What is The European Free Trade Association (EFTA)

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is an intergovernmental organization working to promote free trade and economic integration for its member states. It was founded in 1960 by Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and later joined by Finland, Iceland and Liechtenstein. However, currently there is only four EFTA countries – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – as the other members left at different times in order to join the European Union.

BREAKING DOWN The European Free Trade Association (EFTA)

The EFTA is responsible for managing the European Economic Area Agreement,  which allows three of its four members access to the EU's internal market (Switzerland trades with the EU based on a series of bilateral treaties). Relations with the EU is, and continues to be, at the core of EFTA's activities with the first free trade agreements signed in the early 1970's. EFTA also actively pursues trade deals with countries in Asia and the Americas.