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Free trade agreement with five CIS countries enters into force for Moldova

posted 16-January-2013

MOLDPRES, Moldova

Free trade agreement with five CIS countries enters into force for Moldova

15 January 2013

Chisinau/MOLDPRES/. The free trade agreement with the CIS member countries, signed in St Petersburg in 2011 and ratified by the Moldovan parliament on 27 September 2012, entered into force for Moldova in 2013.

The head of the general department for trade policies of the Economics Ministry, Inga Ionesii, today said that "the entrance into force of the agreement will dynamize the regional trade relations, will facilitate drawing investments, as well as the exchange of technologies and inovations between the signatory states, CIS members. So far, the agreement has been ratified by Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Moldova".

The document sees provisions similar to the other agreements concluded by Moldova within the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), adjusted to the specifics of trade relations within the CIS, and with some improvement that will contribute to ensuring a stable framework with the CIS states via a juridical basis simplified for the trade operations, and a higher level of transparency, by including some provisions adjusted to the WTO agreements.

The new variant of the agreement on the trade zone within CIS implies the facilitation of the regional trade through the improvement of the trade relations between the signatory states, maintenance of the zero customs duties on over 10,000 groups of goods, gradual removing the fees on products with exception from the free trade regime, as well as failure of new restrictions in commerce. Due to the new agreement, the number of existent bilateral agreements on trade relations with the CIS countries is reduced. At the same time, the agreement sees mechanisms for settling the trade litigations within the WTO platform and in the limit of mechanisms and procedures accepted by the sides.

Also, the agreement sees the maintenance of the export customs duties on gas, raw material for heavy industry and wood from Russia. Exception from the free trade regime is for sugar with Ukraine.

Once the speeding efforts in the European integration process, the economic cooperation within the CIS remains an important level for promoting Moldova’s economic interests, as the CIS states hold a 35-per cent-share of the country’s foreign trade. That’s why, during the past years, there have been held negotiations on a new agreement on free trade within the CIS, which would include provisions of all the existent bilateral agreements, adjusted to the international norms on the matter. "This agreement does not contravene the external and internal policy promoted by Moldova, nor the international commitments", Inga Ionesii said.

In 1994, the CIS member states signed a document on setting up a free trade zone within the CIS. Yet, it failed to enter into force, as it was not ratified by the CIS member states. Meanwhile, Moldova has signed a string of bilateral agreements with the CIS member states, which provided for many exceptions from the free trade regime. A new agreement on the matter was signed in St Petersburg on 18 October 2011, and ratified by the Moldovan parliament on 27 September 2012.

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