25 Mar 2021

e-TRADECON: the first conference dedicated to international trade facilitation

Experts in the field of Customs in the public and private sector, specialists in the field of international logistics, as well as anyone who is interested in trade have the opportunity to attend, on March 25-26, the first Conference dedicated to international trade facilitation – e-TRADECON. The event is organized by the Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova, the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova, the USAID Moldova Structural Reform Program and the American Chamber of Commerce in Moldova. The conference is partnered by the European Business Association, the European Union High-Level Advisers Mission, and is supported by PwC Moldova. The forum brings together top experts from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the European Commission, USAID, representatives of Customs authorities from Moldova, Romania, Ukraine.

In his welcome address, the Acting Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Aureliu Ciocoi, mentioned: "Joining our efforts, we will be able to improve the quality of services provided to businesses, reduce costs, minimize the fraud and corruption related risks, improve the country's competitiveness; and this event is a successful example of cooperation between public authorities and the private sector, aimed at enhancing the business climate!".

Virtually present at the opening panel of the Conference, His Excellency Mr. Dereck J. Hogan, United States Ambassador remarked: "While e-commerce innovation is advancing, we should not forget that successful ventures often still involve the physical movement of goods. We must also examine broader supply and delivery chain issues to see what can be improved, and how. USAID has supported a comprehensive study of Moldova’s trade corridors that included recommendations to help grow Moldova’s economy. We will continue to work with the government and the private sector to implement these recommendations and help more Moldovan businesses trade internationally."

His Excellency Peter Michalko, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova mentioned: “The Republic of Moldova is an important partner of the European Union and the Association Agreement including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (AA/DCFTA) remain a stable basis for our partnership. We are glad to see that the DCFTA is bearing fruits to Moldova. In 2020, the EU remained and consolidated its position as Moldova’s largest trading partner, accounting for around 70% of Moldovan exports. In this regard, we appreciate the efforts of the Customs Service that has been embarking on a road of modernisation in the last year, despite the challenging situation caused by pandemic. The new Customs Code, developed with the EU support and in line with the EU’s Customs Code, is currently pending its final adoption by Parliament and we expect to be adopted as a priority. It will provide modern tools for trade facilitation in line with the highest international standards, which would foster trade and improve the relation between the Customs Service and business community. At the same time, I would like to underline that an independent and impartial justice sector with transparent and fair legal proceedings is essential for Moldova’s attractiveness as a proper place for business.

The host of the event, Sergiu Burduja, Director of the Customs Service, has noted: “Developing the dialogue with the business community is an institutional strategy of the Customs Service. For this reason, we are involved in an ongoing process of identifying and promoting new tools to facilitate international trade. Any progress can only be achieved through dialogue, and now, more than ever, economic agents need the support of the authorities in their business activity. I am fully convinced that this event will boost the cooperation between the Customs Service and the business community in the context of the crisis situation caused by the pandemic.”

During the first day of the Conference, the experts discuss the innovative elements of the new Customs Code and their impact on international trade facilitation; the role of digitization in streamlining customs clearance processes, as well as in minimizing business interaction with public authorities and reducing related costs.

A special element of the first day of the Conference is the forum of the three Customs authorities from Romania, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. The discussions include the review of the good practices of international cooperation, such as joint control, data exchange, as well as the reaffirmation of collaboration plans on customs infrastructure modernization. During the second day of e-TRADECON, the guests will reflect on the peculiarities of the value chain of the international e-commerce in the context of the window of opportunity generated by the pandemic crisis, as well as the regulatory impact in stimulating e-commerce. The normative status quo regarding customs valuation and the origin of goods as inherent elements of the customs clearance process will be discussed with the top experts from the Customs Service and the World Bank. The last panel is dedicated to issues related to the voluntary compliance of economic agents with customs regulations, as well as to the actions undertaken by various actors in combating smuggling, respectively in ensuring level playing field in the business environment in the Republic of Moldova.

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More pictures from the event are available in the Photo Gallery.

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