Moldova Joins EFTA Trade Pact, Expands Market Access

The Government of the Republic of Moldova approved a draft law on March 20th ratifying the Free Trade Agreement between the Republic of Moldova and the member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), signed on June 27, 2023.

This agreement encompasses key areas such as trade in goods and services, intellectual property rights, sustainable development, and e-commerce, establishing a solid foundation for enhanced economic relations between the parties. Minister Dumitru Alaiba described it as: "This is a very modern agreement, and among the most progressive agreements EFTA countries have signed with our country. This agreement presents a significant opportunity for our exporters and producers to access new markets, while also sending a strong signal to potential investors."

Prime Minister Dorin Recean emphasised the agreement's potential to streamline trade between the Republic of Moldova and the EFTA member states (Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway, and the Swiss Confederation), and to foster a favourable environment for the growth of e-commerce. He stated: "This is a crucial agreement, opening up the markets of these four states. Notably, we have provisions regulating e-commerce for the first time within this agreement, significantly facilitating distance trade. Beyond its benefits for the business community, this agreement holds value for all citizens of the Republic of Moldova, as it creates the potential for better-paid jobs."

The President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova urged the rapid ratification of the trade agreement concluded with the EFTA states, highlighting its significance for the nation's economic development.

In 2023, exports of Moldovan products to the EFTA market reached 33.34 million US dollars, while imports were 64.1 million dollars. EFTA currently has 29 Free Trade Agreements with 40 countries and territories outside the EU, including Georgia, Ukraine, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, and others.

Translation by Iurie Tataru

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