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Agreements | Brussels, 20 September 2018

EU Trade Commissioner and Members of the Governments of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine met in Brussels

Today, EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström met in Brussels with Stepan Kubiv, First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, Iurie Leanca, Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration of the Republic of Moldova and Giorgi Kobulia, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.

The informal ministerial meeting, as a follow-up to the Eastern Partnership Joint Declaration of 24 November 2017, allowed for a discussion on the implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs) of the Association Agreements (AA) that the three countries have with the European Union.

After their meeting, the four participants made the following joint statement:

“We note the boost in trade already evident after the first years of these agreements being in place. We agree that the positive numbers vindicate the many reforms that have been carried out.

Furthermore, we agreed that promoting mutual market access and aligning with EU law will lead to more benefits, and we reflected on the different challenges that remain in order to realise the full potential of the DCFTAs.

In that spirit, we focused specifically on areas of joint interest where we can expect positive, hands-on results in the near future, as long as reforms are carried out in a timely manner. This includes public procurement, opportunities for SMEs, especially the smallest companies, including export promotion undertaken by Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, sanitary and phytosanitary issues as well as customs procedures and trade facilitation. We also discussed how to increase the effectiveness of the use of EU financing instruments to promote trade and investment across the region and address existing challenges.

We agreed that the discussion on issues related to the implementation of the DCFTAs needs to continue, especially in view of the meeting of the Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers on 15 October, where participants will take stock of the progress made towards the '20 Deliverables for 2020' objectives."

Today's meeting was part of the Trade Panel agenda of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) geared towards effective and full implementation of the AA/DCFTAs. In addition to the institutional bodies set up by these agreements, it offers DCFTA partners the opportunity of informal exchanges on issues of common interest and on the best ways to increase mutual trade. At the meeting, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine also referred to their ongoing efforts to integrate the Rules of Origin provisions of the PanEuroMed Convention into their existing bilateral trade agreements.

More on EU trade with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine