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Country Highlights

Moldova: Trade Relations and Export Potential

Moldova’s trade relations and export potential have been significant drivers of its economy. The European Union (EU) is the country’s main trade partner and is representing a 51% of Moldova’s total trade flows. In 2022— the value of trade exchanges between Moldova and the EU amounted to roughly $6.9 billion which is a 36.1% increase compared to 2021.

Moldova has pursued an open trade policy and joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. It has free trade agreements with the EU, CIS countries and participation in the Central European Free Trade Agreement enhances access to broader markets.

The EU remains the dominant trade partner, receiving over 70% of Moldovan exports and supplying over 50% of imports. Key exports include machinery, foodstuffs and agricultural goods like fruits, vegetables and wine.

Moldova also maintains trade and economic ties with Russia despite political tensions. This reflects Russia’s importance as an export destination and energy supplier. Diversifying beyond these two partners is a long-term aim.

With a competitive, educated workforce, Moldova has potential to boost manufacturing exports. This includes electronics, textiles and apparel if investment improves productivity. Developing niche agri-food exports further also holds promise.

Moldova’s central location and trade agreements provide access to large markets. But realizing export potential requires addressing infrastructure gaps and the challenging business climate to attract more FDI into competitive industries.

The EU’s exports to Moldova amounted to €4.7 billion in 2022, with key exports being machinery and appliances, and products of the chemical or related industry. The EU’s imports from Moldova increased by 14% from 2021-2022—from €1.83 billion in 2021 to €2.56 billion in 2022—showing growth after small decreases in the previous two years.

The main EU imports from Moldova are mineral products, and machinery and appliances. Moldova’s top exports include insulated wire, wheat, sunflower seeds, hot-rolled iron bars, and wine, with Romania, Russia, Turkey, Germany, and Italy being the primary export destinations. The country’s top imports consist of refined petroleum, petroleum gas, cars, packaged medicaments and insulated wire; with Romania, Russia, Ukraine, China, and Germany being the primary import origins.

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