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Trade Commissioner Malmström in Moldova: Our DCFTA is about the economy and trade, but also about improving the life of citizens

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During 6-7 November, the EU Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, made a significant visit to the Republic of Moldova. The visit is to mark the three years anniversary of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) between the European Union and Moldova.

On November 6th, the Trade Commissioner met with the European Business Association and representatives of civil society to talk about the experience of Moldovan businesses in their expansion on the European market and their adaption to  the EU standards:

“I am positive that this will improve over time, as operators learn to know the EU market better and adapt their products to market requirements. Business promotion and improved marketing skills to enter the EU market are the right solutions. We already see that the number of Moldovan companies exporting to the EU is increasing every year.

Malmström believes that the DCFTA helps Moldovan people improve their lives by setting high other societal values:

”Our DCFTA is about the economy and trade of course, but it is also about improving the lives of citizens. Fundamentally, it is about shared values such as democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and the fight against corruption. It is very much a tool to bring our peoples together – that’s actually the best part.”


Several trade issues were touched upon during the meetings with the Prime-Minister Pavel Filip and Economy Minister Octavian Calmîc. During a briefing with the Commissioner, Filip thanked the EU for support in the implementing the standards needed for DCFTA and for the Moldovan businesses.

Cecilia Malmstrom at the meeting with Pavel Filip, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova. Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

On the other hand, the Moldovan official asked for an extension of the deadline for the implementation of the DCFTA in the Transnistrian region, but also for an increase of the export quotas, motivating it with a significantly increased interest of Moldovan interest in the European market. The question of animal products exports was also reportedly discussed between Commissioner Malmström and Minister Calmîc. Later, both launched a new 1,9 million euro project to increase awareness of businesses and consumers about the advantages of the DCFTA from 2017 till August 2019.

Cecilia Malmstrom Peter Michalko and Octavian Calmic at Launch of the DCFTA Communication Project. Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

In her dialogue with the Parliament speaker and majority leader Andrian Candu, the Trade Commissioner was told about the “improvements in the business and investment climate”.

Cecilia Malmstrom and Adrian Candu, president of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova. Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. on November 6, 2017.

As for a model Moldovan business oriented towards EU, Malmström chose to visit the fruits and nuts processing factory Monicol, which reportedly exports 95% of its total production to the European market.

A less visible meeting was the one with the President Igor Dodon, more than often critical of the DCFTA and the Association Agreement, as a whole. Talking to the EU Commissioner, Dodon allegedly suggested that the DCFTA should be revised with the aim of an asymmetrical commercial regime. The Moldovan President claimed that the export of agricultural products has a low prospect on the EU market, while the share of agricultural exports to Russia and CIS states constitutes 70%. The press-release of Commissioner Malmström does not mention any detail on the talks with Dodon.

Malmström and Dodon

The EU is Moldova’s main trading partner, accounting for approximately 64% of exports and almost 50% of imports. The DCFTA provisionally entered into force in September 2014.

Economy

Gas Natural Fenosa could be selling its Moldova branch for 500 million euros

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Source: mold-street.com

Spanish “Gas Natural Fenosa” is reportedly selling its branch from Moldova as part of a strategic restructuration of its assets, writes El Economista.

After entering the US-based GIP, Gas Natural Fenosa wants to improve its efficiency and get rid of problematic assets, such as those in Columbia, worth 3 billion euros, or those in Moldova. The strategic plan for this restructuration is scheduled for the end of February.

According to Mold-Street, J&T Finance Group, controlled by the Slovak Patrik Tkac, could be interested in buying Gas Natural Fenosa, after his plan on a 350MW power plant failed.

Gas Natural Fenosa is present in Moldova since 2000, serving over 800 thousand clients through its branch Red Union Fenosa and Gas Natural Fenosa Furnizare Energie- both dedicated to distributing and selling electricity in central and southern Moldova, including Chișinău. Mold-Street mentions that the company had several conflict situations with the National Agency for Reglementation in Energetics in regard to the tariff policy.

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Economy

Banca Transilvania acquires 39,2% of Moldovan Victoriabank, having 66,7% together with the EBRD

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16 January 2018- The Romanian bank, Banca Transilvania (BT), became the main shareholder at Victoriabank, the third largest bank in Moldova.

Banca Transilvania managed to acquire 39,2% of the Victoriabank’s shares and will govern together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with 27,5%. In this regard, EBRD welcomed the acquisition, calling BT “reputable investor” in “key Moldovan lender”.

BT set the following priorities for Victoriabank:

  • Supporting the private business sector in Moldova, especially the SME and micro-enterprises;
  • Developing a large variety of products and services for physical persons;
  • Aligning the organizational structure and the corporate governance of Victoriabank with that of Banca Transilvania;
  • Professionally involving entrepreneurs from Moldova via meetings and courses of the BT Club.

Victoriabank is almost 30 years old, has some 540 thousand clients, 1400 employees and almost 100 offices.

Banca Transilvania is the second biggest bank in Romania with 2,2 million clients, more than 7000 employees and more than 500 offices.

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Economy

Moldova’s second international airport, Mărculești, could become a hub for international goods transport?

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Source: mec.gov.md

Iulia Costin, the State Secretary of the Economy and Infrastructure Ministry of Moldova, says that the Mărculești International Airport could become a hub for international transport of goods between Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

According to Costin, the geographic position, as well as the preferential tax regime within the corresponding Free Economic Area, gives an advantage to the Airport for attracting potential international investors. The State Secretary underlined during her recent visit that the airport enterprise resisted the financial difficulties and is already collaborating with potential investors. Costin promised that her Ministry would provide assistance for the modernizing of the railway link of the Airport.

Quoted by the Ministry’s press-release, Ghenadie Mînăscurtă, head of the Mărculești Airport, says that the enterprise managed to repair and modernize the infrastructure according to international requirements but also train the personnel for technical service and aircraft maintenance.

Mărculești International Airport, with a territory of 265 hectares, is situated 150km north of Chișinău. It was founded in 2004 in a former Soviet military base. A report of Europass revealed that the Airport had 54 million lei of net losses between 2013 and 2015, while Ziarul de Gardă found out that the majority of businesses residing in the Airport’s Free Economic Zone belong to friends or relatives of the airport management.

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