EFTA and Moldova launch free trade negotiations

Published 26-03-2021
Clockwise from top left: Ambassador Harald Aspelund, Permanent Mission of Iceland in Geneva, Iuliana Drăgălin, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure of the Republic of Moldova, Patrick Ritter, Deputy Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein, Krisztina Bende, Free Trade Division Director at EFTA, Karin Büchel, Head of Free Trade Agreements at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Switzerland, Lars Erik Nordgaard, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries in Norway

Delegations from the EFTA States and Moldova met via videoconference from 23 to 25 March for the first round of negotiations on a free trade agreement.

Ambassador Harald Aspelund, Permanent Representative of Iceland to the UN and to the WTO acted as the EFTA spokesperson, while State Secretary Iuliana Drăgălin from the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure of the Republic of Moldova headed the Moldovan delegation.

The first round proved efficient as the chapters on technical barriers to trade, competition and trade and sustainable development were all concluded. Considerable progress could also be made in all the other fields under negotiation. These were trade in goods, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, rules of origin, trade facilitation and customs cooperation, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, government procurement, trade remedies and legal and horizontal issues.

Exports from the EFTA States to Moldova have grown by an average rate of almost 20% over the last five years, while imports from Moldova have grown by over 12% on average in the same period. Total trade was valued at about EUR 60 million in 2020.

Of EFTA’s exports to Moldova, vehicles and vehicles parts, pharmaceutical products and electrical machinery counted for about two-thirds of the value in 2019. Other important sectors included machinery, fish products, and clocks and watches.

Regarding EFTA’s imports from Moldova, electrical machinery, clothing accessories as well as fruit and nuts counted for about two-thirds of the value. In next place, furniture, followed by footwear, knitted clothing and wine and beverages.

 

Read more about merchandise trade between EFTA and Moldova here.

Find the report of the round here.

 

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