EFTA - European Free Trade Association

10/23/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/23/2018 03:13

Negotiations on an update of the EFTA-SACU free trade agreement continue

The third meeting in the review process of the free trade agreement between EFTA and SACU (Southern African Customs Union) took place in Oslo on 16 to 19 October. The SACU delegation was headed by Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, Deputy Director General at the Ministry of Trade and Industry of South Africa, while Lars Erik Nordgaard, Senior Adviser at the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, acted as the EFTA Spokesperson.

Aiming for a general update and development of the FTA, and building on the progress achieved in the second review meeting and intersessional activities, the negotiating teams continued their discussions on trade in goods, customs and rules of origin and trade and sustainable development. Detailed follow-ups to be carried out by both sides in view of the next review meeting were agreed, as well as intersessional meetings and discussions by video conference.

Merchandise trade stands at some 1.6 billion USD and has grown steadily over recent years. EFTA's main exports include pharmaceuticals, ships and vessels, machinery and mineral fuel, while imports include aluminium, vehicles and nickel, as well as fruits, nuts and meat.

The delegations aim at holding the next review meeting in early 2019.