Wien, 21. October 2008 Press release

Austria and Moldova sign agreement on development cooperation

Vienna, 21 October 2008 - "Austria is a reliable friend and partner of Moldova. We encourage our Moldovan partner to consistently push ahead with its political and economic reform efforts and continue to provide active support on its path towards the European family," stated Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik at today's signing of an Austro-Moldovan agreement on development cooperation by the head of the Austrian Development Cooperation programme, Ambassador Irene Freudenschuss-Reichl, and the Moldovan Ambassador to Vienna, Victor Postolachi.

The agreement on development cooperation will particularly promote improvements in vocational training: "We want to strengthen Moldova's economy in order to offer a future perspective, particularly to the young people of the country," affirmed Plassnik.

The agreement redefines the framework conditions of the development cooperation programme between Austria and the Republic of Moldova, providing for the conduct of bilateral negotiations on development cooperation and the exemption from Moldovan taxes of all services financed by Austria and carried out within the framework of the development cooperation programme. The agreement also contains a number of legal simplifications for the providers of development cooperation projects.

"The agreement introduces the necessary framework conditions for still more efficient cooperation between Austria and the Republic of Moldova," stated Ambassador Irene Freudenschuss-Reichl, adding that the agreement enabled the ADC to provide efficient support for the long-term economic and social development of the Republic of Moldova. In accordance with the Paris Declaration the two countries express their willingness to cooperate closely and coordinate the relevant development cooperation activities. "In this agreement we attach special importance to coordinating our activities within the European Neighbourhood Policy," emphasised Ambassador Victor Postolachi.

Moldova has been a priority country of the Austrian Development Cooperation programme since 2004. A coordination office was opened in Chisinau in 2005. The head of this office also acts as chargé d'affaires of the Austrian Embassy in Chisinau.

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