EFTA holds workshop on FTA preference utilisation in collaboration with international experts

Published 01-03-2024

On 28 and 29 February 2024, trade experts from the EFTA States met in Brussels to discuss the latest findings on the effective use of EFTA’s free trade agreements (FTAs). They further exchanged views with a host of partners on efforts to monitor and improve preference utilisation. The workshop saw participation from experts representing the European Commission, Canada, China, Chile, France, Japan, Türkiye and the United Kingdom. Additionally, the International Trade Centre and Mendel Verlag presented their work on the topic. 

During the workshop, EFTA gained valuable insights into the approaches taken by partner countries and organisations in addressing trade monitoring, information dissemination and validation, and steps to improve preference utilisation. Discussions covered a wide array of topics such as data collection, collaboration frameworks, qualitative and quantitative research on the use of FTAs, and engagement with both domestic stakeholders and international partners. In addition to holding discussions with partners, EFTA experts exchanged internally on the scope for expanding and enhancing the current FTA Monitor. 

EFTA aims to publish the third edition of the FTA Monitor in the second quarter of 2024. The Monitor covers trade both among the EFTA States and under EFTA’s FTAs with third countries around the world. It contains fine-grained information on preference utilisation rates, as well as achieved and non-achieved savings linked to EFTA’s FTAs. The Monitor further allows an evaluation of how effectively EFTA’s FTAs are utilised and the extent to which tariff savings are realised, thus providing valuable insights into the impact of these agreements on trade across different sectors and product groups. 

EFTA’s FTA Monitor is available in a dedicated section of the EFTA website

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