As a small landlocked country, with no energy resources of its own, Moldova projects vulnerability in a wider regional context. Increased efforts towards European integration have triggered Russia’s swift retaliation on economic grounds, banning Moldovan imports and installing a climate of economic uncertainty. Only in 2013 and 2014, Moldovan exporters could redirect their goods to Western markets, driving economic recovery.
Moldova’s path towards development is shaped by the country’s geography: sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, the Eastern European country has been able to consolidate access by signing multiple economic agreements with EU Member States and with former soviet republics. Currently, local companies can access both European and Asian markets, with an undeniable preference for a the former, where almost 70% of Moldovan exports are now directed.
A further, rather challenging step is securing competitiveness; how to make Moldova more competitive on the global market, without relying on natural resources. As experienced by local stakeholders, solutions call for an innovative approach, as long as consolidated export capacities and foreign investments are Moldova’s main drivers for economic growth. It is a moment of opportunity for Moldovan authorities to adopt measures with proven efficiency and secure the country’s remarkable economic growth of the past 2 years.
A measure to look into: granting Moldovan citizenship to major investors.
This mechanism is nothing new; more developed countries already have it. In Moldova’s case, it involves a non-refundable contribution of 100 thousands euro from foreign citizens, to be transferred in a state fund for structural investment in infrastructure - such as roads, water collection systems, aqueducts. The other option is to invest 250 thousands euro in real estate or state bonds for a period of 60 months.
A projection put together by specialists from the Moldovan Ministry of Economy shows that, at a first stage, 1.3 billion dollars would enter the country. 17% of the Moldovan current GDP. This program would drive a 2.5% annual economic growth, with 8-9% more money to the state budget, in the period of implementation. Foreign direct investment would triple. Investment in private constructions would register a 25% growth.
The legislative framework for the “investment” citizenship has been in place since last year, yet criticism is now gaining ground. Some voices have attempted to start a conversation about risks to the national security - while we welcome further interest in this topic, one should be aware that such a program implies due diligence assessments and detailed investigations operated by intelligence services and law enforcement authorities.
We are not in the business of reinventing the wheel. We dream bigger - Moldova needs a braver development model and we are lucky enough to be able to apply measures with proven efficiency in leading markets.
This program is available in the United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Singapore, Hong Kong. An elite club of states have come to the conclusion that their openness is even more valuable when foreign citizens are able to invest and prosper. Usually, conditions in the above-mentioned countries include: investment in the banking sector (deposits), real estate or companies; job creation, investment in state bonds or even donations to the state.
Scepticism is natural, but can prove counter-productive without the necessary information. This is why, in the end, I would like to highlight a study done by IMF experts on “citizenship in return for investment.” IMF experts debunk the myths around this type of programs and focus on benefits - which, in Moldova’s case, can make up for a real success story.
Before the fear of being blown up on a plane, or a train, or a sidewalk gave millions of people sleepless nights, before the threat of global climate disaster stirred dread, nuclear annihilation was the stuff of nightmares.( ) Read all
A significant event took place in the history of Georgia on 24 August 1995- the Parliament of Georgia adopted the Constitution of Georgia. The Constitution enshrines the will to establish a democratic, and Rule of Law based social state, to enhance the state independence and peaceful...( ) Read all
At a Monday press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, the Ukrainian Security Agency (SBU) announced that it had intercepted passenger manifests from Russian MoD-chartered airliners transporting mercenaries working for Wagner, a Russian private military company (PMC). The manifests, involving...( ) Read all
Walking my dog recently, early on a dark January morning, I noticed a light from a window on the ground floor of the school near my home. I took a peek inside. Somebody was preparing the classroom for a technology education lesson, or what we call in this part of the world a “labor...( ) Read all
In response to a request for interim measures in the context of a new inter-State application lodged by the Government of Ukraine against the Russian Federation under Article 33 (Inter-State cases) of the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Court of Human Right has put factual...( ) Read all
The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, on behalf of the Cabinet of Ministers, has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for the protection of Ukrainian sailors captured by the Russian Federation.( ) Read all
Following a Russian attack on three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait, the Ukrainian Parliament has greenlighted a decision to impose martial law in nearly half of the country. On 26 November, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted to impose martial law in 10 Oblasts of Ukraine for 30 days...( ) Read all
On Sunday, delegates of the general assembly of Interpol — the International Criminal Police Organization, the coordinating body for law enforcement from 192 countries — met in Dubai for their 87th annual session. The most important agenda item will come on the final day: on...( ) Read all
A Romanian man was surprised to find 95,000 euros ($107,000) stashed inside a secondhand cupboard he’d bought — and promptly returned the money.( ) Read all
"First of all I want to mention what my colleagues from commission told me. They said that commission hearing was canceled because of Maia Sandu, who is abroad, required to cancel this hearing, because she is participating at a Congress of Popular European Party at Helsinki if I'm not wrong....( ) Read all
KIEV, Ukraine — In the spring of 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was desperate for Mark Zuckerberg’s help. His government had been urging Facebook to stop the Kremlin’s spreading of misinformation on the social network to foment distrust in his new...( ) Read all
Staunton, October 22 – Despite the fact that Ukraine’s Orthodox church is about to be granted autocephaly and ever more people in Belarus are expressing hope that their country will be the next to escape from under the yoke of the Moscow Patriarchate, few have paid...( ) Read all
WASHINGTON — Russians working for a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin are engaging in an elaborate campaign of “information warfare” to interfere with the American midterm elections next month, federal prosecutors said on Friday in unsealing charges against a woman...( ) Read all