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Nov 17, 2022 16:54 EEST
November 17 (SeeNews) - Moldovan prime minister Natalia Gavrilita said on Thursday that one of the country's priorities is to become part of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) as soon as possible.
Moldova's economy is closely interconnected with that of the European space, as more than 60% of trade in goods and 80% of trade in services takes place with SEPA member countries, the prime minister said.
Also, almost 75% of the stock of foreign direct investment in Moldova's economy comes from SEPA member states.
"With our integration into the SEPA area, Moldovan citizens living in member countries and our companies will be able to count on lower costs and greater competitiveness. We will switch to cheaper bank transfers, which are actually fee-free. It is not an easy process, there are certain technical, normative and financial obstacles, but I assure you, on behalf of the government, that we will do everything in our power to facilitate and accelerate our country's accession to SEPA," Garilita said during a live-streamed event organised by the country's central bank.
The prime minister expressed hope that the country's accession to SEPA will speed up its EU integration.
In June, the European Council decided to grant EU candidate status to Moldova and Ukraine. Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia applied for EU membership in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In January, the European Union said it has launched a major twinning project to strengthen supervision, corporate governance and risk management in Moldova's financial sector, which aims, among others, to ensure the necessary conditions for the country's accession to the SEPA.
The SEPA is a payment-integration initiative of the European Union for simplification of bank transfers denominated in euro. The SEPA region consists of 36 European countries, including several countries which are not part of the euro area or the European Union.
In Southeast Europe, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia are SEPA members.
(1 euro= 19.922 lei)
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