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Moldova | Moldova, 6-7 November 2017

Malmström in Moldova to mark three years of free trade area

This autumn marks the three year anniversary of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the EU and Moldova. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is visiting the capital, Chisinau, on 6 and 7 November to take stock of the progress made in EU-Moldova trade relations.

During her visit, Commissioner Malmström is meeting with President Igor Dodon, Prime Minister Pavel Filip, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Economy Octavian Calmîc, and Mr Andrian Candu, President of the Moldovan Parliament. On the agenda will be the implementation of the free trade area, the successes and challenges faced so far, and the way forward.

On Monday, Commissioner Malmström met with the European Business Association and representatives of civil society. In her speech, she talked about Moldovan companies’ ongoing efforts to expand their business, find new customers in Europe and adapt themselves to EU standards.

”I am positive that this will improve over time, as operators learn to know the EU market better and adapt their products to market requirements. Business promotion and improved marketing skills to enter the EU market are the right solution. We already see that the number of Moldovan companies exporting to the EU is increasing every year.

She added:

Our DCFTA is about the economy, and trade of course, but it is also about improving the life of citizens. Fundamentally, it is about shared values such as democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and the fight against corruption. It is very much a tool to bring our peoples together - that's actually the best part.”

In addition, the EU Trade Commissioner will visit Monicol, a company based in the capital Chisinau that exports fruits and nuts grown in the local area. Since the entry into force of the DCFTA, Monicol has exported 95% of its total production to the EU duty free, and now employs 160 permanent staff. In order to comply with international standards, the company has invested in infrastructure and modern equipment, and has also sought accreditation from leading standards bodies. Monicol benefitted from a loan supported by an EU grant in 2012.

The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area has been a positive boost for Moldova's trade with the EU. Last year, Moldovan exports to the EU increased by 7.7% compared to the year before. Some sectors are seeing stronger results – producers of juices and conserved fruit and vegetables, for instance, where the DCFTA has boosted exports by up to 25%. For Moldovan wine, exports to the EU have almost doubled (+96%) since the entry into force of the free trade area in September 2014.

Footage from the visit to Chisinau by Commissioner Malmström, as well as her speech to the European Business Association and civil society representatives, will be put online here as and when it becomes available.

Background

The EU is Moldova’s main trading partner, accounting for two-thirds of its exports and nearly half of its imports. Despite the 2014-15 banking crisis, Moldovan exports to the EU have increased by more than 15% since the provisional entry into force of the EU-Moldova DCFTA in September of 2014, supporting jobs and growth in the country. Meanwhile, EU exports to Moldova have stabilised as the country's financial situation has improved.

Furthermore, the European Commission has also put in place the DCFTA Facility for small and medium-sized enterprises which aims to support small companies in Moldova to align with EU standards and reap the benefits of the free trade area. The first Moldovan companies are now benefitting from this facility, including an agricultural company looking to standardise its tractors and a company making roof drainage systems.

Extra information

Read Commissioner Malmström’s full speech to business and civil society representatives here.

Moldova trade information page

Photos and video from the visit to Chisinau by Commissioner Malmström