European Free Trade Association


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Related to European Free Trade Association: European Union, European Economic Area

European Free Trade Association (EFTA)

a regional ‘free trade area’ established in 1959 with the general objective of securing the benefits to be derived from greater INTERNATIONAL TRADE (see TRADE INTEGRATION entry for details). There were originally seven members of EFTA: the UK, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Norway and Portugal; these countries opted for a less comprehensive integration of their economies than that required by membership of the EUROPEAN UNION (EU) formed the year previously. In 1973, however, the UK and Denmark left and joined the EU, and Portugal joined the EU in 1986. Three countries have joined EFTA: Finland in 1961, Iceland in 1970 and Liechtenstein in 1991. However, the whole future of EFTA has been put in the melting pot as a further three members (Finland, Austria and Sweden) joined the European Union in 1995 and it is possible that others may follow. See EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA.

European Free Trade Association (EFTA)

a regional alliance established by the Stockholm Treaty, 1959, with the general objective of securing the benefits of FREE TRADE for its member countries. EFTA came about following the breakdown of attempts in the latter half of the 1950s to create a large European-based CUSTOMS UNION. Those countries in favour of the customs union approach, with its detailed commitment to long-term economic integration, duly formed the EUROPEAN UNION (EU) in 1958. The remainder, for a variety of reasons such as colonial connections and a political preference for neutrality, chose the FREE TRADE AREA route and formed EFTA.

There were seven original members of EFTA: Austria, the UK, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland. Finland joined in 1961, Iceland in 1970 and Liechtenstein in 1991. In 1973, however, the UK and Denmark left and joined the EU, and Finland, Sweden and Austria joined the EU in 1995.

Import restrictions on trade between member countries were abolished in stages over the period 1960–66, while each country continued to operate its own separate TARIFFS, etc., against nonmembers.

See EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA, GAINS FROM TRADE.

References in periodicals archive ?
The European Free Trade Association is a regional trade organization and free trade area consisting of four European States including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Signed, but not yet implemented: Canada, European Free Trade Association, European Union, United States Under negotiation: Korea, Panama, Turkey
The Union's EFTA group, made up of experts from the 27 states, continued its review on 29 November of the draft conclusions on relations between the Union and the four member countries of the European Free Trade Association (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), set to be adopted by the Council in December.
The tobacco giant hopes that the district court will refer the case directly to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) court.
Summary: Algeria is to sign a free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), said Sunday here Trade Minister El Hachemi Djaaboub, while announcing, in the same respect.
Korea currently has free trade pacts with Chile, Singapore and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which consists of Switzerland, Norway, Ireland and Lichtenstein.
Singapore, a strong advocate of bilateral free trade agreements due to disenchantment with the slow progress of global trade liberalization, has signed similar pacts with the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the European Free Trade Association.
Singapore and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) recently wrapped up negotiations for a free-trade agreement but the pact has not yet been signed as legal technicalities must be completed.
In June, for example, members of the European Community and European Free Trade Association officials met in Austria to work out details of an agreement to create a 19-nation European "economic area" of 380 million consumers.
A CE Marking is certification that a product meets the standards established by the 25-nation European Union ("EU") and four-nation European Free Trade Association ("EFTA") and qualifies the product for sale in those countries.
Although Microsoft Cloud Services are already available throughout Europe, with the companys two new datacenters in the UK a few weeks back, this particular model, as said by Microsoft, will offer a different option to an already available system, generating increased opportunities for innovation and economic development for regulated partners and customers in Germany, the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
By CE marking a product, a manufacturer declares that the product meets all the legal requirements for the CE marking, which means that the product can be sold throughout the European Economic Area, the 28member States of the EU and European Free Trade Association countries, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

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