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China-Iceland FTA effective later this year

Source:   Time:

BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Tuesday said the China-Iceland Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will come into effect in the second half of 2014.

Both sides have completed domestic procedures and China welcomed the passing of the FTA by the Althing, Iceland's parliament, on Jan. 29, said a statement on the MOC website.

It is the first FTA between China and a European country and will not only boost bilateral trade, but also economic and trade cooperation between China and Europe, according to the statement.

Iceland is the first developed European country to recognize China as a full market economy, as well as the first European country to negotiate an FTA with China, according to a separate MOC statement.

The FTA negotiation commenced in Dec. 2006 but was suspended in 2009 following Iceland's attempt to join the European Union.

Negotiations resumed in 2012 and the deal was struck after six rounds of negotiations, with the signing of the agreement during the then prime minister Johanna Sigurdardottir's official visit to China in April, 2013.

When it comes into effect, the FTA will mean Iceland imposing no tariffs on all industrial and fisheries products imported from China, 99.8 percent of China's total exports to Iceland.

China for its part will implement zero tariffs on 7,380 kinds of goods from Iceland, about 81.6 percent of imports from the country, including aquatic products.

After the final establishment of the FTA, zero tariffs shall apply to 96 percent of goods in terms of tariff number, or 100 percent in terms of trade volume.

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