Norway and Trade in Geneva
Geneva is home to both the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), and as such, an important centre for international trade policy. The Norwegian Permanent Mission to the WTO and EFTA in Geneva pursues Norwegian economic and trade interests in the WTO and EFTA, while at the same time working towards the inclusion of Developing Countries and LDCs in global trade.
The WTO is the only multilateral international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. The multilateral trading system as defined by the WTO provides predictability and legitimacy through shared rules, bound commitments, decision making through consensus, and recourse to a rules-based settlement of disputes. The WTO is also an important venue for negotiating new trade rules and agreements on market access.
Norway also negotiates free trade agreements with other countries through EFTA. The collaboration between the EFTA-states has proved to be very successful in both establishing agreements of great importance to the member countries and continuously expanding its network of partner countries worldwide.
Norway and trade
Norway has an open economy and our extensive trade with other countries has been a key driver for our economic development. We rely on international trade rules and agreements in order to ensure predictable conditions and fair treatment as well as comprehensive market access for Norwegian exporters in foreign markets. Norway’s foreign trade is regulated through a number of agreements and regulations, with the WTO Agreements serving as the main framework, supplemented by the EEA Agreement and the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) through EFTA.
What the mission does
The Permanent Mission in Geneva works for better market access for Norwegian exporters through negotiations on further trade liberalisation, taking into account both offensive and defensive national interests, including in the area of agriculture. The Mission also pursues specific Norwegian business interests by raising irregularities or non-compliance in regular committee meetings as well as through the dispute settlement system of the WTO.
Norway and developing countries
Trade, economic growth and development is closely linked. Norway supports the developing countries in their efforts to ensure that development is high on the agenda both in the regular WTO work and in the various negotiations. For the same reasons Norway also supports developing and least developed countries by providing funding for aid for trade activities in the WTO, and in close cooperation with organisations such as ITC (the International Trade Centre) and the EIF (Enhanced Integrated Framework).
Ambassador Harald Neple