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Iceland, the rotating Council Chair of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) for the second half of 2016, presented its priorities at the EFTA Council meeting in Geneva on July 12, 2016.
Special emphasis will be placed on following the developments resulting from the United Kingdom's referendum on European Union membership. The Chair intends to conduct close consultations among the EFTA States – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland – with a view to maintaining fruitful economic and trade relations with the UK, one of their major trading partners.
Another priority during the second half of 2016 will be to formulate new approaches regarding trade in services and investment, based on the latest developments in international trade policy.
Bilateral free trade negotiations will continue with Indonesia and Malaysia, with a view to completing these in 2017. EFTA also intends to resume negotiations with India, and hopes to make substantive progress in free trade negotiations with Vietnam and Ecuador.
With regard to transatlantic relations, the Chair intends to continue EFTA's trade policy dialogue with the United States, as well as discussions with the European Union regarding the ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations.
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