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Further improvements in the business environment, such as reduced corruption and “red tape”, a level playing field in the economy and stronger support for export-oriented sectors, would foster investment and help to diversify the economy away from agriculture and its substantial reliance on markets in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Progress in reforming the energy and municipal sectors through commercialisation, increased transparency, economically based tariff-setting and resolution of the existing debt burden, is necessary to secure long-term financial sustainability in these sectors and improve the quality of services. Falling budget revenues, declining remittances and limited access to external financing call for finding the right balance between the commitments to increase public expenditure and ensuring macroeconomic stability during the economic downturn.
Business environment and competition
Moldova’s investment climate has gradually improved over recent years, although effective implementation of laws and regulations concerning construction permits, employment, investor protection, taxes and trading across borders remain a challenge. Moldovan companies consider corruption, tax administration and the practices of competitors in the informal sector as key obstacles to doing business. Overall, the economy remains non-diversified.
Infrastructure - Energy
The energy sector continues to face financial difficulties due to accumulated debts, and progress in resolving these problems remains slow.
In mid-September 2009 the Chisinau municipal council approved substantial tariff increases for water and public transport. This measure is expected to improve the financial sustainability of the two municipal utilities, reducing the need for less-efficient budget financing of water services and public transport.
The global financial crisis has indirectly affected Moldova’s financial system, mainly because the limited access of domestic banks to international capital markets. The banking system therefore remains generally sound, although some banks have suffered temporary liquidity shortages and relatively large deposit withdrawals or conversions of local currency into foreign-denominated deposits.
Lending to the economy has fallen significantly, most of which is attributable to the reduction in local currency loans for consumer lending, but small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) also report substantial difficulties in obtaining bank credit, partly related to the impact of the global crisis on the real sector. The National Bank of Moldova (NBM) has announced a programme of funding to Moldovan banks for to provide liquidity and support lending to the real economy at affordable interest rates.
Last updated 21 April 2010