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The Committee on Market Access (CMA) deals with one of the core functions of the WTO: Ensuring that obligations on market access for industrial goods are upheld. “I am honoured that WTO Members have entrusted me with this important task”, Ms Bodsberg says.

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From left: Mr Kristinn Árnason, Secretary-General, EFTA; Ms Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Iceland; Ms Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Liechtenstein; Mr Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, President of the Swiss Confederation and Federal Councillor, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Switzerland; Ms Monica Mæland, Minister of Trade and Industry, Norway. 
Photo: EFTA.

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) held its summer Ministerial meeting in Bern, Switzerland, on 27 June 2016. The meeting was chaired by Mr Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, President of the Swiss Confederation and Federal Councillor, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. The Norwegian delegation was headed by Ms Monica Mæland, Minister of Trade and...

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Børge Brende and WTO's Director-General Roberto Azevêdo.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende chaired an informal ministerial on the WTO on 2 June. The meeting was held in the margins of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting. While in Paris minister Brende also attended a meeting among members who are negotiating the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).

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Photo: Statkraft.

Negotiations continued apace in Geneva as participants focused their discussion on which goods to be included in the final Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA).

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From left: Mr. Martin Eyjólfsson, Ambassador, Iceland; Ms. Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Liechtenstein; Mr. Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, President of Switzerland and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research of Switzerland; Mr. Adrian S. Cristobal Jr., Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines; and Ms. Dilek Ayhan, State Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Norway . 
Photo: EFTA.

The member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the Philippines signed a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on the 28th of April 2016. The new FTA will give Norwegian companies access to one of the fastest growing and most resilient economies in Asia with over 100 million consumers.

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From left: Kåre Simensen (Labour Party), Kenneth Svendsen (Progress Party), ambassador Harald Neple, Elin Agdestein (Conservative Party) and Gunnar Gundersen (Conservative Party). 
Photo: Stortinget.

The 2016 Annual Session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO took place in Geneva 13 and 14 June. The overarching theme of the session was “What future for the WTO?”

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The participating countries (in blue) in the TiSA negotiations. 
Photo: Torbjørn Vagstein, Norway MFA.

The deadline for submitting revised offers in the negotiations on Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), expired 6 May 2016.

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Photo: MFA Norway.

‘In the coming years, the EEA and Norway Grants will primarily be used to promote innovation and growth in Europe through cooperation between Norway and the beneficiary countries,’ said Minister of EEA and EU Affairs Elisabeth Aspaker.

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Photo: Four Blair Services Pvt. Ltd. (Own work) (CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons).

The second round of the TiSA negotiations this year was held in Geneva from the 10th of April to the 15th of April 2016. The discussions picked up the main topics from the last negotiating round in February, but also included new talks on air, road, and maritime transport.

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