Swiss government approves EFTA free trade agreement with Moldova

21 February 2024 13:17

SEC

Bern - On February 21, the Swiss government adopted the dispatch on the free trade agreement between the EFTA countries and Moldova. It will now go to the Swiss Parliament for approval. The agreement will boost bilateral trade across all sectors.

The Swiss government, know as the Federal Council, has approved the free trade agreement (FTA) between Moldova and the EFTA countries Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. The relevant dispatch will now be referred to the Swiss Parliament for approval. The agreement had been signed on June 27, 2023 in Liechtenstein.

press release issued by the Federal Council and Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research describes the agreement as “modern and far-reaching”. It is consistent with more recent FTAs that EFTA has concluded with third countries and covers a broad range of sectors.

The agreement includes provisions on trade in industrial goods and services, processed and unprocessed agricultural products, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures. The provisions also extend to rules of origin, trade facilitation, investment, intellectual property protection, competition, public procurement and dispute settlement. Moldova is also the first partner with which EFTA has agreed an extensive chapter on e-commerce and its new model chapter on trade and sustainable development.

The bilateral trade volume was still low in 2022, at around 50 million Swiss francs, but has potential for growth, explains the press release. The FTA opens up broad market access and improves the legal framework and predictability. ce/mm

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