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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Annual meeting of Hoyvik Council of Iceland and Faroe Islands

Hoyvikurfundur.

At the annual meeting of the Hoyvik Council, held in Reykjavik today, Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson and Kaj Leo Johannesen, Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands, discussed the operation of the Hoyvik Agreement. Along with her delegation, Alega Hammond, Prime Minister of Greenland, attended the meeting as an observer, this being the first time a Greenland representative holds observer status at a meeting of the Hoyvik Council.

The meeting addressed the functioning of the Hoyvik Agreement, Iceland‘s most extensive free trade agreement apart from the EEA Agreement. Topics covered in the agreement include trade in goods, trade in services, free movement of persons and right of residence, right of establishment, capital movements and investment.

In addition to the Hoyvik Agreement, the ministers, including the Prime Minister of Greenland, discussed West Nordic cooperation. They were all in agreement as to the importance of reinforcing cooperation among the West Nordic countries in fields such as fisheries, business, health and culture.

In connection with the Hoyvik Council, the Foreign Minister yesterday had a meeting with the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Faroese Parliament. The meeting included a discussion on the operation of the Hoyvik Agreement, the policy on Arctic affairs, West Nordic cooperation and the position in Russia and the Middle East. That same day the minister, along with the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands and the Prime Minister of Greenland, also had a meeting with the West Nordic Council, which is composed of parliamentarians from all three countries.

The next meeting of the Hoyvik Concil will be held in the Faroe Islands in the summer of 2015, marking the ten-year anniversary of the agreement. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands agreed to aim to hold a conference on the Hoyvik Agreement in connection with that meeting, inviting especially representatives from Greenland. Also, on the same occasion, representatives of the states‘ business community and enterprises should be encouraged to meet and discuss how to work towards increased mutual trade between the states, based on the agreement.

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