EFTA and Turkey hold fourth round of negotiations

Published 06-04-2017
From left: Mr Thórdur Sigtryggsson, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Iceland in Geneva; Ms Karin Büchel, Minister, Head of the Free Trade Agreement/EFTA Division, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, Switzerland; Mr Pascal Schafhauser, Min
From 4 to 6 April 2017, delegations from the EFTA States and Turkey met in Ankara for the fourth round of negotiations on the modernisation and expansion of their existing free trade agreement (FTA).

Mr Erik Andreas Underland, Chief Negotiator from the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, acted as EFTA spokesperson, while Mr Murat Yapici, Director-General for EU Affairs, led the Turkish delegation.

The parties made significant progress in respect of the update and expansion of the FTA. Discussions were held in several areas, most notably in trade in goods, including technical barriers to trade, rules of origin and trade facilitation; trade in services; intellectual property rights; and legal and horizontal matters. Both sides agreed to continue the negotiations with the aim of concluding the update before the end of 2017, and agreed to hold the fifth round in autumn. Intersessional discussions on various outstanding issues will be held in the meantime.

In the margins of this fourth round, the Joint Committee convened on an ad hoc basis and adopted Decision 1 of 2017 on the linkage of the PEM Convention.

Bilateral EFTA-Turkey merchandise trade has increased steadily since 2001 and reached EUR 6 billion in 2016. EFTA’s main exports to Turkey are precious metals, pharmaceutical products, machinery and mineral fuel. Merchandise imports from Turkey consist mainly of precious metals, apparel articles and accessories, and vehicles.

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