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European Free Trade Association

Conventional Long NameEuropean Free Trade
Association (EFTA)
Native Name   
Linking Namethe European Free Trade Association
Symbol TypeLogo
Image SymbolEFTA logo.svg
Org TypeTrade bloc
Membership TypeMember states
Admin Center TypeSecretariat
Admin CenterGeneva, Switzerland
Languages TypeOfficial languages
LanguagesGerman, French, Italian, Romansh, Norwegian, and Icelandic 
Leader Title1Secretary General
Leader Name1Norway Kåre Bryn
Leader Title2EFTA Council Chair
Leader Name2Switzerland Switzerland
Established3 May 1960
Established Event1EFTA Convention
Established Date14 January 1960
Area Km2529,600
Area Sq Mi204,518
Population Estimate12,660,623
Population Estimate Year2007
Population Density Km2100.6
Population Density Sq Mi59.82
GDP PPP$567.5 billion
GDP PPP Year2007 (IMF)
GDP PPP Per Capita$44,828
GDP Nominal$743.3 billion
GDP Nominal Year2007 (IMF)
GDP Nominal Per Capita$58,714
CurrencyIcelandic króna, Norwegian krone, Swiss franc
Currency CodeISK, NOK, CHF
Time ZoneWET / CET
Utc Offset+0 / +1
Utc Offset DST+1 / +2

     Home | Country | European Free Trade Association

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a free trade organisation between four European countries that operates parallel to, and is linked to, the European Union (EU).

EFTA was established on 3 May 1960 as a trade bloc-alternative for European states who were either unable to, or chose not to, join the then-European Economic Community (EEC) which has now become the European Union (EU). The Stockholm Convention, establishing EFTA, was signed on 4 January 1960 in Stockholm by seven countries.

Today, only Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein remain members of EFTA (of which Norway and Switzerland are the only remaining founding members). The initial Stockholm Convention was subsequently replaced by the Vaduz Convention. This Convention provides for the liberalisation of trade among the member states.

Three of the EFTA countries are part of the European Union Internal Market through the Agreement on a European Economic Area (EEA), which took effect in 1994; the fourth, Switzerland, opted to conclude bilateral agreements with the EU. In addition, the EFTA states have jointly concluded free trade agreements with a number of other countries.

In 1999 Switzerland concluded a set of bilateral agreements with the European Union covering a wide range of areas, including movement of persons, transport and technical barriers to trade. This development prompted the EFTA States to modernise their Convention to ensure that it will continue to provide a successful framework for the expansion and liberalization of trade among them and with the rest of the world.

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