Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk to boost small businesses in Moldova

26 September 2022
ITC News

European Union, International Trade Centre and Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Moldova launched the Moldovan version of the Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk platform in Chisinau

The European Union (EU) and the International Trade Centre (ITC), in partnership with the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Moldova, have launched the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Trade Helpdesk platform for the Moldovan business community.

Moldova’s export potential

The EU is the biggest export market for Moldovan products, with the potential to grow 20% more in the next five years. This would translate to €1.12 billion euros of additional exports.

There are several unused export opportunities, for example, Moldovan fruit exports could be five times higher if diversifying from the traditional markets in Poland and Romania to markets in Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands.

The apparel sector could double its exports by 2027, with markets in Austria, Greece, and the Netherlands providing the best opportunities.

The platform

Through the newly launched Moldovan version of the EaP Trade Helpdesk platform (eap.tradehelpdesk.org/ro for Romanian and eap.tradehelpdesk.org/ru for Russian), public and private actors have access to user-friendly trade intelligence that can contribute to an increase in trade between the countries of the EaP region and with the EU.

The platform guides users through three stages:

  1. Identifying the most promising markets and products to trade in the EaP region and the EU.
  2. Providing an overview of market access conditions and connecting them with relevant partners in their country or the destination market.
  3. Allowing users, through the Help Centre integrated in the platform, to raise concerns and get support from a network of national experts coordinated by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Moldova, the Moldovan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova.

The platform contains detailed market requirements information for existing and newly identified markets, provides information sources and allows questions to be submitted to a national network of technical experts through its Help Centre.

A week of extensive training for officials from the Moldovan Government and business support organizations complements the launch. The training will enable them to develop new trade portfolios serving small businesses in the Republic of Moldova that constitute the highest percentage of all enterprises in the business economy.

At the launch event, Vadim Gumene, State Secretary, Ministry of Economy of Moldova said: “Once finalized, as an efficient tool for all economic actors and stakeholders involved in international trade, enterprises from the Eastern Partnership countries, including the Republic of Moldova, will have increased access to accurate and transparent trade information on the EaP region and the EU. The online platform will also allow businesses to report export and import issues and get practical solutions from relevant agencies.''

Vasile Plamadeala, Trade Officer, EU Delegation to Moldova added: “The EaP Trade Helpdesk platform is instrumental in unlocking Moldova’s untapped export opportunities and potential, as well as helping identify new markets and products to trade in the EaP region and the EU. At the same time, it provides better and easier access to the EU market to further benefit from the AA/DCFTA agreements.”

Christophe Durand, Trade Information Lead at ITC concluded: "The EU together with the Eastern Partnership makes up more than half of Moldovan trade. But this trade is relatively concentrated – both in terms of products and destinations, leaving unexplored possibilities for diversification in most of the EU and other EaP countries. By exploring these unused opportunities within the next five years Moldovan trade to the EU can grow 20% more or €1.12 billion.”

The project will run until 2024. After the platform launch, surveys of Moldovan companies will be undertaken on their business environment as well as improving trade in services data collection.