AFD provides technical assistance in this small landlocked country in Eastern Europe to build its capacities in the energy and rail sectors. It also plans to support the sustainable development of the forestry, irrigation and water and sanitation sectors in the coming years.
Strengthening energy security
Safeguarding and promoting the railway network
Protecting natural resources
Moldova is a small country bordering Romania and Ukraine and situated between two distinct spheres of influence: the European Union (EU) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Several decades of economic growth have enabled Moldova to join the category of upper-middle income countries, although it remains one of the poorest in Europe.
Moldova's economy is characterized by high imports, financed in part by remittances from the diaspora, mainly located in EU and CIS countries. The emigration of young people contributes significantly to the demographic decline of an aging population, half of which lives in rural areas. The country has lost a quarter of its population since its independence in 1991.
The Soviet legacy is still strong: the country mainly hosts Moldovan nationals, as well as Romanian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, and Russian nationals. Although the rule of law is fragile, the State has a strong presence, notably through numerous state-owned companies.
The country is also marked by the persistence of a “frozen conflict” in the predominantly Russian-speaking region of Transnistria, which attempted to secede in 1990 and declared itself independent following a violent conflict in 1992.
Despite these challenges, Moldova has many strengths, such as its ambitious reform agenda and its sustained economic growth (prior to the Covid-19 crisis and the war in Ukraine). The election of the pro-European, anti-corruption candidate Maia Sandu in November 2020, as president of the Republic of Moldova, has raised high expectations. Following several decades of oligarchic and Russian influence, the president has pledged to reverse this trend by putting the country back on the path of reform, to strengthening the rule of law and ending corruption, as planned in the ambitious Association Agreement signed with the European Union in 2014.
In this context of renewed bilateral relations between France and Moldova, AFD started its operations in June 2021. AFD’s intervention mandate targets the convergence towards European standards and compliance with the Paris Agreement. Potential avenues of cooperation have been identified in the fields of energy, railway, forestry and irrigation. Since the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine and its consequences on Moldova's finances, AFD has positioned itself as a trusted partner by preparing an initial budget support loan.
AFD's Moldova office is directly attached to the Eurasia regional office in Istanbul.