MARK HORTON: IMF-MOLDOVA RELATIONSHIPS ARE THE BEST EVER
Interview with Mark Horton, the Resident Representative of the
International Monetary Fund in Moldova
Question: How, in your opinion, will the IMF and Moldova get
on in the cooperative aspect this year and which are the
Answer: The present state of IMF-Moldova relationships are the best
ever since they were established. I think we've reached a true
understanding with the key officials in your parliament and cabinet.
I think the perspectives of cooperation are rather good. The
parliament and the government have made their best in the last six
months to fulfill the agreements Moldova concluded with the Fund in
June and then in the autumn of 1998. In the second half of last year
we heard a very impressive answer to the effects of the Russian
The IMF Board of Directors was pleasantly surprised by the
stabilization of the Moldovan currency leu and its efforts to keep
alive the securities market.
Sticking to all - practically - IMF conditions, has led to
reopening of IMF loan channels for Moldova after an 18 month
Starting with this, we hope the rest of conditions will be also
honoured. I believe this financing must be understood as a future
investment in Moldovan economics.
Q.: Which are the key issues Moldova should pay more attention in
A.: What we have indicated are some structural problems. There's
still no economic growth, at least in the measure to make people
feel comfortable. The situation around implementation of the budget
is still troubling. The government does not meet the time schedule
obligations towards employees and pensioners, and fails to collect
all the taxes. The spending is ineffective and does not improve
people's lives. I think these are the major fields the government
should focus on.
In finance it is necessary to strengthen the bank sector.
Some key sectors cannot work as well as they should, and no or
little investment is attracted. In particular, I refer to the
energy sector, agricultural processing and the light industry.
At the same time, I believe in the next loan agreements we shall
see a resolution for these problems.
Q.: Which would be the dangers hiding in the year 1999?
A.: One of these would be populist answers to the present situation
in the country or appearance of tension inside the ruling
coalition. It is important the governing structures to continue
working in tight cooperation.