements at Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry.

Delegations exchanged views on the status of bilateral trade between the two sides, noting the increase in merchandise trade in the last ten years. The Joint Committee also reviewed and discussed possible further developments in issues related to market access for fisheries products, intellectual property rights, trade in services, investment, and sustainable development. Two decisions were adopted: one updating Protocol A of the FTA pertaining to processed agricultural products and the other amending the Annex listing products excluded from the scope of the Agreement.

Total merchandise trade between EFTA and Israel reached EUR 1 378 million in 2017, an increase from 805 million in 2007. In 2017, EFTA’s exports to Israel were valued at EUR 1 026 million  while imports reached EUR 352 million. EFTA’s main exports to Israel in 2017 were pharmaceuticals, followed by seafood and machinery. Other important exports were precious metals and clocks and watches. Among EFTA’s leading imports from Israel were precious metals, machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical machinery, medical instruments and fruits and nuts.

Further information on EFTA-Israel trade can be found with the EFTA Trade Statistics Tool.

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