The EFTA countries and Moldova meet to take stock of the ongoing free trade negotiations

Published 20-06-2022
From left to right: Dagfinn Sørli - Norway, Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch - Switzerland, Sergiu Gaibu - Moldova, Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir - Iceland, Dominique Hasler - Liechtenstein, Henri Gétaz - EFTA Secretary-General
Mr Sergiu Gaibu, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Moldova, met online on 20 June 2022 with the Ministerial Chair and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland Ms Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, as well as Ms Dominique Hasler, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education and Sport from Liechtenstein, Ms Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, State Secretary for Economic Affairs from Switzerland and Mr Dagfinn Sørli, Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the WTO and EFTA. They took stock of the ongoing negotiations between the EFTA States and Moldova for a free trade agreement and express their shared support for continued economic cooperation and integration in Europe.

The EFTA Chair Minister Thórdís Gylfadóttir, expressed EFTA’s solidarity with Moldova in the current situation, recalling especially Moldova’s response to the influx of refugees from Ukraine.

The EFTA Chair noted further the substantive progress made in the recent 3rd round of negotiations for a free trade agreement, and thanked Minister Gaibu for Moldova’s commitment to the process despite increasingly challenging circumstances since the launch of the process in the spring of 2021. The negotiations are at an advanced stage and the EFTA Chair expressed her confidence that an agreement will be reached this year.

"An important component in the development of trade between the Republic of Moldova and the EFTA countries is to reduce barriers in trade in services, that will bring benefit to economic operators of both parties. The challenges that we are facing these days allow for more solidarity and more than ever, we need to extend public investment, boost trade and ensure targeted support from people of different communities." says Mr Sergiu Gaibu, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Moldova. 

Economic relations between the EFTA States and Moldova

Bilateral EFTA-Moldova merchandise trade has increased rapidly since 2002 and reached more than USD 94 million in 2021. EFTA’s main exports to Moldova in 2021 were vehicles, pharmaceutical products, and electronics. For the same year, merchandise imports from Moldova consisted mainly of electronics, apparel and clothing, edible fruits and nuts. Read more about merchandise trade between EFTA and Moldova here

EFTA as a trade partner

With a combined population of over 14.4 million and a combined GDP of more than USD 1.14 trillion, the EFTA States are the world’s thirteenth largest merchandise trader and the eighth largest trader in commercial services, as well as significant actors in foreign direct investment. In addition to the European Economic Area (EEA) and the Swiss-EU bilateral agreements, EFTA has 29 free trade agreements (FTAs) with a total of 40 partner countries worldwide.

 

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