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Economy

IMF mission to Moldova warns about delaying policy implementation, reaches staff-level agreement for additional $22 million

On November 7th, a mission of experts from the International Monetary Fund concluded its two weeks visit in Moldova to conduct discussions for the 2017 Article IV consultations, but also for the 2nd review of the EFF and ECF arrangements (176 million USD programs).

The IMF team found Moldova’s GDP growth by approx. 3,5% in 2017, an inflation rate exceeding the targets, but also more disciplined fiscal policies, revenue overperformance and financial stability due to some cleansing of the financial sector.

The IMF team reportedly reached a staff-level agreement on policies needed to complete the 2nd Review of the undergoing finance program, finding the previously set criteria met and many benchmarks implemented, but with delay:

“The program remains broadly on-track with all end-June 2017 performance criteria met by significant margins, and many structural benchmarks implemented, although a number with delays.”

The completion of this 2nd Review might make available an additional loan of about 22 million USD if the IMF Management and Executive Board approves the review in late December.

Acknowledging Moldova’s relative economic and financial stability in 2017, the IMF team projects a favorable outlook for Moldova if certain reforms are conducted or continued:

“In the coming years, effective financial intermediation—facilitated by decisive financial sector cleansing—will be a key domestic growth factor, while sustained recovery of external demand in key trading partners will underpin export growth.”

The financial experts draw attention that significant risks to Moldova’s economy remain: political uncertainty given the upcoming parliamentary elections, macro-financial risks related to delays in decisively cleansing the financial sector, and risks to raising the sustainable growth rate stemming from the challenge of maintaining reform momentum for an extended period.

The mission recommended the Moldovan authorities to use the current momentum for reform on-time in the key domains of fiscal policy, monetary policy an financial stability.

Moldova’s three-year IMF program, approved on November 7, 2016, is supported by a loan of SDR 129.4 million (about US$176 million, or 75 percent of the Republic of Moldova’s quota), of which SDR 26 million (about US$35 million) have been already disbursed. Two-thirds of the loan is provided under the Extended Credit Facility, which carries a zero interest rate through 2018, a grace period of 5½ years, and a 10-year maturity. The rest of the loan is provided under the Extended Fund Facility, which carries an annual interest rate equal to the SDR basic rate of charge (currently 1.3 percent), and is repayable over 10 years with a 4½ -year grace period.

Currently studying International Relations at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Study focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Moldovan statehood, Moldovan democracy. Inquiries at [email protected]

Economy

“State secret”: Finance Ministry refuses to publish EU letter “appreciating Moldova’s progress” on €100 mln. pact

22 May 2018- Newsmaker.md was refused by the Finance Ministry to obtain a copy of the letter of the European Commission on the fulfillment of the first 10 priority actions, necessary for disbursement of the €100 million fund.

Signed by Finance Minister Octavian Armașu, the refusal letter explains to Newsmaker that the letter contains information that is subject to the “state secret” protection due to the national security risks of publishing it.

In March 2018, Armașu declared that the letter from the DG ECFIN (European Commission) appreciated the efforts of the Moldovan authorities on the fulfillment of the first 10 (28, in total) conditions from the agreement on the 100 million euros macro-financial assistance.

This “appreciating” letter was then requested by the Chișinău-based Center for Policy and Reforms (CPR Moldova), but the request was refused on the claim that NGOs cannot request information from the state institutions. Now, CPR Moldova is suing the Finance Ministry for violating the access to information laws, suggesting that an NGO is nothing but an association of individuals, which should freely access information of public interest. Moreover, CPR is asking the Ministry to present a copy of the report on the implementation of the first 10 conditions for the disbursement of the first tranche of those 100 million euros.


On 23 November 2017, the Republic of Moldova signed the agreement with the European Union regarding the macro-financial assistance of 100 million euros: 40 million of grants and 60 million as a loan. The so-called MFA was requested in August 2015 and in March 2016 by the Moldovan authorities. After long debates on the conditionality, the European Parliament, and the EU Council came to an agreement to offer Moldova the macro-financial assistance for 2 years and a half in three tranches, whose disbursement is conditioned by a certain list of criteria. According to the agreement, the European Commission will monitor the progress on key reforms together with the International Monetary Fund.

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Economy

Moldova Automotive Days, automotive components and suppliers forum, to take place on 29-30 May

Moldova Automotive Days, the automotive components and suppliers forum, will take place on 29-30 May, at the Tekwill center.

Moldova Automotive Days 2018 is the leading industry event aimed to gather all industry stakeholders, including government, business, multinationals, professionals and academia, to discuss trends and challenges facing the automotive components industry regionally and in the country, set the premises for sustainable entrepreneurship environment to foster sector development and attract investment.

According to the organizers, the Moldovan Government and the Moldovan Investment and Export Promotion Organization, the goal of the event is to develop an international annual platform for national and international stakeholders, public, private entities, international partners and diplomatic staff for promoting the potential of the Moldovan automotive components sector worldwide.

Registration is already open for participating at the Moldova Automotive Days. Check the agenda and list of speakers here.

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Economy

Moldova Government increases guaranteed minimum wage to 2610 Lei ($157)

25 April 2018- The Government of Moldova adopted a decision to increase the guaranteed minimum wage in the real economy by 230 lei (approx. 14 USD) up to 2610 lei (approx. 157 USD). The change is expected to enter into force from 1 May 2018.

Thus, the workers in the real sectors of the economy will not receive less than 15,44 Moldovan lei (0,93 USD) for an hour of labor, compared to the current 14,09 lei- 2380 lei monthly.

In 2017, the prices increased by 6,6%, while the productivity growth rate was 3%- a 9,6% salary increase is put up.

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