The visit of the Prime Minister of Iceland to China
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, the Prime Minister of Iceland, successfully concluded her official visit to China on 18 April 2013. She was accompanied by her wife Jónína Leósdóttir, Össur Skarphéðinsson, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, and business leaders of over 20 Icelandic companies.
During her visit, Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir met with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang of China. The two Prime Ministers witnessed the signing of the Iceland-China Free Trade Agreement and a number of the business agreements at the Great Hall of the People. She also made a keynote speech at the business seminar entitled ''Iceland-China Free Trade: Impetus to Growth'', jointly organized by the Embassy of Iceland, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and Promote Iceland.
On the occasion of the signing of the Free Trade Agreement, two Prime Ministers issued a joint statement on deepening bilateral cooperation between Iceland and China. The statement highlights the two countries‘ friendly relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1971 and formalizes a regular political dialogue that will inter alia address issues that are outlined in the statement, including human rights, gender equality, labour issues, Arctic affairs, as well as cooperation on culture, education, tourism and geothermal development.
The FTA with China is an important milestone in Iceland's long-term policy to establish a comprehensive network of free trade agreements. Iceland has concluded 26 FTAs with a total of 35 partner countries outside the European Union. Iceland is a member of the European Economic Area which brings together the 27 EU Member States and the three EFTA states - Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway - in a single market.