Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde believes remaining outside the EU is profitable for Iceland considering the rise of new economic superpowers like India and China. As an EU member, Iceland would not have as much freedom to trade with those countries.
Haarde also mentioned a recent agreement between the EFTA and Canada as a profitable business opportunity that Iceland would not benefit as much from as an EU member, Fréttabladid reports.
An agreement between Iceland and China is in preparation. “We can do this because we have more room than EU member states that give up sovereignty in this matter to the union,” the prime minister stated.
Haarde said that since adopting the euro without joining the EU is now out of the question, the discussion on European matters has become much simpler. “The options are very clear, joining the EU or not. The government’s policy is clear; we will not make any decision on that matter during this term.”
Next week Haarde will meet with five of the EU’s executive directors, including Jose Manuel Barrosso, president of the executive committee.
Haarde said Iceland has a good relationship with the EU’s representative body and that it is natural to have regular meetings although there are no specific problems that need to be solved.