The EFTA Statistical Office (ESO) is located in the premises of Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, in Luxembourg, and functions as a liaison office between Eurostat and the EFTA National Statistical Institutes. ESO's main objective is to promote the full inclusion of the EFTA States in the European Statistical System, thus providing harmonised and comparable statistics to support the general cooperation process between EFTA and the EU within and outside the EEA Agreement. The cooperation also entails technical cooperation programmes with third countries and training of European statisticians.

In This Section

EFTA in Figures

Almost 13.6 million people live in the four EFTA countries. EFTA is the European Union's third largest trading partner in merchandise, and the second largest in services. EU is EFTAs largest trading partner; 70% of merchandise imported to EFTA countries comes from the EU. Some of EFTAs key exports are mineral fuels and oil, pharmaceutical products, and machinery and mechanical appliances.

EEA and Swiss/EU Statistical Cooperation

The statistical cooperation between the EFTA Countries and the European Union operates within the framework of the EEA and the Swiss/EU Agreements. The European Statistical System (ESS) comprises the statistical institutes, ministries, agencies and central banks that produce official statistics in EEA Member States and Switzerland as well as Eurostat - the statistical office of the European Union. Eurostat’s database also includes EFTA States’ data.

Technical Cooperation

The overall objective of EFTA technical cooperation in the field of statistics is to promote and develop close links between the EFTA States and Eurostat and other international organisations such as the UNECE in a number of programmes for technical cooperation in the field of statistics. Through such cooperation, EFTA is seeking active and visible participation in the planning, execution and revision of EFTA/EU projects.