ECO-BUS WEEKLY DIGEST November 11-17. Most important Economy & Business news by IPN
● MONDAY, November 11
MEI: Although we inherited monopolies and corruption, we achieved a lot in five months
According to the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure, although the ministry "inherited a stressed economic system, full of monopolies, fraudulent schemes and a criminalized business environment, over the course of five months of activity since the appointment of the Sandu government, it has taken actions and promoted public policies that lead directly to the demonopolization of the economic sectors". Additionally, the ministry attempted to eliminate unfair market practices and to remove criminal practices in the business environment. The details of the ministry's activity can be found in a press release submitted in the context of the motion of censure submitted by the Socialist Party. According to the press release, problematic privatizations and cases of defective management of state assets were analyzed at Metalferos, Calea Ferata, Chișinău International Airport, Air Moldova, Chișinău Arena, Railway and Motor Stations, Tutun-CTC, Moldexpo, Moldtelecom, RED-Nord Bălți, Cricova Winery, Mileștii Mici, Mărculești Airport, Poșta Moldovei and at the Glass Factory. The findings in the Chișinău International Airport, Air Moldova, Chișinău Arena, Railway and Motor Stations and Tutun-CTC dossiers were forwarder to the General Prosecutor's Office and the Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office.
Prices for several foodstuffs have increased in October
In October, the annual inflation for the last 12 months (from November 2018 to October 2019) constituted 6.8%, including foodstuffs - 10.7%, non-food items - 4.7%, services provided to the population - 3, 6%. At the same time, the consumer price index (CPI) in October, as compared to September, was of 100.9%. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the increase in average consumer prices by 0.9% was determined by the increase in prices for food products by 1.8%, for non-food items by 0.3% and the increase in the tariffs for rendering services to population by 0, 1%.
Restrictions applied after last swine fever outbreak have been lifted
The National Agency for Food Safety announced that on Monday, November 11, restrictions applied after the last African swine fever outbreak in Comrat have been lifted. Thus, all outbreaks registered in domestic pigs have been eliminated. Since the beginning of the year, there have been 30 fever outbreaks in Moldova, out of which 26 affected pigs kept in domestic households. As a result, 402 pigs and 13 wild boars were killed. The last outbreak was registered on September 26, in a private farm in Comrat, which had 40 pigs.
● TUESDAY, November 12
Simplified tax regime for agricultural produce collectors
The Cabinet of Ministers has endorsed a legislative initiative that provides for the establishment of a simplified tax regime for collectors of agricultural products, especially nuts and fruits. The Minister of Finance, Natalia Gavrilița, has stated that the legislative initiative aims at addressing the problems detected in the procurement of agricultural products by establishing clear rules for individuals collecting agricultural produce and objects of the vegetable kingdom on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. "Thus, a natural person, a collector, will register with the State Tax Service, will pay the social and medical insurance contributions, which will entitle him to work based on a simplified tax regime, by keeping the records of purchases only in a register ", said Natalia Gavrilița.
Government proposed to ratify three energy system modernization agreements
The government requested Parliament to ratify three financing agreements signed with the International Development Association (IDA, which is part of the World Bank group) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), meant to contribute to the modernization of the energy system in Moldova. IDA will grant the Republic of Moldova a loan of 47.9 million euros, which will be used for the extension of the Vulcăneşti station, the modernization of the Chişinău station, the construction of the 400 kV LEA Vulcăneşti - Chişinău air line and the construction of a building for the new Moldelectrica headquarters and a new dispatch center. The second financing agreement with IDA provides for a 13.1 million euro loan for the development of the energy system in the Republic of Moldova.
● WEDNESDAY, November 13
October receipts of the three banks undergoing liquidation
The cumulative total repayments for the emergency loan amounted to 2,368.4 million lei on October 31, 2019. The National Bank compiled the data for October of Banca de Economii JSC, CB "Unibank" JSC and CB "Banca Socială" JSC on the receipts of these banks, which are undergoing the liquidation process, and their payments made to the Ministry of Finance. According to the NBM data, last year, this amount constituted 1,713.4 million lei. The liquidation process of the mentioned banks is supervised by the National Bank, which wants them to render profitable the available assets in limited terms and obtain a maximum equivalent value. The NBM states in a press release that it shows maximum openness while working with the investigation bodies, offering the necessary materials for investigating the circumstances of the bank fraud, in support of the investigation process, the results of which are expected. The NBM supports the effort to recover the embezzled money and to hold the guilty persons accountable. .
Swine fever outbrake in village in Hâncești district
Nearly 30 pigs from the village Sărata Galbenă, Hâncești district, will be slaughtered and buried over the course of the day, after samples collected from a dead animal showed positive swine fever virus laboratory test results. The information was confirmed by Maxim Sîrbu, department head within the National Agency for Food Safety. According to Maxim Sîrbu, the outbreak occurred in a household. The pigs were of different ages. The settlement has already been quarantined, while verification and disinfection filters for transport units must be installed by the end of the day.
Moldova Business Week started in Chișinău
Moldova's ambitions to develop foreign businesses and to attract foreign investments are based on a friendly fiscal system for the business environment and on an unprecedented openness to create transparent business relations with global partners. The Director of Moldova's Investment Agency, Rodica Verbeniuc, said at the opening ceremony of the international economic forum "Moldova Business Week" that Moldova is committed to promote an open economic policy, to increase its efforts for regional integration and to become a more attractive and competitive market. According to Rodica Verbeniuc, economic growth is a must for a developing society, while attracting quality investments is a strategic priority for Moldova.
● THURSDAY, November 14
Polish businessmen looking for new cooperation opportunities in Chișinău
A group of businessmen from the Lower Silesia region, southwestern Poland, who manage companies in the wine, legal and logistic consulting, water and sewerage and cosmetic and ecological products sectors, is attending an economic Moldovan-Polish forum, which takes place in Chișinău. The event is organized by the Moldovan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Center for Development and Entrepreneurship Moldova-Poland. The goal of the event is to explore new opportunities for cooperation and collaboration between the two countries. The Polish ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, Bartlomiej Zdaniuk, said in the opening of the forum that there is a long-standing political, social and cultural connection between the countries. He said that Poland is implementing many development projects in Moldova and that trade between the countries reaches 330 million euros annually. However, according to the ambassador, a more active cooperation is desired, which can be achieved via direct contacts.
Adjustments to 2019 state budget approved by government
During the last meeting, the cabinet of ministers in office approved on Thursday, November 14, adjustments to the state budget for 2019. The current finance minister, Natalia Gavrilița, said that the law on public sector salaries was enacted in haste, without proper expense estimations and without information that would allow to cover the expenses. The budget for 2019 provided for 1.2 billion lei less than necessary for the implementation of the law. "Moreover, the distribution process by settlements is not clear, which is why the Law on the Budget provides for a discretionary fund that the Government redistributes. We have made several decisions over the course of these five months. Now we will issue another government decision to cover local budgets with financing resources for the payment of salaries", said Natalia Gavrilița.
● FRIDAY, November 15
Value of exported goods in first nine months exceeded $2 billion
Value of exported goods in September this year amounted to 238.8 million dollars, 15.9% more than in the previous month. From January to September, value of exported goods totaled $2026.2 million, which is higher by 3.4% than the value of goods exported in the corresponding period of 2018. According to National Bureau of Statistics data, the value of exported domestic goods amounted to 1436.7 million dollars and accounts for 71% of total exports. The figure is up by 9.2% compared to the January - September period of 2018. Re-exported goods totaled $589.5 million or 29% of total exports.
Road transport preferred by passengers
In the first nine months of the year, 76.9 million passengers traveled by public transport, 1.5% more than in the same period of last year. Road passenger transport holds the highest share - 96.9%, followed by air transport with 1.7% and rail transport with 1.3%. The National Bureau of Statistics reports that, compared to the first nine months of last year, the number of passengers using road transport increased by + 2.1%, while the number of passengers using railway transport dropped by -26.0%. Air transport usage decreased by -1.4% and river transport declined by -0.3%.
● SATURDAY, November 16
Moldova imported goods worth over $4 billion in first nine months
In the first nine months of this year, the value of imported goods constituted 4.272 billion dollars, which is 2.3% higher than the value registered in the same period of 2018. Goods worth $2.134 billions were imported from European Union countries, which represents a 50% share of total imported good. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, during the same period, goods imported from the CIS countries were worth 1.030 billion dollars, which is equivalent to a 24.1% share in total imports.
Cash operations on the rise compared to last year
During the January-September period, the amount of receipts in the banking system constituted 90191 million lei. The figure has increased by 7.4% compared to the same period of the previous year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, which refers to the data of the National Bank of Moldova. The increase concerns incomings from companies that provide transport services and other services, from the sale of foreign currency to individuals, from the sale of consumer goods, regardless of the sales channel. Also, there have been decreases in receipts from the payments for rent and utilities, taxes and duties.