Moldova can cope with a possible expulsion of the Moldovan migrants from Russia. Such a decision by Russia would also have benefits, like the return of the labor force home, now that the country is facing a shortage of workforce, economist David Saha, expert of the German Economic Team Moldova, said in a briefing held in concert with experts of the Independent Analytical Center “Expert-Grup”, IPN report.
David Saha said that Moldova is yet among the countries where a part of the GDP is formed by remittances sent by the migrants working abroad. 60% of the remittances or about US$1.5 billion a year come from Russia. If Russia expels a part of the Moldovan workers, remittances will decline by 10% or US$150 million, but the effect on the GDP will not be significant.
The expert said that if the remittances decrease, the population’s purchasing power will diminish, but it can be offset by adjusting the prices and the monetary policy. Moreover, the fiscal policies will remain unchanged and the taxes will not need to be raised.
If the Moldovan workers return home from Russia, they will have to look for work alternatives. Thus, a part of them will re-qualify and will be able to work in the country. Even if the salaries in Moldova are lower, if calculating the travel expenses of the workers in Russia and the food-related costs that are higher there, it’s clear that there is no use going abroad to work.
On the other hand, David Saha said the Moldovan authorities should negotiate migrant worker quotas with the EU. The economic situation in the EU member states started to improve and some of them need labor force. Furthermore, if Russia sees that Moldova has alternatives for its workforce, it will reduce the pressure exerted by it as it will understand that this is useless. But Russia is not really interested in expelling the foreign labor force and it’s not so easy to do it.