The EFTA countries and Kosovo meet in Borgarnes, Iceland to launch free trade negotiations

Published 20-06-2022
From left to right: Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch - Switzerland, Janicke Andreassen - Norway, Dominique Hasler - Liechtenstein, Rozeta Hajdari - Kosovo, Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir - Iceland, Henri Gétaz - EFTA Secretary-General
The Minister of Industry, Entrepreneurship and Trade of Kosovo, Ms Rozeta Hajdari, met on 20 June 2022 in Borgarnes, Iceland, with the Ministerial Chair and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland Ms Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, as well as the other EFTA Ministers, Ms Dominique Hasler, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education and Sport from Liechtenstein, Ms Janicke Andreassen, State Secretary for Trade and Industry from Norway, and Ms Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, State Secretary for Economic Affairs from Switzerland, to launch the negotiation process of a free trade agreement between Kosovo and EFTA.

"The conclusion of this Agreement is vital for the Republic of Kosovo and aims to develop cooperation between Kosovo and EFTA countries putting focus on deepening and strengthening relations based on common interests in the field of economy, trade and investment. Moreover, in addition to economic importance, the signing of this Agreement is vital for Kosovo in terms of politics concerning other trading partners and foreign investors. I want to confirm, once again, that such a stance today represents an important decision in opening the Kosovar economy toward new development opportunities. I look forward to our future partnership, in particular due to the fact that we have a very strong diaspora in the majority of EFTA countries. Our diaspora is a little treasure, 70 % of the population is under 35 years old and therefore our work and commitment of the government is to ensure a good progress for the future of our people, our youth and for remittance of our diaspora to bring them to investment" said the Minister of Industry, Entrepreneurship and Trade of Kosovo, Ms Rozeta Hajdari. 

Economic relations between the EFTA States and Kosovo

Bilateral EFTA-Kosovo merchandise trade has increased rapidly since 2002 and reached more than USD 127 million in 2021. EFTA’s main exports to Kosovo in 2021 were vehicles, tobacco, and pharmaceutical products. In the same year, merchandise imports from Kosovo consisted mainly of furniture, plastics, and articles of iron and steel. Read more about merchandise trade between EFTA and Kosovo here

EFTA as a trade partner

With a combined population of over 14.4 million and a combined GDP of more than USD 1.14 trillion, the EFTA States are the world’s thirteenth largest merchandise trader and the eighth largest trader in commercial services, as well as significant actors in foreign direct investment. In addition to the European Economic Area (EEA) and the Swiss-EU bilateral agreements, EFTA has 29 free trade agreements (FTAs) with a total of 40 partner countries worldwide.

 

 

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EEA Seminar - 15 September 2022