By Madalin Necsutu
National bank data show Moldova’s principal foreign investors are now from EU countries – while Russia has dropped from first place to sixth in the investment league table.
Moldova’s National Bank on Thursday said Russian investors no longer hold first place among foreign investors in the country, in terms of direct investment in domestic economic stock.
Citing new data, it said that The Netherlands and Spain took first and second place in the ranking of foreign investors. Third place went to France, followed by Cyprus and Romania.
The Russian Federation was the leader among foreign investors in Moldova until 2016, dropping sharply last year to sixth position in the rankings.
Economic ties between Russia and Moldova shrank dramatically after Russia placed an embargo on Moldovan goods in 2013 and 2014, in order to persuade Chisinau to abandon the European path its government had chosen.
Also, according to the National Bank, foreign investment grew in 2017 by 17.7 percent compared to 2016, from just over 3 billion US dollars to 3.5 billion dollars, a rise of just over 536 million dollars.
A report from Expert-Group, an economic think tank in Moldova, said the numbers could have been higher had the government pursued real reforms in the rule of law that appeal to investors and provide a safer business environment for them.
Moldova’s GDP grew by 4 per cent in 2017, the bank said. The authorities had expected 6 percent. The fall in the estimate was blamed on bad weather conditions. The Expert-Group report predicts economic growth of between 3.1 and 4.8 percent.