A Joint Statement launching the negotiations was signed by Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, President of the Swiss Confederation (EFTA Chair); Ambassador Martin Eyjólfsson of Iceland; Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein; and Børge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway; as well as by Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Minister of Economy of Mexico. The President of Mexico, Mr Enrique Peña Nieto, witnessed the signing ceremony.
The EFTA-Mexico Free Trade Agreement was signed in Mexico City on 27 November 2000 and entered into force on 1 July 2001. Mexico and EFTA agreed to launch negotiations following the finalization of the General Framework for a Review of the Free Trade Agreement between the United Mexican States and the EFTA States on 28 October 2015, whereby the Parties agreed on the terms of reference for negotiations for updating and expanding the Agreement.
In the review process, the Parties foresee to enhance market access for goods, services, investment and government procurement. The Parties also aim to reflect international developments and the treaty practice of the Parties since the signing of the EFTA-Mexico FTA, notably in regard of rules of origin, SPS, TBT, trade remedies, IPR and competition, as well as in areas not yet covered by the Mexico-EFTA FTA, such as trade facilitation and sustainable development.
Merchandise trade between the EFTA States and Mexico reached USD 4.2 billion in 2014. EFTA's top exports to Mexico included pharmaceutical products; organic chemicals; machinery and mechanical appliances; and clocks and watches. EFTA imports mainly consisted of pharmaceutical products; precious stones; and mineral fuels and oil.
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