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EFTA, Philippines Hold Second Round Of FTA Talks

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland – and the Philippines held a second round of negotiations towards a free trade agreement from June 29 to July 3, 2015.

Various working groups convened in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss areas such as trade in goods (including technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade remedies, and trade facilitation), trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition, trade and sustainable development, and legal and institutional issues.

The meetings were said to have been held in a positive and efficient atmosphere, and good progress was achieved in several areas.

The first round of negotiations took place in the Philippines in March 2015. The next round is scheduled to take place in September 2015.

Total commodity trade between the EFTA states and the Philippines has grown steadily in recent years, with an increase of just over four percent from 2010 to 2014 and total trade in 2014 amounting to around USD636m, EFTA said.


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