During two months of its provisional coming into force, the Association Agreement with the EU brought palpable results in the agrifood sector. An impressive growth was recorded in the exports of wine, apples, plums and grains in September – October. The econometric forecasts of the think tank “Expert-Grup” show that the implementation of this document in the long run will ensure an economic growth of about 5%-6%, fuelled manly by the about 11% rise in exports.
In a news conference at IPN, “Expert-Grup” director Adrian Lupusor said that in September the economic entities analyzed the new export procedures, but in October already increased the number of transactions and, respectively, the volume of exports.
Table grape exports in September – October increased 5.8 times compared with the corresponding period last year, the main export markets being Romania, Poland and Sweden. The number of companies that exported grapes rose from 4 to 16. Wine exports to the EU increased by 26% on last year, the main export markets being Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Lithuania.
The exports of apples to the EU grew 2.7 times. Adrian Lupusor said these exports increased despite the protectionism mechanisms instituted by the EU for apples. Romania is the key apple importer. The number of exporting companies rose from 4 to 11. Plum exports rose 8.1 times, being absorbed mainly by Romania, the Czech Republic, Latvia, and Poland. As to grains (wheat, barley, and corn), total exports grew by 77%. The frozen sweet corn exported rose in volume three times, being imported primarily by Bulgaria, Romania and Greece. Besides these products, Moldova also exported ethyl alcohol to the EU. Before September 1, this type of alcohol could not be exported.
In September alone, exports to the EU came to US$94.3 million lei, an increase of 87.1% on last September. The data for October haven’t been yet processed.
“In order to fully benefit from the provisions of the Association Agreement with the EU, it’s not enough to eliminate only the tariff barriers. There are also technical barriers related to the competitiveness of the national products. These are the factors that influence the national producers’ access to the EU market in the medium term and the long term,” stated Adrian Lupusor.
The Association Agreement with the EU was ratified by Moldova’s Parliament on July 2 and came provisionally into force on September 1. The accord will start to be applied fully after it is ratified by the legislative bodies of all the EU member states.