It is also important to note that a free trade agreement is a reciprocal agreement that is authorized by Article XXIV of the GATT. Autonomous trade agreements for developing and least developed countries are permitted by the 1979 decision by the signatories of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) (“empowerment clause”) on differentiated and more favourable treatment, reciprocity and increased participation of developing countries. It forms the legal basis for the WTO`s Generalized Preference System (GSP).  Free trade agreements and preferential trade agreements (as mentioned by the WTO) are considered an exception to the MFN principle.  The benefits of the agreements In 2013, agreements with free trade partners, with the exception of the free trade agreement with the EU, covered 22.6% of Switzerland`s total exports. This represents 51% of Swiss exports to markets outside the EU. In particular, free trade agreements promote the growth, added value and competitiveness of Switzerland`s economic site. The export or export administrators concerned must at least be familiar with the fundamental principles underlying the application of free trade agreements and know the applicable rules. More information on country of origin rules and country of origin products is available in the country of origin. Free trade agreements are international treaties between two parties (countries or transnational groups) to ensure free trade.
There are significant differences between unions and free trade zones. Both types of trading blocs have internal agreements that the parties enter into to liberalize and facilitate trade between them. The key difference between unions and free trade zones is their approach to third parties [lack of ambiguity needed]. While a customs union requires all parties to apply and maintain identical external tariffs on trade with non-parties, parties to a free trade area are not subject to such a requirement. Instead, they can set and maintain any customs regime for imports from non-parties, as they see as necessary.  In a free trade area without harmonized external tariffs, the parties will adopt a system of preferential rules of origin to eliminate the risk of trade diversion [necessary ambiguities].  Under a free trade agreement, countries may agree not to discriminate against service providers or investors in other countries and not to create certain barriers to trade and investment. This will allow New Zealand exporters to open up new opportunities in areas such as private education, ict services, professional services and transportation services, and will provide more security and transparency for New Zealand suppliers and investors.