The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 member states, primarily located in Europe. The EU operates under various treaties and agreements, one of which is a regional trade agreement known as the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
But what is EFTA? EFTA is a regional trade agreement between most of the European countries. It was established in 1960, as a way for non-EU European states to establish a free trade area. Currently, there are four member states in EFTA – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
EFTA has its own rules and regulations for trade and commerce, and it operates independently from the EU. However, the member states of EFTA do have close ties and agreements with the EU. For example, they have a joint trade agreement known as the European Economic Area (EEA), which allows for the free movement of goods and services between the EFTA member states and the EU.
One of the benefits of EFTA membership is the ability to negotiate free trade agreements with other countries and regions. EFTA has a number of free trade agreements in place with countries such as Canada, Chile, and Singapore.
Overall, EFTA plays an important role in regional trade in Europe. While not as prominent as the EU, it provides a valuable forum for non-EU European countries to establish greater economic ties and negotiate free trade agreements with other countries and regions.