EFTA and Turkey Discuss Their Free Trade Relations

Published 31-05-2006
At the eighth meeting of the Joint EFTA-Turkey Committee since the entry into force of their Free Trade Agreement in 1992, the parties discussed various aspects of the agreement. The Joint Committee adopted three Decisions that will further facilitate the trade in goods between the Parties.

This includes the new Pan-Euro Mediterranean rules of origin and a further liberalisation of trade in processed agricultural products. The Parties exchanged information on their respective relations with the EU, recent economic developments and their free trade initiatives. The Parties also discussed their cooperation in the fields of technical regulations, intellectual property, public procurement, competition and trade in services. They further agreed that experts should meet to discuss technical regulations before the summer recess and that public procurement experts should meet during the early fall of 2006.

Mr. Kaya Türkmen, Deputy Director General, Directorate General for the EU Accession Process, headed the Turkish Delegation. Mr. Kristinn Árnason, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Iceland to EFTA and the international organisations in Geneva, chaired the EFTA Delegation.

According to the EFTA Secretariat's statistical sources, the value of EFTA-Turkey merchandise trade (imports plus exports) amounted to approximately 2,872 million USD in 2005.  This represents an 3.6% increase in nominal terms compared to 2004.  Turkey represents 0.70% of EFTA States trade with the world.  The EFTA States imported goods from Turkey worth 945 million USD (a 20% increase in nominal terms from 2004) and exported goods to Turkey worth 1,928 million USD (down 3% from 2004).

Machinery and mechanical appliances (from all the EFTA States), pharmaceutical products and organic chemicals (Switzerland), mineral fuels and oil and aluminium (Norway) as well as fats and oils and hides and skins (Iceland) constituted EFTA's most important export items to Turkey. As regards imports from Turkey, knitted and woven apparel (to all the EFTA States), vehicles (Norway and Iceland), fruits and nuts (Switzerland) as well as iron and steel products (Iceland) had the biggest shares.

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