Ukrainian refugees positively influenced Moldova’s economy, analysis

The Ukrainian refugees had a positive effect on the Moldovan economy. Being hosted on Moldova’s territory, they consumed goods, bringing money into the national budget. They also saved the hospitality industry as they got accommodated at hotels, motels and tourist pensions. Also, the companies from Ukraine saved the Moldovan railways and the transport sector by carrying goods to and from Ukraine, said expert of the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives “Viitorul” Veaceslav Ioniță, IPN reports.

The expert said that Moldova’s exports in 2022 exploded, rising to US$4.3 billion, up from US$3.1 billion in 2021. “We export to Ukraine and, respectively, import Ukrainian goods and export them to other countries. Of this export of goods, about US$850 million was generated by the flows of goods to and from Ukraine,” stated Veaceslav Ioniță.

Besides exporting goods, Moldova exports services, primarily transport services that grew and saved the country. In 2018, the volume of freight and passenger transportation services was US$434 million. The pandemic seriously affected the sector, but this recovered in 2022, rising to US$480 million.

The economist noted the war in Ukraine also revived the Moldovan railways that were almost inactive. The volume of railway transport services in 2022 grew suddenly to 1.2 billion tonne/km, almost twice larger than in 2021.

According to Veaceslav Ioniță, the national budget in 2022 grew modestly owing to the reduction of the population’s consumption. But the Ukrainian refugees contributed to its formation by consuming goods and services in Moldova, spending their own money or money received in assistance. About 5,000 Ukrainians already work in Moldova. They pay social and health insurance and other taxes, generating revenues. “In total, the Ukrainian refugees brought at least 1.8 billion lei into the national budget that last year was in a rather bad state,” stated the economist.

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