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China-Iceland FTA to take effect on July 1, 2014

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The China-Iceland Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the first of its kind signed between China and a European country, will take effect on July 1, 2014, China’s Ministry of Commerce has announced.
With the implementation of the FTA, all Chinese textiles and apparel would be able to enter Iceland duty-free, while most of the Icelandic textiles and clothing, excluding some wool items, would have duty-free access to the Chinese market.
The decision to implement the FTA from July 1 was taken at a meeting between the Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng and Iceland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Gunnar Sveinsson in Beijing last week.
The FTA covers trade in goods, trade in services and investment. “It will inject huge vitality to the long-term development of China-Iceland relations and play an exemplary role in deepening China-Europe economic and trade cooperation,” the statement from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said.
Upon the establishment of China-Iceland FTA, nearly 96 percent of products will be subject to zero tariffs in terms of tariff number, and nearly 100 percent in terms of trade volume, the statement said.
Iceland-China Trade has been growing constantly over the years in spite of its small scale. Icelandic exports reached kr 7.65 billion in 2012, up by 40.81percent from 2011, and Icelandic imports from China reached kr 42.6 billion, up from kr 35.1 billion in 2011, according to official figures of Iceland Government.
As of 2012, China was Iceland’s 4th biggest importing country and the biggest trading partner in Asia. Even though Icelandic exports to China have been growing fast, China only ranked as Iceland’s no. 19 export market in 2012.
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