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Malmström heads to Moldova to mark three years of free trade area

Malmström heads to 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 will visit 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 will have meetings 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.

The will also be an opportunity for Commissioner Malmström to meet with members of the European Business Association, as well as representatives of civil society.

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.

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.


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