The agreement covers areas such as trade in goods and services, establishment, intellectual property rights, competition, government procurement, trade and sustainable development, as well as legal and horizontal provisions. For the first time, it will also contain a chapter on e-commerce.
The negotiations were launched in the spring of 2021 and five rounds of negotiations were held, mostly virtually, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Parties aim at signing the agreement at the EFTA Ministerial meeting at Schaan, Liechtenstein in June.
“The conclusion of this comprehensive free trade agreement marks a landmark shift in the relations between our countries and will increase economic opportunities on both sides. It demonstrates a shared determination to move sustainable economic cooperation forward despite war in Europe and increased opposition to trade liberalisation across the world,” said EFTA spokesperson for the process, Ambassador Einar Gunnarsson.
Trade between the parties has been growing exponentially over the last ten years. In 2022, total trade reached USD 94 million between the EFTA States and the Republic of Moldova, of which USD 34 million represented imports from Moldova and USD 60 million were exports from the EFTA States. Exports from EFTA States to Moldova had an average annual growth rate of 21.9% over the last five years.
The main imports by the EFTA States were electrical machinery (27%), while most exports to the Republic of Moldova were vehicle parts and accessories (38%), and pharmaceutical products (30%). Total trade between the parties continues to increase this year.
Read more about merchandise trade between EFTA and Moldova here.
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