Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 101

The International Monetary Fund has approved credits worth $200 million to support the Moldovan government’s reform programs for 1996-1998. Reviewing the government’s performance, the IMF found that financial stabilization "has largely been achieved," inflation is the lowest among all the ex-Soviet countries, interest rates are down to moderate levels, the exchange rate is free and stable, exports have increased particularly to non-CIS countries, the production decline has been halted, and "notable progress" has been achieved in trade liberalization and privatization. At the same time, "only limited success" has been achieved in enforcing budget constraints on enterprises and in privatizing agriculture.

Moldova is apparently the first CIS country in Europe likely to achieve significant GDP growth in 1996. The Moldovan government’s objectives for 1996-98, agreed with the IMF, include sustaining 4 percent to 5 percent annual GDP growth, lowering annual inflation to 6 percent and the budget deficit to 3.4 percent of GDP, substantially improving collection of taxes and other revenue, reducing energy debts (incurred to Russia), completing privatization with external cash auctions, and establishing a market-based agricultural sector complete with trading in agricultural land. (Western agencies, Infotag, May 22 & 24)

International financial organizations have praised Moldova’s performance on economic reforms in the last few years. These latest findings should also reassure foreign investors discouraged by President Mircea Snegur’s charges that Andrei Sangheli’s Agrarian-dominated government allegedly abandoned reforms in favor of socialist economics. (Western agencies, Infotag, May 21 & 22)

Tajik Government Launches Military Offensive.