Giurgiulesti changes the aspect of Southern region. Economic Commentary by Info-Prim Neo
As of October 26, 2006, the oil terminal from Giurgiulesti was put into operation, which besides the importance it has for the internal market of oil products, has practically reintroduced Moldova into the list of maritime countries. It is a project both valuable and controversial, but which could integrally change the aspect of the Southern region and of the Moldovan economy on the whole. It is true that in the first period the circuit of goods through the port will be relatively small, but as the time will pass, after the units for cargos and passengers will be opened, its activities might boost up. From this point of view, the facility from Giurgiulesti has a greater significance for the national economy than only for ensuring stability of the market of oil products, and in the future it could ensure the development of other objects of infrastructure. [I] Of course the main objective to be reached is continuously ensuring the economy with oil products, thus ensuring stability on the market, but also allowing making medium-term reserves. At the same time, in light of the fact that naval transport is cheaper compared with the other types of transport and due to the fact that the Giurgiulesti port has a preferential customs and fiscal regime, the price of oil products transported on maritime ways will be lower. [II] Ampler activities in Giurgiulesti, especially after the facilities for freights and passengers will be put into operation, will immediately impose the necessity of developing an infrastructure of land transport which would be able to ensure a larger circuit of goods and passengers from south to other regions of the country and in the opposite direction. Talks on the necessity of a modern highway, which would be a link between the southern and northern regions of the country, must not only be intensified, but also implemented. [III] Also, the activity of a sea harbor in the south opens access of Moldova to other commercial maritime ways. On the one hand, it allows to reduce the transport costs significantly and exclude a series of obstacles (customs taxes) occurring in front of trade. On the other hand, Moldovan exporters of goods will have the possibility to reach the Western Europe avoiding a series of customs procedures in light of the fact that Danube is a navigable stream. As well they will have easier access to some markets, such as Turkey. The list of possible markets can be continued, if we take into consideration that the Black Sea allows access to the Mediterranean Sea and even to the ocean. And the route Black Sea – Mediterranean Sea – Swiss Channel – Red Sea and Indian Ocean makes possible the direct access on the Russian market without crossing Ukraine. [IV] At the same time, the large enough territory – about 42 hectares – given into use to the “Giurgiulesti” International Free Port (for a period of 90 years), and the advantageous fiscal conditions could transform Giurgiulesti into a target for both local and foreign investors. More, the Oil terminal, maritime port of goods and passengers, fiscal and special customs regime are the basic conditions for development of a profitable and sustainable business. Moldovan wine producers could be the first customers of the future port of goods, as well as of the economic zone with special statute. Thus, the so intensely debated change of the South could begin in Giurgiulesti. There are many advantages and can be successfully turned to good account, but only if previous practices, which delayed the construction of the terminal for more than 10 years will not be revived.