Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin signs modernised free trade agreement with Chile

Bern, 24.06.2024 - The EFTA states and Chile signed the protocol of amendment to modernise the free trade agreement in Geneva on 24 June. Switzerland is thus continuing its successful free trade policy and strengthening the competitiveness of the economy.

On the margins of the EFTA Ministerial Conference, the ministers of the four EFTA states Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway signed the protocol of amendment to modernise the free trade agreement (FTA) between EFTA and Chile in a meeting chaired by Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin.

The FTA between the EFTA states and Chile has been in force since 2004. Compared to Switzerland's more recent FTAs, it had gaps in several areas, which is why the EFTA states and Chile began negotiations in 2019 to modernise the existing agreement. The negotiations were successfully concluded at the beginning of the year.

The modernised agreement largely corresponds to the more recent EFTA FTAs concluded with third countries. In future, almost all Swiss exports to Chile will be duty-free (99.99%). Provisions on trade and sustainable development, financial services, SMEs and e-commerce have been added. In addition, it guarantees the protection of important Swiss geographical indications. It also covers all intellectual property rights and their enforcement, which further improves the legal framework and economic operators' ability to plan.

Chile is an important trading partner for Switzerland in Latin America. Since the free trade agreement came into force, bilateral trade in goods has grown steadily and reached a volume of CHF 1 billion in 2023. Trade in services has also grown over the years and amounted to around CHF 500 million in 2022. Swiss investments in Chile have also recorded growth. The Swiss private sector is present in Chile in various sectors and employs around 19,000 people.

The modernised agreement will enter into force once the internal approval processes have been completed.

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