Moldovan businesses and business associations, civil society representatives, government officials and diplomats gathered in Chisinau on 8 November to mark four years of DCFTA implementation in the Republic of Moldova.
The event marked the launch of the national campaign to increase public awareness of opportunities opened up for Moldovan products under the Free Trade Agreement with the EU, and the positive changes produced in the lives of all Moldovans as a result of implementing the agreement.
“The DCFTA offers ample possibilities for improving the quality of products and increasing the exports of Moldovan products and services to the EU and worldwide. We are happy that many Moldovan businesses seized these opportunities, and were able to access the European market,” said Ambassador Peter Michalko, Head of the European Union Delegation in the Republic of Moldova.
At the event, Moldovan businesses shared their experience in receiving support from the EU to meet requirements and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the DCFTA. According to Andrei Mârza, owner of a garment factory in Soroca that makes uniforms and work wear, the factory opened 70 new jobs and sales grew three timesthanks to the support received from the European Union under the EU4Business initiative. Tudor Rotaru, owner of a dried fruit and chocolate production line in Ialoveni, says that thanks to DCFTA opportunities and EU support and training programmes, his company’s sweets are now exported to Slovenia, Romania, Ireland and other markets, while his sales grew from 20,000 lei in 2014 to 10 million lei in 2017.
The public awareness campaign launched last week is based on the analysis of the results of four years of DCFTA implementation, conducted by independent think-tank Expert-Grup. The analysis found that, after four years, the European Union has become the mostimportant and most reliable commercial partner for Moldovan producers.Two out of every three euros earned by Moldovan exports now come from the EU– compared with one in two euros in 2014 - which amounts to a net increase of an estimated €367 million in exports. This has led to the creation of at least 15,000 new jobs in Moldova. At the same time, by 2020, the DCFTA is expected to add an extra €355 million to government revenues and taxes - which could cover Moldova’s healthcare expenditure for an entire year.
The first years of DCFTA implementation showed that Moldovan products can be valued and appreciated worldwide. This inspired the slogan of the campaign: “Created in Moldova, Appreciated Worldwide”.A further full implementation of DCFTA will make Moldovan companies more competitive, will help improve the quality of Moldovan products and services, will boost investments and production and will open up the European markets for exports from more sectors of the Moldovan economy. One notable area of growth is the export of animal products to the EU.
“While the results are quite good after only four years of implementation, we must note that the provisions of the agreement were only partially implemented, and there is more potential to be explored. By reaching relevant standards, a greater range of Moldovan products can be exported. An important element in this process is continuation of reforms and strengthening the independence of the judiciary,” Ambassador Michalko added.
EU4Business in Moldova
The public awareness campaign will last until the end of December and is implemented by the ‘Visibility and Communication for AA/DCFTA’ project, funded by the European Union under its EU4Business initiative. The project provides reliable information on opportunities offered by the AA/DCFTA to Moldovan businesses, as well as practical trainings on how to make use of those opportunities. To date, the project has organised 11 training and information sessions in various regions of Moldova, bringing together over 840 participants, and covering topics such as improving competitiveness, rules of export, and sources of funding and financial support. The project operates an online portal and several social media accounts, as well as an Online News Bureau, which aims to provide comprehensive and timely information on the implementation of the AA/DCFTA as well as the latest opportunities under DCFTA.
Other EU4Business projects provide sector-specific support and financial aid to Moldovan companies seeking to grow, adapt to DCFTA requirements and penetrate the European market. The EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line provides ongoing support to small and medium Moldovan businesses - 67% of the companies that received development loans from the credit line project were able to increase their turnover, and more than half expanded production and created new jobs along the way.
The Livada Moldovei Credit Line offered by European Investment Bank provides funding as well as expert advice to Moldovan agricultural businesses. The credit line was established in 2016 for five years, and the credits provided are accompanied by advice in developing investment plans and free of charge technical support.
The Quality Infrastructure Project, launched in 2018, will provide tailored coaching/mentoring of up to 75 SMEs to help them be ready for exporting.