CEFTA makes great progress in promoting electronic commerce and trade in services

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CEFTA Subcommittee on Trade in Services chaired by the Ministry of Economy of Moldova took place in Brussels on 23-24 June. The participants discussed cooperation in different services sector which key progress made in the field of electronic commerce, in particular on removing unjustified geo-blocking and making parcel delivery easier in CEFTA.

“We all learnt in pandemics that we can do business online and that it can bring us new opportunities. This is why Moldova made digital trade one of the key priorities this year. Now we have a package of three Joint Committee decision aimed at making online business in CEFTA easier, but also strengthening consumers‘ trust. Finally, all our activities are based on EU acquis and best practices which will help us in our EU accession”, said Cristina Ceban, the Chair of the Subcommittee and Head of Department in the Ministry of Economy.

The Subcommittee of Trade in Services also discussed other initiatives in area of tourism, professional qualifications, financial services, work permit and statistics. One of the objectives is to make movement easier for people who travel to provide services, by removing excessive administrations mostly related to work permits and licences.

“We have completed the technical work which is the most challenging part. We are very close to have these documents ready for adoption. I believe this is good news for businesses who hope to expand their consumer base to other CEFTA markets.”  commented Emir Djikic, Director of the CEFTA Secretariat.

Finally, the Subcommittee on Trade in Services approved the upgraded CEFTA Services Regulatory Database and announced to be launched soon. The Regulatory Database will ensure that the domestic rules are transparent, non-discriminatory, proportionate, and justified by public interest objectives, with the aim of preventing barriers for intra-CEFTA services trade.

CEFTA Additional Protocol 6 (AP6) on Trade in Services was adopted in 2019 and entered into force on 11 January 2021. This document extended the principle of free trade within CEFTA to the service sector. AP6 provides a framework for the spurring growth of trade in services, in addition to the previously abolished restrictions on trade in industrial and agricultural products. The protocol focuses in particular on commitments on market access and those related to discrimination of companies on the market. Moldova chairs CEFTA Subcommittee on Trade in Services in 2022.

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