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Volume 403: debated on Thursday 10 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to (a) the European Commission and (b) European partners on improving economic conditions in Moldova; and if he will make a statement. [108121]

The UK is at the forefront of discussions within the EU on building a closer relationship with Moldova, including on improving economic conditions. The UK, via the Wider Europe initiative launched by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary last year, has been considering a package of incentives for Moldova including work towards greater economic interdependence. The Department for International Development (DFID) is helping to improve economic conditions in Moldova primarily through the Poverty Reduction Strategy Process (PRSP) and directly through support to the Medium Term Expenditure Framework in partnership with the Ministry of Finance. Under the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the EU, Moldovan exports receive Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment. Also as a developing country, Moldova benefits from the EC's Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). Further market oriented reforms must take place in Moldova for economic conditions to improve.