|Trade policies promoted by Moldova are mostly geared towards attracting investments in the national economy, which are capable of innovation, transfer of know-how and competitive goods for domestic and foreign markets, high added value and creating efficient technical and economic infrastructures in order to maximize the existing economic potential.
Due to favourable geographical positioning, Moldova is a platform for placement of international organizations and transnational corporations and becomes attractive to conduct business between western and eastern markets.
From March 1, 2008 the Republic of Moldova has benefited from the new scheme of trade preferences granted unilaterally by the European Union, known as the Autonomous Trade Preferences (ATP). Trade preferences have been granted as a result of Moldova’s implementation of sustainable development, good governance policies and efficient customs administration. Autonomous Trade Preferences offer free access to the EU market without quantitative restrictions and customs fees, the only exception being a small number of goods that are sensible for the EU and are subject to tariff contingents. Also, Moldovan exports must meet all the EU conditions regarding the origin of goods. ATP have offered grounds for increasing the competitiveness of Moldovan products exported to the EU, and also have stimulated the efforts of Moldovan exporters to penetrate alternative markets other than those from the CIS.
Moldova has signed nine bilateral free trade agreements with CIS countries. Thus, about 36% of Moldova's international trade is conducted under free trade agreements with these countries, this percentage being in a slight decrease in comparison with previous years. (We need to mention that in the meantime Georgia has left the CIS).
Although the agreements provide for a general free tax trade regime, there is also the possibility for exceptions that are not stipulated in the texts of these agreements. Usually the exceptions are of asymmetric nature, while the customs taxes for the goods excluded from free trade regimes are applied using the most favoured nation clause.
In 1994 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan signed the CIS multilateral free trade agreement with the aim of preparing the countries to overcome the first stage in the process of creating an economic union. The respective agreement has not been ratified by all the signing parties.
Recently, in October 2011, a new free trade agreement in the framework of the CIS has been signed (with the exception of Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan). It provides for the equivalent annulment of customs fees, taxes and payments, the elimination of quantitative restrictions and other barriers that affect the trade of goods and services within the CIS.
Concomitantly, on July 20, 2002 Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova signed the GUAM agreement regarding the creation of a free trade zone. Its scope is also to eliminate customs fees and other taxes with equivalent effect and quantitative limitations of trade, as well as to eliminate the barriers for free movement of goods and services. Anyway, so far the progress in the area of creating a free trade zone within the GUAM is relatively slow.
Special conditions for FTA-s
|Central European Free Trade Agreement
In 2006 the Republic of Moldova has signed the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) that came into force on May 1, 2007. CEFTA allows duty-free access to the market of countries from the South-Eastern part of Europe. The CEFTA agreement has radically evolved since Romania and Bulgaria left and joined the EU. At this stage, the present signing parties are Moldova, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo.
Although the exports from Moldova to CEFTA countries are pretty low (in 2010 just 0,3% from total Moldovan exports), these have a very important role in supporting Moldova’s efforts to be included in the Western Balkans perspective of joining the EU, thus reinforcing the relevance of the CEFTA agreement in achieving the objective of Moldova’s adherence to the EU.
|Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Moldova;
Piaţa Marii Adunări Naţionale 1, MD-2033,
Chişinău, Republic of Moldova
Phone: +373 22 250-554
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