SECO press release (free translation)
Bern, 25.06.2018 – On the occasion of the EFTA Ministerial Meeting in Saudarkrokur, Iceland, Federal Councilor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann and his counterparts from Iceland and Norway as well as the Liechtenstein Minister for Foreign Affairs, Justice and Culture have signed a free trade agreement with Ecuador. On the Ecuadorian side, Foreign Trade Minister Pablo Campana Sáenz signed his agreement. The economic and trade relations between the EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) and Ecuador should be strengthened thanks to this free trade agreement.
The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Ecuador covers many sectors. It improves market access and legal certainty for trade in goods (industrial and agricultural products), trade in services, investment and public procurement. It also includes provisions to protect intellectual property, reduce non-tariff barriers to trade, including sanitary and phytosanitary measures, competition, trade facilitation, trade and sustainable development.
The EFTA States benefit from the abolition of customs duties from the entry into force of the FTA or the expiry of transitional periods for all industrial products. In addition, Ecuador will grant reductions or elimination of customs duties on certain agricultural export products of importance to Switzerland.
Ecuador has significant growth potential that Swiss economic operators will be able to exploit thanks to this agreement. In 2017, Ecuador was Switzerland’s sixth largest trading partner in South America.
The agreement with Ecuador allows the EFTA States to strengthen their economic and trade relations with this partner and to avoid any discrimination in the Ecuadorian market as a result of the FTA that entered into force on 1 January 2017 between Ecuador and the EU.