Free trade agreements with Ecuador and Turkey: Federal Council gives green light

Bern, 21.11.2018 - On 21 November, the Federal Council adopted the dispatches on the free trade agreement (FTA) between the EFTA states and Ecuador and on the modernised EFTA FTA with Turkey. The dispatches will be submitted to the Federal Assembly for approval.

The two FTAs between the EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and Ecuador and Turkey, respectively, were signed on 25 June in Sauðárkrókur, Iceland. They cover a wide range of sectors. In Turkey’s case, this is the first time EFTA has subjected one of its existing agreements to comprehensive modernisation.

New agreement with Ecuador

The FTA with Ecuador improves market access and legal certainty for trade in goods (industrial and agricultural products), trade in services, investments and public procurement. In addition, it includes provisions on the protection of intellectual property, the dismantling of non-tariff trade barriers, including sanitary and phytosanitary measures, competition, trade facilitation, trade and sustainable development.

Modernised agreement with Turkey

Under the existing FTA, industrial products from EFTA countries are already fully exempt from customs duty in Turkey. The modernisation of the FTA will add new provisions to the agreement on mutual recognition of conformity assessment, rules on origin, the protection of intellectual property, trade in services, trade and sustainable development. The FTA will also grant Switzerland and Turkey additional concessions on processed agricultural products.

Parallel to the free trade agreements concluded within the framework of EFTA, the bilateral agreement on agriculture between Switzerland and Turkey was also revised. This will improve access for Swiss agricultural products to the Turkish market.

Important Swiss trading partners

With total trade amounting around CHF 3.3 billion per year (excluding precious metals, precious and semi-precious stones, works of art and antiques), Turkey ranks 20th among Switzerland’s most important economic partners. Switzerland’s trade volume with Ecuador amounted to around CHF 200 million in 2017. In that year, Ecuador ranked 6th among Switzerland’s trading partners in South America.

Address for enquiries

Karin Büchel
Head of Free Trade Agreements/EFTA
Tel. 058 462 88 16


The Federal Council

Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research

Last modification 03.10.2018

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