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

On 21 November 2016, EFTA held its biannual Ministerial Meeting in Geneva. The meeting was chaired by Ms. Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade. The Norwegian delegation was headed by Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms. Monica Mæland.

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Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende played host when ministers from 25 WTO members and the Director-General of the WTO gathered in Oslo for informal talks 21 – 22 October 2016. International trade, preparations for the WTO's next ministerial conference in Argentina in December 2017 and the continuing work in the organization were among the topics discussed.

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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: 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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WTO. 
Photo: WTO.

Since 2001 Norway has donated over 36 million CHF to several WTO trust funds.

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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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