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Moldova Welcomes Eu Move to Extend Trade Liberalisation

Moldovan economists and MEPs have welcomed the decision of the Commission for International Trade of the European Parliament which on Monday voted to extend by one year the suspension of taxes and import quotas on products exported from Moldova to the EU.

Moldovan economic expert Stas Madan told BIRN that the EU’s decision was predictable in the context of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

“It is undoubtedly a long-awaited decision for our producers, especially those of plums and table grapes; exports to the EU markets have grown significantly in recent years and we have achieved an export performance that exceeds the existing duty-free [EU] quotas,” he said.

“A permanent liberalisation, as opposed to the temporary suspension of taxes and import quotas, will provide more predictability on the Moldovan market, which will thus be able to attract more important investors,” said MEP Siegfried Muresan, president of the EU Association Commission-Moldova.

Before the decision in force expires on July 24 2023, the European Parliament will vote in plenary on the proposal.

If it passes, the new measure will help Moldovan farmers affected by the war in Ukraine who can no longer export goods to Russia or Ukraine.

In 2022, the EU suspended import duties and raised quotas for seven Moldovan product categories subjected to tariff quotas: tomatoes, garlic, table grapes, apples, cherries, plums and grape juice.

Moldova has gradually exported more products to the European Union in recent years. Official statistics show that the value of exports from Moldova to the EU increased from 1.8 billion euros in 2021 to 2.6 billion euros in 2022.

Exports to Russia have fallen massively in recent years, especially since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

In January-April 2023, the total value of exports of Moldovan goods amounted to 1.39 billion dollars, a fall of 4.8 per cent compared to the figure recorded in 2022.

Some 62 per cent of Moldovan exports went to the EU, 25 per cent to Russia and CIS markets, and the rest to other countries.

Of the total volume of exports in the mentioned period, over 61 per cent went to Romania, 16.7 per cent to Ukraine, 6.1 per cent to Italy, 5.4 per cent to Germany, 4.1 per cent to the Russian Federation and 4 per cent to Turkey.

Moldova’s exports to Russia totalled only 56.4 million US dollars in value.

Source : balkaninsight