Artikkel | Sist oppdatert: 13.10.2021 | Nærings- og fiskeridepartementet
Norway negotiates free trade agreements with other countries through the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The trade agreements secure Norwegian business' access to international markets and facilitate trade with partner countries. In this page you will find information about EFTA and on the free trade agreements Norway/EFTA has with third party countries.
EFTA is an inter-governmental organisation established in 1960. Since then, the European Union (EU) has absorbed six of ten EFTA members. Today, EFTA consists of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Norway. All except Switzerland are members of the European Economic Agreement (EEA).
EFTA was founded on the premise of free trade as a means of achieving growth and prosperity amongst its Member States as well as promoting closer economic co-operation between the Western European countries. Furthermore, EFTA was created to be an alternative to the EC's (EU) ambitions on economic integration.
EFTA's free trade agreements
One of EFTA's main goals has been to contribute to the expansion of trade in the world at large. Since the beginning of the 1990s, EFTA has actively pursued trade relations with third countries in and beyond Europe. A guiding principle for EFTA’s negotiations with third party countries has been to secure that EFTA businesses enjoy the same rights and privileges as businesses from the EU in third country markets. In recent, the EFTA states have prioritised negotiations based on economic considerations, regardless of the EU's trade relations with the third party country in question.
The EFTA countries negotiate their free trade agreements in common, speaking with one voice at the negotiating table. However, EFTA does not have a common trade policy – all member states have to agree on the negotiation parameters prior to each round of negotiations. Thus, each member country maintains full sovereignty in the process.
The free trade agreements secure Norwegian access to international markets and facilitate trade with partner countries, and are therefore an important part of the Norwegian trade policy.
EFTA countries enjoy access to one of the world’s largest networks of preferential trade relations, covering 80% of EFTA’s merchandise trade. This network continues to expand thanks to an ambitious agenda of negotiations. EFTA has also signed Joint Declarations on Cooperation with a number of countries to improve cooperation and as a possible first step to the negotiation of a free trade agreement." Deretter lenkes det til denne siden, skriv noe slikt om (More about EFTA's free trade agreements can be found here:): https://www.efta.int/free-trade/free-trade-agreements