The industry is poorly developed and mainly linked to agricultural production. The most famous product is the Moldavian wines. The country also has production of canned fruits and vegetables, tobacco, fragrant oils and more.
The food industry accounts for almost half of total industrial production. There are also mechanical, electronics, clothing, leather and textile industries.
Industrial production fell dramatically during the 1990s due to the decline in agricultural production and increased energy prices. In addition, the break with the area east of Dnestr in 1992 had major consequences, as the heavy industry was located in that region.
In the first year of the 2000s, the industry experienced growth, mainly due to increased Russian demand and growing textile exports to the EU. (see Foreign Policy and Defense). In 2015, almost one fifth of the labor force was found in industry.
- COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of Moldova. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.
Moldova is dependent on its foreign trade, as the domestic market is small. Since 1992, the country has shown a trade deficit, ie imports are larger than exports.
The export products are mainly obtained from agriculture, and wine is the best known. Textile exports are also important. The largest exporting countries are usually Romania and Russia, followed by Italy, the United Kingdom, Belarus and Germany. From 2013–2014, however, Russia has introduced a number of import bans which have led to a reduction in Moldovan exports there (see below). In the first half of 2016, more than 60 percent of exports went to the EU, compared with 10.8 percent to Russia.
Energy in the form of oil and natural gas makes up a large part of imports, together with machinery and technical equipment. Oil and natural gas are mainly purchased from Russia, but also from Romania and Ukraine. Other important importing countries are China, Germany, Turkey and Italy.
In 2011, a free trade agreement was signed between eight states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS): Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Moldova. The agreement meant that import and export duties between countries were abolished for a wide range of goods.
Trade with Russia is uncertain. Up to 2006, 90 percent of Moldova’s wine exports went to Russia, which then stopped its imports for a period of political reasons (see Foreign Policy and Defense). Moldova then sought new markets, and when Russia again stopped wine imports in the autumn of 2013, only 30 percent of Moldova’s wine exports went to Russia. In response to Russia’s action, the EU promised to open its market entirely to Moldavian wine.
In June 2014, Moldova signed an association agreement with the EU, which meant, among other things, that Moldovan companies should gradually gain free access to the EU internal market. At the same time, a free trade agreement between Moldova and the EU, the so-called DCFTA (Deep Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement), which the parties have negotiated since 2012. As a result of these agreements, Russia increased the import ban on Moldavian fruit and meat.
FACTS – FOREIGN TRADE
US $ 1,962 million (2018)
US $ 5,271 million (2018)
– US $ 1,187 million (2018)
Commodity trade’s share of GDP
75 percent (2018)
Main export goods
agricultural products, textiles
Largest trading partner
Russia, Ukraine, Romania
The tourism industry in Moldova is small and has no major economic significance for the country. In 2015, more than 15,500 tourists came to Moldova, the vast majority from Romania, Ukraine and Russia.
In Chișinău there are several hotels of international standard. The capital offers the visitor nice parks, churches, museums, cafes and shops for shopping. Outside Chișinău there is a beautiful landscape with sunflower fields, monasteries, villages, mountains and vineyards that the interested can visit. Bad roads are an obstacle to the development of the tourism industry.
FACTS – TOURISM
Number of foreign visitors per year
121 000 (2016)
US $ 331,000,000 (2016)
The share of tourist income from exports
12.8 percent (2016)
New President becomes provisional president
Democratic Party leader Marian Lupu is elected President of Parliament and thus becomes Acting President. Until 2009, Lupu was a promising politician within the right wing of the Communist Party.
Journalist is imprisoned in the state of outbreak
A court in Transnistria sentenced Moldovan journalist Ernest Vardanean to 15 years in prison for high treason. Vardanean was arrested in April, suspected of spying on Moldova. According to Vardanean’s supporters, he is forced to make a televised acknowledgment under threat.
New elections strengthen EU-friendly alliance
New elections are held for Parliament – the third parliamentary election in less than two years. The result strengthens the governing Alliance for European Integration, which increases from 53 to 59 seats. However, there are two mandates too little to be able to elect a new president on their own. Thus, the government side is dependent on two from the Communist Party voting with them. The major victors are the Liberal Democrats, who increase from 18 to 32 seats, while the Liberals go back from 15 to 12 seats. The Democrats are increasing slightly from 13 to 15 seats, while Our Moldovan Alliance is leaving Parliament. The electoral loser is the Communist Party, which backs 6 seats from 48 to 42. The turnout is 63 percent. The Communists accuse the government parties of electoral fraud. However, a translation shows the same results.
New government aims at the EU
The Liberals, Liberal Democrats and Democrats continue to rule in coalition with Liberal Democrat leader Vlad Filat as prime minister. Filat says that the government’s most important tasks are to bring Moldova closer to the EU, to raise the low standard of living of the population, to fight corruption, and to guard the strategically important relations with Russia, the United States, Romania and Ukraine.
A referendum on the presidential post is rejected
In order to break the political deadlock, the government is initiating a referendum that the president should be elected directly by the people instead of by the parliament. The Communist Party calls on its supporters to boycott. There are reports that communists in some places are preventing people from going to the polling stations. The turnout will be too low, about 30 percent, for the result of the referendum to be valid. For that, 33 percent participation had been required.
Court announces new elections
Parliament’s inability to elect a new regular president leads to the Constitutional Court announcing new elections to Parliament.
The IMF grants financial support
Moldova is granted $ 586 million over a three-year period by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The terms of the loan are to accelerate economic reforms in the country.