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Free trade with Algeria moves step closer

Economics Minister Doris Leuthard says free trade talks between Algeria and the European Free Trade Association (Efta) are moving forward.

Leuthard, speaking after talks on Saturday with the Algerian government in Algiers, said "substantial progress" had been made in the area of technical cooperation.

She was optimistic a free trade deal could be finalised in February between Algeria and Efta states, which include Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Also on Leuthard's agenda was a double taxation agreement and a call for Algeria to offer Swiss firms operating in Algeria the same conditions as European Union companies.