The European Free Trade Agreement, or EFTA, is a trade bloc that was established in 1960 among four European countries: Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. EFTA was established to promote free trade and economic integration among its member states. Over the years, EFTA has expanded its membership, and today, it has 28 member states.
One of the main objectives of EFTA is to promote free trade among its member states. This is achieved by eliminating tariffs and other trade barriers between member states. The goal is to create a level playing field for businesses operating in the EFTA countries, thereby fostering increased economic growth and competitiveness.
EFTA also seeks to promote cooperation among its member states in areas such as environmental protection, energy, and research and development. By working together on these issues, EFTA members can achieve greater results than they could on their own.
EFTA has also been instrumental in negotiating free trade agreements with countries outside the bloc. For example, EFTA has signed free trade agreements with Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, and South Korea, among others.
One of the key benefits of belonging to EFTA is that member states have access to the European Single Market. This is a market of over 500 million people, which enables businesses to sell their goods and services throughout the European Union (EU) without facing tariffs or other trade barriers.
EFTA member states are not part of the EU, but they have close ties with the bloc. For example, EFTA and the EU have a joint committee that oversees the implementation of the EFTA-EEA Agreement. This agreement allows EFTA member states to participate in many of the EU`s policies and programs, including the single market.
In conclusion, the European Free Trade Agreement is a trade bloc that promotes free trade and economic integration among its member states. By eliminating trade barriers and promoting cooperation, EFTA fosters economic growth and competitiveness. As an EFTA member state, businesses have access to the European Single Market, which provides many benefits.