Hoyvík Agreement

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The Hoyvík Agreement is a free trade agreement between the Faroe Islands and Iceland that was signed 31 August 2005 in the town of Hoyvík in the Faroe Islands.

It is the most extensive free trade agreement that either nation has entered into. It guarantees almost complete freedom of goods, services, persons and capital. It also deals with competition and government subsidies and prohibits any kind of discrimination based on nationality except when it is specially provided for by the agreement. The agreement is unique for Iceland as it the first such agreement establishing free trade in agricultural products, a sector that usually sees a lot of protection from the Icelandic authorities.

A notable exception to the free trade agreement is the special status of the fisheries industry. Pre-existing restrictions on foreign investment in the industry present in both countries will not be abolished.

In addition to free trade, the agreement also provides a framework for increased cooperation between the nations regarding all the common interests of the nations. Especially mentioned fields of cooperation include: culture, education, sports, health care, transportation, communications, tourism, environmental issues, energy and resource management.

The Faroese Løgting ratified the agreement on 2 May 2006 and the Icelandic Alþingi did the same on 3 June.

On 21 August 2006, a statement was made by the annual general meeting of the West Nordic Council that the possibility of extending the agreement to include Greenland (thus creating a West Nordic free trade zone) should be seriously studied. It was noted at Løgting that the agreement could be extended to Norway and Canada in the future.

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