Moldova & IMF IMF Activities Publications Press Releases

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Chisinau, July 26 (INFOTAG). The International Monetary Fund
forecasts a 5 percent GDP growth in Moldova in 2001, despite the
fact that the real GDP is expected to fall 7 percent this year,
denting Moldova's earlier forecasts for a gradual recovery.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Braghis
on Tuesday, Mr Richard Haas, Head of the IMF mission that
finished its two-week visit to Moldova, said that next year the
IMF anticipates an increase in GDP by five percent.

'The drought has been terribly severe, it made us revise output
forecast to seven percent GDP fall,' Mr Haas said.

Early this year the government projected a slight GDP recovery,
but fell short of its expectations.

'At the same time, we projected the rate of inflation to hover
at 26 percent this year, but it will be arrested at 20 percent
instead,' Prime Minister Dumitru Braghis said.

'Next year we anticipate inflation to go down to 10 percent,' Mr
Haas said.

'The year 2000 was a very difficult year for Moldova - it
received no foreign financing and was severely hit by drought.
Despite this economic policies were appropriate.

The government reduced wage and pension arrears. Inflation went
down. Moldova met all external obligations. We agreed on a
sustainable, financially realistic 2001 budget... I really don't
see any major outstanding issues to be resolved,' Mr Haas said.

In 1999, when the parliament failed to approve the contentious
privatization of the tobacco and wine industry, the IMF froze
all financial support for Moldova, blocking both its EFF loan
and SAL-II loan from the World Bank.

The government, along with the IMF and WB, is soon expected to
launch a new program to fight poverty and promote sustainable
economic growth.

'I don't expect privatization to be the same issue as it was in
the past,' Mr Haas said.

'However, privatization should not be overemphasized to the
neglect of other issues that the program of our collaboration
with the Fund will deal with,' the Prime Minister said.

Mr Haas said Moldova may get the first tranch under the new
three-year program in late 2000, but he did not state exactly
how much that would be.

'If the IMF resumes its financial support for Moldova, it could
give the green light to new loans from the WB, EBRD and
bilateral donors,' the Premier said.

Mr Peter Stek, WB executive director, said earlier that if the
new program is agreed, Moldova may be getting $50-$70 million
from the World Bank annually.

'I am cautious about stating an exact amount. However, I am an
optimist and I hope that the first tranch under the new program
becomes available to Moldova already in late 2000,' Mr Haas

Prime Minister Braghis stressed on the importance of devising a
coherent collaboration program with the IMF.

'This program will enable us to bring in other multilateral
institutions,' the Premier said.

He said Moldova's external arrears will hit a peak in the years
2001-2005, when the republic needs to pay out $200 million

'We need to seek the restructuring of our external liabilities.
To achieve this end, we will engage in negotiations aimed at
extending loan life,' the Prime Minister said.

He voiced a hope that new loans could be granted on more
favorable terms, enabling the government to honor its current
external liabilities.

According to him, Moldova needs to borrow more externally if it
is to foster reforms in healthcare and social sector. 'Our
budget circumstances are far too stranded for the country to
grapple with that on its own,' he said.

Mr Braghis said that the NBM's currency reserves accumulate
around $200 million at present.

According to him, Moldova's external obligations due repayment
this year total $200 million.

'So far the Ministry of Finance succeeded in meeting Moldova's
external obligations in a timely fashion,' the Premier said.

He said his cabinet managed to reduce pension and salary arrears
by 70 million and 50 million lei, respectively.

Asked about the country's internal debt, Mr Braghis said it
totals 1.7 billion lei at present.

The Premier voiced a hope that his cabinet will be capable of
adhering to this year's budget projections without drastically
changing them.

However, if the government proves unable to do so, 'it may have
to take out a 100 million lei loan from the National Bank'.

Asked about privatization of wine and tobacco industry, the
Premier said it was only one of 100 issues that the new program

He said the privatization of wine and tobacco industry was not
of top priority for the new program, nor was it the key
provision of Moldova's earlier agreement with the IMF.

'This was just a stone that we tripped over when the Parliament
refused to remove it,' the Premier said. 

FMI prognozeaza o crestere de 5 la suta a PIB-ului Moldovei in anul 2001, dupa o scadere de 7 la suta in anul 2000

Fondul Monetar International spera ca dupa o scadere cu 7 la suta a produsului intern brut (PIB) al Moldovei in anul 2000, se va inregistra o crestere de 5 la suta in anul 2001.

"Asteptam ca PIB-ul va creste in anul 2001 cu cinci la suta", a afirmat, intr-o conferinta de presa sustinuta marti, Richard Haas, seful unei misiuni a FMI, care si-a incheiat o vizita de doua saptamini in Moldova.

"Seceta cumplita din acest an a determinat FMI sa revada prognoza cresterii economice pentru Moldova pe anul acesta pina la minus sapte", a afirmat el.

Guvernul prognozase, la inceputul anului, o mica crestere in anul 2000.

"Noi am prognozat pentru anul 2000, in acelasi timp, o rata a inflaiei de 26 la suta, insa aceasta va fi sub 20 la suta", a afirmat primul-ministru Dumitru Braghis.

"Pe anul viitor asteptam o reducere a inflatiei de pina la 10 la suta anual", a afirmat Haas.

El a mentionat ca "anul acesta este foarte dificil pentru Moldova - republica nu a obtinut finantare externa si a avut de suferit din cauza secetei - cu toate acestea, politica economica a fost corecta".

"S-au redus datoriile la plata salariilor si a pensiilor, a scazut inflatia, au fost achitate datoriile externe. Am cazut de acord in privinta bugetului realist pe anul 2001... Eu nu vad anumite probleme mari nerezolvabile", a precizat Haas.

Fostele programe principale de cooperare cu Moldova - Acordul de creditare extinsa de catre FMI si creditul in sprijinirea ajustarilor structurale din partea Bancii Mondiale - au fost sistate la sfirsitul anului 1999, dupa ce Parlamentul a refuzat sa sprijine pachetul de legi cu privire la privatizarea intreprinderilor de vinificatie si a celor din ramura tutunului.

Guvernul Moldovei, FMI si BM preconizeaza sa incheie in luna octombrie elaborarea unui nou program de eradicare a saraciei si de asigurare a cresterii economice.

"Eu nu cred ca privatizarea va constitui aceeasi problema ca in trecut", a opinat Haas.

Pe de alta parte, premierul Braghis a adaugat ca "nu trebuie exagerat rolul privatizarii in programul de cooperare cu FMI".

Potrivit afirmatiilor lui Haas, Moldova ar fi putut obtine pina la sfirsitul anului prima transa in cadrul noului program prevazut pentru trei ani. El nu a precizat insa volumul posibil de finantare in baza noului program.

"Reluarea finantarii de catre FMi ar deschide calea pentru noi credite din partea Bancii Mondiale, a Uniunii Europene si a altor donatori", a afirmat Braghis.

Pieter Stek, director executiv la Banca Mondiala, afirmase anterior, tot in luna iulie, ca in cazul aprobarii noului program, Moldova va putea obtine de la BM in urmatorii trei ani cite $50-70 mln. in fiecare an.

"Sint foarte conservator in problema sumelor concrete de bani. Dar sint optimist si cred ca Moldova va putea primi, chiar pina la sfirsitul anului curent, prima transa a creditului pentru sprijinirea noului program de eradicare a saraciei", a afirmat Haas.

Premierul Dumitru Braghis a mentionat importanta pentru Guvern de a se relansa programul de cooperare cu FMI.

"Existenta acestui program ne ofera posibilitatea de a deschide si usile altor structuri internationale", a precizat premierul.

El a mentionat ca, din punct de vedere al achitarii datoriilor externe, pentru Moldova vor fi dificili anii 2001-2005, republica urmind sa achite in fiecare din acestia circa $200 mln.

"Va trebui sa restructuram datoriile externe, lucru pentru care urmeaza sa purtam negocieri in ceea ce priveste aminarea termenului de achitare a acestora si a dobinzilor la credite", a afirmat Braghis.

El a mentionat, in legatura cu aceasta, ca Guvernul va putea obtine de la institutiile financiare, in cadrul programului de eradicare a saraciei, credite in conditii mai avantajoase (cu termenul de achitare de 30 de ani, urmind sa plateasca dobinzi de 0,75 la suta anual - "I"), pe contul acestora urmind sa fie stinse in termen datorii externe mai vechi ale statului.

Potrivit afirmatiilor lui Braghis, noile imprumuturi sint necesare pentru sprijinirea reformelor in sfera ocrotirii sanatatii si in sectorul social. Guvernul nu poate gasi deocamdata mijloace de la buget pentru aceste sfere.

Fiind solicitat sa numeasca rezervele valutare ale Bancii Nationale, Braghis a raspuns ca rezervele respective se cifreaza in prezent la aproximativ $200 mln. Acestea au sporit in anul trecut cu $12 mln.

Premierul a adaugat ca Moldova urmeaza sa achite in anul 2000 circa $200 mln. din datoriile externe.

"Pina in prezent, Ministerul Finantelor a achitat toate platile in termenul fixat", a precizat Braghis.

El a comunicat ca Guvernul sau a reusit sa stinga datorii la pensii in valoare de 70 mln. lei si 50 mln. lei din salariile restante. S-a reusit achitarea unor datorii facute de guvernele anterioare, in valoare totala de 200 mln. lei.

Fiind rugat sa numeasca valoarea datoriei interne, Braghis a afirmat ca aceasta se cifreaza in prezent la 1,7 mlrd. lei.

Primul-ministru si-a expirat speranta ca Guvernul va reusi sa execute bugetul pe anul 2000 fara modificari esentiale. Bugetul pe lunile ianuarie-iunie va fi executat in proportie de 43,6 la suta.

In cazul in care vor fi depasiti indicii deficitului bugetar planificat, Guvernul va solicita sprijinul Bancii Nationale.

"In orice caz, vom fi nevoiti sa luam un credit de la Banca Nationala pina la sfisitul anului 2000, in valoare de 100 mln. lei", a precizat Braghis.

Referindu-se la privatizarea fabricilor de vinuri si coniacuri si a intreprinderilor din ramura tutunului, premierul a afirmat ca aceasta problema se numara printre cele 100 care se discuta in cadrul Programului de eradicare a saraciei.

Braghis spune ca aceasta problema nu este prioritara. Potrivit afirmatiilor sale, privatizarea acestor intreprinderi nu a fost prioritara nici potrivit prevederilor fostului Memorandum incheiat de Guvern cu Banca Nationala si cu FMI.

"Aceasta a fost o piatra de care ne-am impiedicat atunci cind am incercat sa trecem prin Parlament respectivele proiecte de lege", a afirmat primul-ministru.