Romania’s withdrawal from the Free Trade Agreement will leave Moldova without a „Life Buoy” in critical situations

Starting with 1 January 2007, along with European Union’s expanding and Romania’s withdrawal from the Free Trade Agreement, the Republic of Moldova will lose in the best case, on short term – one of its “life buoys” in case of crisis, declared for Info-Prim Neo the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS) “Viitorul” expert, Viorel Chivriga, member of the Permanent Delegation of the Rural Economic Development Coalition (REDC). According to the quoted source, the Moldovan exporters will not be able to turn their view so fast to the market of the neighbor state, as in the case of the Russian bans on the Moldovan exports of vegetable products and alcoholic drinks. According to Chivriga, the consequences of the withdrawal could be compensated due to the beneficiaries of the Generalized System of Preferences GSP Plus, offered by EU, but this is a long-term solution. “According to the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, about 75% of the Moldovan exports will have free access to the Romanian market. But it is not necessary that automatically, 75% will have access to the market of the neighbor state that will also belong to EU”. The experts states that a big part of the products that are traditionally exported to Romania will be partially excluded from the export offer, especially some agricultural products and beverages. “In order to have access to the EU market that has very high standards for the imported goods, supplementary time and financial resources will be needed to adjust the Moldovan export offer to the requirements of Romania that will be similar to the requests of EU. However, the member of REDC sees a positive side of the story. “The new environment of mutual exchanges between the two countries will be a therapeutic remedy for the enterprises and products coming from Moldova that are present on the Romanian market, they will become more competitive. Moreover, predictably, will increase the number of joint enterprises, which will contribute to retrieving the positions, which will be temporarily lost after 1 January 2007”. As well, the expert states Moldova must not forget the fact that at the moment EU will expand, there are perspectives to have similar benefits as Romania and Bulgaria already have. For example, within the system of preferential commerce with EU wine exports shares are offered. “Obtaining of an equal share as the one offered to Bulgaria would allow Moldova to increase considerably the wine exports in EU and to diminish the impact of the distortions appeared in the commercial relationships with Russia, affirmed Chivriga. According to him, the commercial exchanges between Moldova and Romania could be more intense by using the facilities offered by the provisions of the Free Exchange Agreement, came into force on 1 January 1995. The expert expressed his regret of the fact this border opportunities were not explored sufficiently, especially when developing the border commerce. Increasing the number of joint enterprises and enticing Romanian investments in the agro industrial sector. For several years, Romania placed on the second position after the Russian Federation if speaking about the turnover of the exterior commerce with the Republic of Moldova. In January-March 2006, the Moldovan exports to Romania amounted to 30.9 million USD or 12% of the total exports and the imports 62, 2 USD or 11.2%. Starting with 1 January 2007, Romania will join the European Union and will withdrawal, gradually, from all the free commerce agreements, inclusively with Moldova.

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