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It’s probably going to be no news for you, but Moldova is still one of the poorest countries in Europe.  Yet to get the real picture you have to read on, because...

There has been significant progress in the life of this country and many industries have developed over the last years.  We have already mentioned the wine industry, but there are also candy and cookies production, tobacco products, meat and sausages, vegetable oil, mineral water, juices, canned fruits and vegetables, publishing and design, cardboards and paper and so on.  Besides that, the service branch has developed some, so now you have the area of tourism and accommodations, car rentals, translations, internet and mobiles services, and more.

A great deal of constructions has been going on lately, due to the large foreign investments and money flow in the country from that approximately one forth of Moldavians who have left to work abroad.  In fact, the prices for real estate has grown ten-fold, thing that is not very thrilling for the locals.  I hear rumors about some reform attempts in the agricultural area, but I can’t see much progress.  In fact, a lot of fruits and vegetables are exported and of course the prices are getting pretty high.

The biggest pain in the… back for the independent Moldova is its dependency on Russia for energy supply, such as natural gas and electricity.  This was, in particular, felt when in 2005 a Russian-owned electrical station in Moldova's separatist region, Transnistria, cut off the electrical power to Moldova.  Then, as if this wasn’t enough, Russia's Gazprom cut off the natural gas, as a result of some debates over the price.  Later, in 2006, Russia's decision to outlaw Moldovan wine and agricultural product exports, combined with its decision to double the price for natural gas, slowed Moldova’s GDP growth.   However, in 2007 it raised up back to the 6% level Moldova had reached in 2000-05.  This was conditioned by Russia's partial removal of the bans, the solid fixed capital investment, and the strong domestic demand driven by the transfer of funds from abroad.

The presence of an illegal separatist regime in Transdnistria region continues to be a drag on Moldova’s economy.  Besides that, economic reforms are slow because of corruption and strong political forces behind government controls.  Nevertheless, the government's primary goal of EU integration has resulted in some market-oriented progress.  The granting of EU trade preferences and increased exports to Russia will encourage higher growth rates in 2008, but the agreements alone are unlikely to serve as a solution, given the extent to which export success depends on higher quality standards and other factors.  At the moment the inflation is inflating and no matter how positive I’ve tried to be, I’ve gone back to the real picture…  Oh, well…  Some things you can’t deny.

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