Anniversary gift to mark 50 years of EFTA

Bern, 02.09.2010 - For fifty years the European Free Trade Association EFTA has been one of Switzerland’s most important trade policy instruments. As part of EFTA our country, together with Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland, has concluded 23 free trade agreements. A commemorative postage stamp is being issued to mark this jubilee year.

"This ‘small' EFTA is the world's seventh largest trader in goods and the fifth largest trader in services", noted President Doris Leuthard at the press conference on Thursday, which was also attended by EFTA Secretary-General Kare Bryn and the chairman of the Swiss Post board of directors, Peter Hasler. The commemorative stamp issued by SwissPost was jointly unveiled by all three.. The stamp, which is valid from 3 September, depicts an international and uniting EFTA. "The full unifying function of EFTA, with its trading partners, will be revealed though a series of stamps", explained SwissPost chairman, Peter Hasler.

EFTA, which has its headquarters in Geneva, was established 50 years ago with the aim of encouraging economic growth and the prosperity of its member states. Today, thanks to the free trade agreements that have been concluded with countries around the world, particularly since the late 1990s, the EFTA member states have facilitated access to markets outside the EU with around 600 million consumers. EFTA Secretary-General Kare Bryn, who has now been in office for a little over three years, asserted that "EFTA has come a long way from its origins of economic cooperation in Europe to today's global network of free trade agreements. We can be proud of what has been achieved."

Address for enquiries

Evelyn Kobelt, Press Spokesperson FDEA Tel. 031 322 20 59


Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research