The competition rules contained in an EFTA free trade agreement aim to ensure that trade liberalization under the free trade agreement is not hampered by business practices that can prevent, restrict or distort competition. They also apply to state-owned enterprises and monopolies. Norway negotiates free trade agreements with other countries through the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Trade agreements guarantee Norwegian companies access to international markets and facilitate trade with partner countries. On this page, you will find information on EFTA and the free trade agreements between Norway and EFTA with third countries. EFTA-EFTA is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1960. Since then, the European Union (EU) has hosted six out of ten EFTA members. Today, EFTA consists of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Norway. All but Switzerland are members of the European Economic Agreement (EEA).
Click here to learn more about the EEA and Norway`s relations with the EU. EFTA has based itself on the premise of free trade as a means of achieving growth and prosperity among its Member States and promoting closer economic cooperation between Western European countries. In addition, EFTA was created as an alternative to the EU`s economic integration objectives. Click here to read a newsletter with more information about EFTA. EFTA Free Trade Agreements One of the main objectives of EFTA was to contribute to the expansion of world trade as a whole. Since the early 1990s, EFTA has been actively maintaining trade relations with third countries in and outside Europe. The main idea of the EFTA negotiations with third countries was to ensure that EFTA companies enjoy the same rights and privileges as EU companies in third country markets. Recently, EFTA states have given priority to negotiations on the basis of economic considerations, regardless of the EU`s trade relations with the third country concerned. EFTA countries jointly negotiate their free trade agreements and speak with one voice at the negotiating table. However, EFTA does not have a common trade policy – all Member States must agree on the negotiating parameters before each round of negotiations. Each member country thus retains its full sovereignty.
Free trade agreements guarantee Norway access to international markets and facilitate trade with partner countries and are therefore an important part of Norwegian trade policy. EFTA free trade agreements complement Norway`s WTO commitments – the multilateral trading system is Norway`s top priority. Click here to read a brochure with more information on EFTA`s free trade relations. Norwegian exports and tradeWith a population of 4.5 million, Norway depends on trade to ensure a high standard of living for its citizens. As a small country, free trade is essential for the Norwegian economy. One of the main priorities of Norwegian trade policy is improving market access for industrial products, fish and services. Norwegian exports: – Norway exports about 40% of its goods and services. The main export products are oil, gas, minerals and seafood. – Norway is the world`s third largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia and Russia.- Norway`s fishing industry is one of the largest in Europe. The sector has experienced a rapid expansion of fish farming in recent years.- Norway has a proud tradition as a maritime nation and, after the creation of the Norwegian International Ship Registry in 1987, the Norwegian merchant fleet has become the fourth largest in the world. – Norway is one of the world leaders in a variety of industries such as energy, environmental technologies, aquaculture, shipping, hydropower, technology and telecommunications.
– The Norwegian government`s long-term focus on research and development has enabled