Moldova Signs Free Trade Agreement with EFTA: Boosting Export Opportunities

In a bid to expand export opportunities and strengthen trade relations, the Republic of Moldova, led by Prime Minister Dorin Recean and Deputy Prime Minister Dumitru Alaiba, has signed a Free Trade Agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), comprising countries such as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. The agreement was signed during the EFTA Ministerial Meeting in Schaan, Liechtenstein.

The signing of the agreement with EFTA marks a significant milestone for the Republic of Moldova in terms of diversifying its economic portfolio and advancing European integration while extending its reach to new export markets.

“After more than two years of negotiations, the signing of this agreement became possible due to our ongoing dialogue and the openness of our European partners towards our development agenda. This is yet another significant step towards our economic integration into Europe, contributing to maintaining stability and increasing the welfare of citizens. By promoting fair trade and a transparent environment, we ensure that Moldova becomes an attractive destination for investors and that our producers benefit from more export opportunities,” mentioned Maia Sandu, the President.

The President emphasized that the new export markets for Moldovan entrepreneurs mean increased sales, higher incomes, and more jobs at home.

The agreement entails the elimination of customs duties on imports of industrial products and the granting of concessions for market access to agricultural products.

“We are determined to pursue the path of economic diversification, stability, and European integration. Together with our EFTA partners, we will work towards realizing the full potential of this agreement and ensuring a prosperous future for the citizens of the Republic of Moldova,” stated Prime Minister Dorin Recean.


In this context, the Minister of Economic Development and Digitalization expressed gratitude to the EFTA member states for their openness toward the Republic of Moldova, considering the regional crisis and the challenges faced by the country.

“The signing of the agreement with the EFTA countries opens doors for Moldovan products in a high-quality commercial environment, providing access to a diverse consumer segment willing to pay premium prices for superior goods. This presents immense growth potential for Moldovan exporters and can generate significant revenues for the country’s economy. By facilitating access to thriving markets, our country has the opportunity to promote its products and services internationally, attract foreign investments, and create jobs in key sectors of the economy,” noted Deputy Prime Minister Dumitru Alaiba.

The negotiations for the agreement were preceded by a Joint Declaration on Cooperation signed in November 2017. From March 2021 to March 2023, five complete rounds of negotiations and several discussion sessions involving the concerned countries took place.

Moldovan exports to the EFTA market reached approximately $66.7 million in 2022, with imports totaling $56.14 million, resulting in a positive trade balance of around $10.5 million.

Switzerland stands as the Republic of Moldova’s primary trading partner within the EFTA countries, accounting for about 81% of trade flows, followed by Norway with around 14.7%. Key Moldovan products exported to the EFTA market include cereals, oils, fruits, nuts, bakery products, wines, and textiles.

To date, the European Free Trade Association has signed 29 free trade agreements with countries outside the European Union.

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