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The Moldovan government has continued to pursue a strategy of gradual normalisation of social and economic relations while seeking to make political integration more attractive by securing enhanced access to European markets and visa-free travel to the EU. However, concrete steps toward a political settlement have been limited.
The Moldovan economy expanded strongly in 2010-2011, supported by government reforms. However, GDP declined by 0.7 per cent in 2012 in response to weakening external demand in the EU and unfavourable weather conditions. In the first nine months of 2013 real output rebounded by 8.0 per cent year-on-year supported by growing remittances, recovery of industrial exports and agricultural production. In the short run, the Moldovan economy will continue to depend on developments in the EU and Russia, the major source for remittances and exports demand.
Exports, which are still dominated by low-value added agriculture and textiles, and corresponding industries will be affected by volatile commodity prices. The country’s longer term prospects hinge on the ability to create conditions for investment-led growth. To increase incomes from the current low level, private sector investments into manufacturing industry will need to increase substantially along with the already expanding access to various markets.
The authorities have made efforts to improve the business climate, although the pace of reforms slowed during the recent political crisis. Reforms to cut red tape, improve competitiveness, and stimulate trade were carried out in 2011-2012. The authorities have been implementing a ‘Regulatory Guillotine 2’ programme to systematically reduce unnecessary regulations and improve legislation. Education sector reform was initiated in 2011 to help improve labour force quality while reducing fiscal outlays.
Last updated 12 May 2014