Country Context



Population, million


GDP, current US$ billion


GDP per capita, current US$


Gini Coefficient


Life Expectancy at birth, years


Moldova is a small lower-middle-income European economy. Moldova, the poorest country in Europe, has made superb progress in reducing poverty and promoting inclusive growth since the early 2000s. The economy has expanded by an average of 5 percent a year and was driven by consumption- and fueled by remittances. Remittances account for a quarter of GDP, among the highest shares in the world.

European integration has anchored the government’s policy reform agenda. Negotiations between Moldova and the European Union (EU) on an Association Agreement and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) began in 2010 and were concluded on June 27, 2014, with the signing of both documents.

Against a background of political instability, a polarized society and an adverse external environment, Moldova faces big economic challenges. After the loss of an eighth of GDP to a massive fraud in the banking sector, transparency, accountability, and corruption have emerged as crucial concerns. With higher public debt and damaged business confidence, the macroeconomic framework was severely damaged, while external budget support were halted till an IMF agreement is achieved. On the back of a prolonged recession in Russia and uncertainty in Europe, macroeconomic and fiscal stabilization is an important short-term challenge.

While corruption and governance issues are set at the center stage, Moldova has other important challenges to face. Large-scale emigration, combined with decreasing fertility rates, has hastened the pace of aging in Moldova, making the pension system fiscally and socially unsustainable. Additional challenges stem from an inefficient and large public sector and the unresolved status of Transnistria, a frozen conflict.

Last Updated: Oct 03, 2016


Number of active projects



$503.3 million

IBRD net commitments

US$83.08 million

IDA net commitments

US$282.22 million

IFC committed portfolio

US$56.8 million in 12 projects

MIGA exposure

US$17.1 million in 3 projects


1 grant ($4.4 million)

The FY14-17 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) is providing support, through a mix of analytics, advice and financing, to help reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity by capturing the full benefits of openness and integration with the EU and the broader global economy through three pillars: 

  • Increasing Competitiveness; 
  • Enhancing Human Capital and Minimizing Social Risks; and 
  • Promoting a Green, Clean, and Resilient Moldova. 

The program has a cross-cutting emphasis on governance, particularly in the public sector.


Moldova is struggling with the legacy of a vast bureaucracy and excessive and redundant procedures that result in delays in the provision of public services. After adopting an e-transformation strategy a few years ago, the country has been working toward more open, less cumbersome processes. Modern technology and Moldova’s decision to move closer to the EU mean changes designed to empower citizens, improve government services and help businesses grow.

The US$20 mln Bank-supported Governance e-Transformation (GeT) project gives Moldovans around-the-clock access to government documents and public services. And by creating an electronic trail, it ensures transparent decision-making. It also results in speedier, more efficient service. Moldova has won several international awards, including from Transparency International, for its Bank-supported work in this area.


Main areas of support under GeT featured: 

  • Government’s Cloud Computing Infrastructure (MCloud) and a selected number of e-government services, shared platforms and applications. 39 public institutions migrated their information systems to the MCloud, i.e. almost 50 percent of all central public authorities. An estimated US$1.8 mln in savings were generated for MCloud user agencies over the past 3 years. 
  • e-governance capacity building through the training of 2,461 people, civil servants included.
  • An Open Government Data and a General Government Services Portal were launched, thus facilitating the interaction of more than 495,000 people (51.8 percent women) with the government. 
  • 28 sectoral and cross-sectoral enabling services were launched, and for the most popular products, i.e. e-criminal record and e-licensing applications, some 99 percent of clients transitioned to online application. This has significantly reduced the administrative burden and opportunities for corruption.
  • The uptake of public e-services reached 27 percent (26-35 years age group) and the share of users satisfied with service quality is close to 66 percent.

Last Updated: Oct 03, 2016



After a recession in the second half of 2015, the economy grew at 1.3 percent year-on-year in the first semester of 2016. Private consumption rebounded by 2.2 percent, while change in inventories added 3.9 percentage points (p.p.) to growth. Meanwhile, net exports subtracted 4.3 p.p. from growth due to weak external demand and the stabilization of the exchange rate. Investments continued to decline, by 3.6 percent, as real interest rates were high and public investments were low. 

Consumer inflation is decelerating, with the dissipation of the pass-through effect from the 2014-5 depreciation, due to weaker internal demand, lower import prices and good agricultural yields; 12-month inflation has decelerated from a peak of 13.6 percent in December 2015 to 3.6 percent in August 2016. In response, the NBM sharply has reduced the base interest rate from a peak of 19.5 percent in September 2015 to 10 percent since July 2016. 

The external position has slightly improved. Lower import commodity prices and anemic domestic demand compensated for the reduction in remittances, so that the current account deficit narrowed to 7.8 percent of GDP, 2.7 p. p. lower than last year. As a result, foreign reserves have grown to more than 5 months of imports. 

Public finances are under pressure due to donors’ withholding external budget support. The 2016 state budget law was adopted only in July, and it relies heavily on external support (from the EU, World Bank, Romania) to finance the planned deficit of 3.2 percent of GDP. In the first half of 2016, with low external financing available, the deficit was only 1.1 percent of GDP. As a result, total spending decreased 9.6 percent in real terms, as most procurement and capital expenditure were stopped.

Poverty rates increased less than expected in 20151. Higher consumption growth and stabilization of remittances supported household incomes and kept the moderate poverty rate (5 US$/day, 2005 PPP) at 41 percent in 2015 after 40.7 percent in 2014. The extreme poverty rate (2.5 US$/day, 2005 PPP) was stable at 2.9 percent. However, in the first half of 2016 the unemployment rate remained above historic levels, compounding the impact of high inflation and lower remittances on poverty. These effects have been partly offset by a decrease in food prices due to a good year in agriculture and by the pension indexation in April 2016.


We expect the economy to grow 2.2 percent in 2016, supported by the recovery in agriculture. The agricultural sector is going to rebound in double-digits from last year’s drought-led contraction. Still, high interest rates and political risks around presidential elections (October 2016) will keep investments subdued. An agreement with the IMF would unlock official external financing, and allow an increase in public expenditure within the deficit ceiling. Despite the projected increase in the price of utilities, consumer inflation is expected to remain within the target range of 5±1.5%. The current account deficit is projected to narrow to below 6 percent of GDP. 

Moldova’s growth is expected to reach around 3 percent in 2017-18. The base case assumes modest recovery in major trading partners, including Russia, and improved consumer and investor confidence, supported by an IMF program and official financing from development partners. The fiscal deficit is projected to gradually decline to 2.5 percent of GDP to ensure fiscal sustainability, while the current account deficit will likely remain below the historical average. 

The rebound of the economy and especially of agriculture will continue supporting household incomes. Despite the tight fiscal situation, the real value of transfers to households is likely to be preserved. However, inflationary pressures stemming from increases in utility tariffs would add to the burden on lower income groups who spend proportionally more on utilities. The poverty headcount is projected to decline to the level of 40.4 percent in 2016 followed by a rebound to 37.1 percent in 2017. 


Last Updated: Oct 03, 2016


Promoting a Green, Clean and Resilient Moldova. Moldova is prone to severe weather patterns and vulnerable to natural disasters. Droughts, floods, frosts, and wind are frequent threats both to Moldova’s agriculture and the country’s economy as a whole. The World Bank portfolio in Moldova helps the country become resilient to challenges and grow environmentally sustainable through a number of projects.  

The Moldova Disaster and Climate Risk Management (DCRM) project helps in enhancing the State Hydro-Meteorological Service’s ability to forecast severe weather and to improve its capacity to prepare for natural disasters. 

As a result, the State Hydro-Meteorological Service started the operation of a dual polarization Doppler radar system and a modernized network of 40 automated weather stations which provide improved precision in forecasting severe weather. 

The country’s Emergency Command Center which is able to coordinate disaster response has been established. 

The Just-in-Time Mobile Communication Platform for the delivery of weather information to farmers via mobile technologies has been implemented. 

Under the DCRM project over 50 pilot subprojects aimed at generating and disseminating knowledge about the practical application of agricultural technologies resilient to climate risks are in the process of implementation. 

The DCRM Project has been also supported by the Global Fund for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Active Projects

Closed Projects

Map of Projects in Moldova

Operational Documents

Last Updated: Oct 03, 2016


Moldova: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments