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Liechtenstein Ratifies EFTA FTAs With HK, Montenegro

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

20 February 2012


The Liechtenstein government has ratified the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) free trade agreement (FTA) with Hong Kong together with the related agreement on labour standards, and has submitted the report and application pertaining to the agreements to parliament.

The government has also ratified the EFTA free trade agreement with Montenegro, and has similarly submitted the report and application relating to the agreement to parliament.

Commenting on the FTA with Hong Kong, the government notes in its release that the treaty will serve to broadly improve market access and legal certainty for Liechtenstein’s economic actors, notably as regards trade in goods and services as well as investment, while at the same time strengthening legal certainty for Liechtenstein’s economic actors in Hong Kong.

The government highlights the fact that the free trade agreement is the first EFTA agreement to contain a chapter on trade and the environment and to be accompanied by a parallel agreement on labour standards. The agreement was signed in Schaan on June 21, 2011.

As regards the EFTA FTA with Montenegro, signed in Geneva on November 14, 2011, the government underscores that Montenegro currently has significant growth potential, and explains that the agreement will serve to improve market access and legal certainty for goods exported to Montenegro, while at the same time removing certain discriminations arising from the stabilisation and association agreement between Montenegro and the European Union.

According to the Liechtenstein government, both FTAs extend the network of free trade agreements that the EFTA member states, namely Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, have built up with third states since the beginning of the 1990s.

Both agreements are due to enter into force this year following ratification by all signatory states.

TAGS: environment | tax | free trade agreement (FTA) | Iceland | Liechtenstein | Norway | Montenegro | agreements | Hong Kong | Switzerland | import duty | standards | trade | services

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