ECO-BUS WEEKLY DIGEST September 29 - October 4. Most important Economy & Business news by IPN

● THURSDAY, October, 1

Gross external debt on the rise

Moldova’s gross external debt at the end of the second quarter of this year was by 5% higher than at the start of the year, totaling US$7.785,38 million on June 30. This is 66.1% of the Gross Domestic Product, up 4.1 percentage points on December 31, 2019. The public and publicly guaranteed external debt represented 27.6% of the external debt, totaling US$2.146,98 billion, up 11.9% compared with the start of the year. The World Bank Group remains the main creditor of the state with a share of 33.7%. This is followed by the International Monterey Fund with 31.4% and the European Investment Bank with 14.4%. The long-term debt represents the largest part of the gross external debt – 71.5%, totaling US$5.565,54 billion on June 30, 2020, an increase of 5.6% compared with the beginning of the year. The short-term external debt rose by 3.4% during the first two quarters of the year to US$ 2.219,84 billion on June 30, 2020.

Potential to develop Moldova-Russian relations discussed at forum

The Republic of Moldova and the Russian Federation have potential to develop the bilateral commercial, economic and business relations. In the near future, the two countries will sign advantageous contracts and will launch new projects, including to support farmers or to favor export. The subjects were discussed in the Moldovan-Russian Economic Cooperation Forum that was held through teleconferencing on October 1. Prime Minister Ion Chicu said Russia is a very important partner of Moldova. Owing to the exports to Russia, through special projects to extend infrastructure and innovations, Moldova improves the business climate, while the free economic zones and industrial parks became very attractive for the two states and enable to develop the economy. “With common effort, taking into account the cooperation potential in agriculture, tourism industry, both of the states have very good prospects for developing cooperation and for restoring the economic and commercial relations,” stated the official.

● FRIDAY, October, 2

“Moldovagaz” started to stockpile natural gas in Ukraine

The gas company “Moldovagaz” began to stockpile natural gas in Ukraine through the Trans-Balkan section. Amounts of 1.5 to 3 million cubic meters of natural gas will be transported daily for stockpiling them in underground stores for being used in winter. According to the public relations service of “Moldovagaz”, about 100 million cubic meters of gas are to be stored in October-November. Depending on the necessities, the fuel will be supplied to the consumers in December 2020 – February 2021. Contacted by IPN, energy expert Sergiu Tofilat explained the advantages of stockpiling gas. He said the gas can be bought in summer, when it is cheaper. Gas consumption in summer is lower and the price decreases. The gas can be stored in Ukraine and consumed in winter, when prices rise. In this case, it should be determined to what extent the final price consisting of the purchase price of gas, the costs of storage in Ukraine and the costs of transportation to Moldova is more advantageous than the purchase price of gas in winter, according to the market price. There is also the energy security aspect when gas reserves are available.

● SATURDAY, October, 3

National Wine Day celebrated differently this year

The 19th National Wine Day was official opened at the Rădăcini Wines Wineries. The format of the holiday this year is different than that the previous years, with only online broadcasts. The event involved representatives of the Government and the diplomatic corps working in Moldova, who congratulated the country’s winegrowers on the result of their work. “Those who know what winegrowing and winemaking are know that the process does not last for a year, but for many years, and includes the planting of vine, its growing, recouping of investments and conquering of markets,” stated Prime Minister Ion Chicu. He noted that the Government of the Republic of Moldova will continue to come up with solutions for farmers, especially winegrowers and winemakers. “The budgetary-fiscal policy for next year will be modified so that we could stimulate export. I refer to the modification of the VAT rate. This measure will stimulate especially the exporters, among whom the winemakers are the most prominent ones,” said the official.

Loan for improving efficiency of centralized heating system

The Ministry of Finance and the World Bank Office in Moldova have signed a lending agreement between Moldova and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development concerning the second project to improve the efficiency of the centralized heating system. The total cost of the project is €92 million. The goal of the project is to continue the efforts to modernize the thermoelectric infrastructure of Termoelectrica, which were started as part of the project to improve the efficiency of the centralized heating system of 2015. The implementing institutions are Termoelectrica SA and the consolidated unit for the implementation and monitoring of projects in the field of energy that is managed by the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure. The implementation deadline is December 31, 2025.

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