A meeting of the Hoyvik Council in Reykjavik
At the annual meeting of the Hoyvik Council, held in Reykjavík yesterday, Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson and Kaj Leo Johannesen, Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands, discussed increased trade between Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Last year, exports from Iceland to the Faroe Islands amounted to 3.3 billion ISK, while imports to Iceland from the Faroe Islands amounted to 2.0 billion ISK. While fishery products still account for the largest part of trade in goods between the two countries, the Faroe Islands are becoming an increasingly important export market for Icelandic agricultural products, as demonstrated by the export of around 800 tons of lamb meat from Iceland to the Faroe Islands last year.
With the exception of the EEA Agreement, the Hoyvik Agreement is Iceland´s most comprehensive free trade agreement. It covers trade in goods and services, the free movement of persons and capital, the right to residence, establishment and investments, and prohibits any form of discrimination.
Among other topics discussed at the meeting were capelin fisheries under the quota given by Iceland to the Faroe Islands, at a time when the Faroe Islands underwent an economic crisis, at the end of the last century. The state of play of the mackerel negotiations between Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Norway and the European Union was also discussed. Furthermore, the possible exchange of staff between the foreign services of Iceland and the Faroe Islands was discussed.
According to Foreign Minister Skarphéðinsson, the Hoyvik Agreement has proved its worth and trade between Iceland and the Faroe Islands is increasing. He has good hopes for a further increased trade, pointing out that the Faroe Islands are an increasingly important market for Icelandic agricultural products.