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Untapped potential for international trade in Moldova

An estimated 30 to 45 percent of the national economy is informal, and therefore cannot access foreign markets, according to a UNDP report on foreign trade in the Republic of Moldova.  

An Assessment of Aid for Trade Needs was presented today in partnership with the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Moldova.

According to the report, increasing international trade is vital for Moldova's economy, and can benefit human development by boosting productivity, employment and economic growth. Sectors with a good potential for increased trade include agriculture and agro-processing, and information and communication technologies.

The Moldovan economy is dependent on international trade, and Government budget revenues are strongly dependent on trade performance. Therefore, trade indirectly affects public financing for education, health, and environmental protection.

Recommendations include improving the business climate through simplification and increased transparency of technical regulations, custom and border procedures, the tax regime and other factors influencing business and investment activities in the country.

The report also encourages the Government to support investments in infrastructure needed for export expansion, including roads, transport and storage facilities, and logistics.

The Assessment also provides an analysis of the impact on human development of potential changes with main trade partners, such as the European Union. "Increased trade with Eastern and Western partners and economic growth did not automatically translate in better living standards and opportunities for all Moldovan people", said Kaarina Immonen, UNDP Resident Representative, during the presentation of the Assessment. "There is still much to be done to fully explore the positive relationship between trade and human development through increasing the competitiveness of the Moldovan products and services at home and abroad, improving infrastructure, and adjusting the regulatory framework", she said.  She also highlighted the timeliness of the Report in the context of current negotiations with the European Union on the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.

The report is part of a regional initiative called Wider Europe: Aid for Trade for Central Asia, South Caucasus and Western CIS, led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and supported by Finland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which works with national partners to participate in, and benefit from, international trade.


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