On 14 July 1998, a Joint Committee on the Interim Agreement was set up and negotiations for a free trade agreement were initiated. Nine rounds of negotiations took place between November 1998 and November 1999. Negotiations on the free trade agreement between Mexico and the EU were concluded on 24 November 1999. Even if a trade agreement is reached, it will not remove all new controls, as the EU requires certain products (such as food) from third countries to be controlled. Companies must therefore be prepared. While it was a member of the EU, the UK was automatically part of some forty trade agreements concluded by the EU with more than 70 countries. In 2018, these agreements accounted for around 11% of total UK trade. This interactive map provides an overview of EFTA`s preferential trade relations with partners around the world. .