EFTA-Chile: Negotiations on modernisation of free trade agreement

Bern, 20.01.2024 - The EFTA states (Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and Chile concluded negotiations on the modernisation of their free trade agreement in Santiago de Chile on January 19th 2024. Switzerland is thereby continuing its successful free trade policy and strengthening the competitiveness of its economy.

The free trade agreement (FTA) between the EFTA states and Chile has been in force since 2004. Compared to Switzerland's more recent FTAs, it had some gaps. In order to close these gaps, Chile and the EFTA states began negotiations in 2019 to modernise the agreement, which have now been successfully concluded.

The modernisation brings the agreement largely in line with more recent EFTA FTAs concluded with third countries. It provides for broader market access and further improves the legal framework and predictability for economic operators.

The modernisation of the agreement means that almost all Swiss exports to Chile will be duty-free in future (99.99%). In addition, it will incorporate provisions on trade and sustainable development, financial services, SMEs and e-commerce. It also guarantees the protection of important Swiss geographical indications (GIs). In addition, it now covers all intellectual property rights and their enforcement.

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, reaching a volume of CHF 1.2 billion in 2022. Trade in services has also grown over the years and totalled around CHF 500 million in 2022. Swiss investments in Chile also recorded growth. The Swiss private sector is present in various sectors in Chile and employs around 18,000 people.

The texts will be legally finalised in the coming weeks. The agreement is scheduled to be signed at the EFTA Ministerial Meeting with Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER, in Geneva in June.

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Last modification 30.01.2024

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