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Economy

Getting citizenship for investments: is it good or bad?

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Granting citizenship to the people having invested into the Moldovan economy is a form of passively capitalizing on Moldova’s status as an internationally recognized country. At the same time, luring investors through international forums and exhibitions, what does have a right to exist, has turned up being not so efficient and may not be viewed as an exclusive tool to interact with and attract foreign investments.

The Moldovan economy goes on feeding on remittances, as the exports – although up 38% (in January-February 2018) – are not capable though to unleash the overgrowth badly needed for the essential improvement of the living standard. Under these circumstances is or is not the program of granting citizenship for investments the panacea, the element able to miraculously boost the economic growth? Certainly, the answer is ‘no.’ The program can yield contingent effects, as raising the amount of direct foreign investment, as a substantial increase of the financial flows to Moldova and implicitly shaping the investment climate so much talked about for so long.

The Economy Ministry assesses an investment flow of about 1.3 bn euros, a difficult thing to assess as the program is launched for the first time and there is no any market response as to the Moldovan passport yet. Still there is a steady demand for such services on the international market: businesspeople having to migrate because of various reasons ask for a second citizenship. For example, according to a study carried out by CS Global Partners in the UK in 2017, about 89% of the British would like having a second citizenship, and about 34% made the effort to find out how such a one may be acquired.

Most countries do have programs of gaining investor visas or citizenship, what’s more these people are sought for in a tough luring competition. If suich countries as the USA, the UK or Switzerland but display the eligibility conditions, in Moldova’s case, this strategy won’t work because of competitive attractiveness of the Moldovan passport compared to the British or American ones, for instance. Hiring a company specialized in providing such services as Henley&Partners is highly increases the chances of attaining the program goals, given Henley&Partners’ experience in providing a wide range of services for potential applicants, but also its massive database of clients and potential applicants.

The risks implied and the critique targeting such programs of gaining citizenship through investments – hinting it’s an illegal scheme of money laundering – are detached from the real context such programs unfold in. First, these services are provided by companies often related to renowned consulting firms, which would incur reputational risks and would be liable to criminal investigation in many countries. Second, gaining one’s citizenship is a public act, your name becomes public what is not proper for “the strategies” used to launder money, which need interposed persons, shell companies and fake identities for short times. Third, as the campaign is going on at the national scale, were it a money laundering scheme, it would have immediately draw the attention of Moldova’s development partners: the USA, the EU, the IMF and other international financial entities.

And last but not least, all the applicants will be checked up by law-enforcing bodies and the Interpol, as the law provides for.

Roman Chircă, director of Market Economy Institute

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Economy

A mission of the International Monetary Fund led by Ruben Atoyan is coming to Moldova

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A mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) headed by Ruben Atoyan will be on an official visit to Chisinau from June 26 to July 10, 2019, writes ZdG.

According to an IMF press release, the mission will hold talks with the authorities in the context of the revision of the IMF-funded program under the Extended Fund Facility (ECF) and WFP arrangements. The mission will analyze recent economic developments and progress in program implementation, as well as update and assess the macroeconomic outlook and discuss with authorities about macroeconomic policies in the coming period.

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Economy

How many millionaires are there in the Republic of Moldova?

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1 760.

1760 citizens of the Republic of Moldova obtained revenues of over 1,000,000 lei in the year 2018. The total income earned by these people was 6.140,000,000 lei and the tax paid to the budget from this income is the amounted to 479.710,000 lei, the State Tax Service announced.

According to the quoted source, the highest amount of income earned by a natural person in 2018 was 83.250,000 lei.

Territorial, most millionaires are registered in Chisinau – 1384.

The youngest person in this category is 21 years old and the oldest – 90 years old.

Accordingly, the average income of a taxpayer is 49.700 lei in 2018 compared to 44.800 lei in 2017.

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Economy

The past and the future of Moldova’s energy sector security

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The energy sector is one of the vulnerable areas of the Republic of Moldova because it could not provide national security in case of exceptional situations.

The energy vulnerability of the Republic of Moldova is caused by the dependence on natural gas and electricity from the outside, obsolete infrastructure and tariffs inadequate to economic rigors. The accession of the Republic of Moldova to the European Energy Community could represent the solution to many problems existing in the energy sector, says the political analyst of the IIDIS Viitorul, Ion Tăbârţă via the Newsletter.

Achieving commitments under the European Energy Community could ultimately lead to diversification of energy supply, demonopolization and liberalization of the energy market, separation of energy activities, renovation and modernization of infrastructure, non-discriminatory tariffs for consumers.

With the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU, the Republic of Moldova started transposing and implementing the provisions of the Energy Package III, adopted by the European Union in 2009.

The Republic of Moldova has achieved good results in transposing the European directives into national legislation, adopting several laws in the energy field. However, the Republic of Moldova is experiencing some delays in adopting sectoral energy laws, such as the Oil Law.

The reforming and modernization of the Moldovan energy system will be realized only after the implementation of these laws, when their functionality will be ensured. The Government of the Republic of Moldova and ANRE are the main institutions responsible for the implementation of the regulatory framework.

The implementation has several dimensions:

  1. development and approval of secondary legislation
  2. liberalization of the energy market and institutional and organizational consolidation
  3. modernization of energy infrastructure.

To achieve these goals, the energy interconnection with the EU must be achieved, which can only be done through Romania. The Government of the Republic of Moldova concluded in 2015 a Memorandum of Understanding with that of Romania. This implied the realization of 5 large projects that would ensure the interconnection of the natural gas and electricity networks between the two states.

What should the Republic of Moldova do for a more secure energy sector?

The Republic of Moldova needs to modernize and restructure it in order to overcome the inherited vulnerabilities of the past. Contrary to expectations arising from the national interest of the Republic of Moldova, this process is much slower than expected.

We have delays in the adoption of legislation, especially the secondary one, and delays in the modernization of energy infrastructure. This is particularly evident in energy interconnections with Romania, which could be viable solutions to many of the existing energy problems in the Republic of Moldova. Under the conditions that there is external support from the outside, such an attitude means that things are “intentionally entangled” inside. Money is capacity, the rest is at the mercy of political will.

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