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(Geneva/Chișinău) Companies in Moldova will soon have increased capacity to identify trade opportunities with the European Union and within the Eastern Partnership region as part of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Trade Helpdesk project. On 28 April the International Trade Centre (ITC), in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova and the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure of Moldova, organised the first stakeholder meeting on the EaP Trade Helpdesk project.

Launched in late 2019, the EaP Trade Helpdesk project is being implemented by ITC, a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. It is supported by the European Union as part of its EU4Business initiative. The five-year project aims to boost the economic and trade relations between the Eastern Partnership countries and the European Union and within the EaP region. As a result of the project, companies in the EaP countries will have increased access to comprehensive, verified and transparent trade information on the region and the EU through the EaP Trade Helpdesk portal. The online Helpdesk, available via the portal, will allow them to report on the export- and import-related issues and get practical solutions offered by relevant national authorities. In addition, the project will identify regulatory and procedural trade obstacles through national surveys of non-tariff measures, and provide sector-specific guides on exporting to the EU. Relevant national institutions will be better prepared to collect and process trade in services data for selected sectors, while companies and business support organisations will receive customized capacity building on market analysis to identify new opportunities in the region and the EU.

The main goals of the national stakeholder meeting were: to inform participants about the objectives and expected impact of the project; to present ongoing and planned activities in Moldova and to determine synergies with existing national initiatives. The meeting brought together representatives of government agencies, business support organizations, the EU Delegation to Moldova and ITC experts.

Iuliana Dragalin, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure of Moldova said: “The Republic of Moldova is an active participant within EaP, and this partnership guided Moldova, together with the countries of Eastern Europe, to sign the Association Agreement/DCFTA that allowed the citizens of our country to travel without visas to the EU and to benefit from tax-free trade. Thus, the expected results of the EaP Trade Helpdesk project will be achieved only through joint efforts and through enhanced collaboration, which will contribute to the development of an efficient information portal for businesses and all stakeholders involved in international trade.”

Vasile Plamadeala, Trade Officer at the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova commented: “The Trade Helpdesk will provide valuable information support to Moldovan business for better and easier access to the EU market in order to benefit further from EU-MOLDOVA DCFTA’s opportunities. At the same time, it is important for the authorities to focus more on implementation of trade related reforms as well as on overall improvement of business climate and justice sector reform.”

Mondher Mimouni, Chief of the Trade and Market Intelligence section at the International Trade Centre noted: “The provision of better and more transparent trade information through the project could help Moldovan exporters realize additional US$ 1 billion worth of potential trade in the region and with the EU.”

The EaP Trade Helpdesk portal will provide users with detailed information on trade statistics, export potential data, tariffs, preferential trade agreements, as well as export and import regulations and business contacts. The user-friendly platform will serve as a comprehensive guide for entrepreneurs in Moldova aiming to increase exports to the EU markets. 

For more information about the project please contact:

Mr. Paul Kelly, project manager, kelly@intracen.org

Visit the project page on ITC website https://www.intracen.org/EaP/

About ITC - The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

About EU4Business - EU4Business is an umbrella initiative that includes all EU support to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the Eastern Partnership countries—Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. EU4Business supports SME growth by improving access to finance and business development services, and by promoting better business regulation.

In 2019, 19,531 SMEs were supported through the EU4Business Initiative in Moldova, generating an extra €345 million in income and 21,930 new jobs, growing their turnover by 14.9%, and increasing their exports by 3% as a result.

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