MOLDOVA AND EUROPEAN UNION TRADE RELATIONSHIPS : BETWEEN PARTNERSHIP AND INTEGRATION
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Graduate School of International and Area Studies
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Nowadays the EU is Moldova's most important trading partner with a 50% share of its external trade. For Moldova the issue of trade with EU is vitally important, closer integration into the European market serving as a engine of growth for Moldova's economy. At the Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit in November 2013, Moldova initialled its Association Agreement including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the EU, that marked an important milestone in Moldova's integration process, after some three and a half years of negotiations, reflecting the serious economic and institutional reform efforts the country has made. A DCFTA covers integration along all trade-related areas, and also tackles the so-called “beyond the border” obstacles to trade through deep regulatory approximation with the trade-related EU Acquis. These changes will offer many opportunities for further trade development, expansion of exports, greater eﬃciency gains on domestics market, which are to result in better business and employment opportunities and general upgrade of legal and institutional environment in the economy. However, these moves towards further trade liberalization are not going to be costless; some sectors/population groups could lose from the change, and this issue needs to be addressed timely and properly. The Moldovan economy will face a real challenge of adjustment to competitive conditions. The implementation of the DCFTA will have an economic impact on Moldova economy. This reaserch aim to evaluate this impact through a prism of comparison with Custom Union Russia –Belarus - Kazakhstan option for economic integration and to assess which is the best option for Moldova. Also the research paper will offer a view on implications of DCFTA for the Moldova's unresolved conflict zone - Transnistria, which de jure belongs to the Republic of Moldova, but de facto is not under the control of Chisinau. Research suggests that the impact is largely positive for all stakeholders - private households, companies and the government's finances and provide for government theoretical and practical recommendation in important areas to accelerate trade integration of Moldova in the EU common market through Free and Comprehensive Trade Agreement with EU.