The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) is a treaty between seven countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The agreement was signed on December 19, 2006, and came into effect on July 1, 2007. It aims to promote trade and economic cooperation between member countries, as well as create conditions for sustainable and balanced economic development.
The seven CEFTA member countries are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Moldova. Each country is committed to eliminating tariffs and other trade barriers to promote free trade and investment among themselves.
Since its inception, CEFTA has had a significant impact on the economies of its member countries. The trade volume between CEFTA countries has steadily increased over the years, reaching a total of 10.9 billion euros in 2019. This figure is a testament to the success of the agreement in promoting economic cooperation and growth.
One of the most significant benefits of CEFTA membership is the elimination of tariffs on goods traded among member countries. This is crucial since it makes the movement of goods across borders more accessible and cheaper, leading to increased trade flows. Additionally, CEFTA membership allows countries to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) since companies can operate in member countries with ease.
CEFTA also provides a framework for addressing trade issues and disputes between member countries. The agreement establishes a dispute settlement mechanism that allows member countries to resolve disputes through consultations and negotiations. This mechanism has been used several times successfully, showing that CEFTA member countries are committed to maintaining a stable and predictable trade environment.
In conclusion, CEFTA membership has been instrumental in promoting economic cooperation and growth among its member countries. The treaty has been successful in eliminating trade barriers, promoting investment, and providing a framework for addressing trade issues and disputes. Going forward, member countries must continue to work together to ensure that the agreement remains relevant and beneficial for all parties involved.