Moldovaofficially the Republic of Moldova (Romanian: Republica Moldova pronounced [reˈpublika molˈdova]), is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe located between Romania to its west and Ukraine to its north, east and south. Its capital city is Chișinău.
|Recognised regional languages||Ukrainian, Russian, Gagauz|
Unitary Parliamentary Republic
Independence from the USSR
- Sovereighty declared
- Independence declared
- Constitution adopted
23 June 1990
13,067 sq mi
- 2013 estimate
- 2004 census
3,557,600 (excluding Transnistria)
3,383,332 (excluding Transnistria)
GDP (2013 estimate)
- Per capita
|Currency||Moldovan Leu (MDL)|
|ISO 3166 Code||MD|
The territory of modern day Moldova has been populated since ancient times. Archeological evidence confirms the existence of humans in this place since the Stone Age. During the Copper Age, the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture thrived here, practicing agriculture, raising livestock, hunting, and making pottery. The society built large settlements, some numbering up to 15,000 inhabitants.
During the early-Middle Ages, the territory was inhabited by Dacian tribes. Between the 1st and 7th centuries, it was intermittently under the Roman and Byzantine Empires. Since 105 A.D., after the conquest of Dacia by Roman Emperor Trajan, the local population was Romanized, adopting the language and advanced culture of the Roman Empire. After the Romans left the territory in 271 A.D., Moldova was invaded by many other peoples, including the Goths, Huns, Avars, and Slavs. This ended with the formation of the Moldovan feudal state, by Bogdan I, in 1359.
The Principality of Moldavia was bordered by the Carpathian Mountains in the west, Nistru River to the east, and Danube River and Black Sea in the south. The principality comprised modern day Moldova and also parts of Romania and Ukraine. During this period, Moldova’s greatest ruler and hero, Stefen cel Mare reigned from 1457 to 1504.
Eventually, weaker Moldavian princes could not withstand the repeated invasions by Crimean Tatars and from the 15th century by the Ottoman Empire. In 1538, the principality became a vassel state of the Ottoman Empire, forced to pay tribute to its new overlord. While Moldova retained partial autonomy, Moldovan Gospodars (the name of Moldovan rulers during this period) were appointed by the Ottoman Empire.
In 1812, as a result of the Russian-Turkish Peace Treaty signed in Bucharest, the eastern part of Moldova situated between the Prut and Nistru Rivers, named Bessarabia, was annexed to the Russian Empire. It was a Russian province until 1918.
In 1918, the supreme authority of the Bessarabian state, Sfatul Tarii, decided to unite with Romania. This unity lasted until 1940, when the country was annexed by the Soviet Union as a consequence of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. Moldova then became a territorial entity within the USSR until the late nineties.
During the summer of 1989, demonstrations took place in Chisinau that resulted in legislation by the Supreme Council of Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic on August 31, 1989 established Moldovan (Romanian), written in Latin script, as the state language. This was followed by the first democratic elections for the local parliament; held in February and March 1990. On June 23, 1990, the Parliament adopted the Declaration of Sovereignty of the "Soviet Socialist Republic Moldova", which, among other things, stipulated the supremacy of Moldovan laws over those of the Soviet Union. After the failure of the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt, on August 27, 1991, Moldova declared its independence. It became a UN member state in 1992. present day Constitution of Moldova was adopted in 1994. In the same year, Moldova joined the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as a way to ensure access to its traditional markets, mainly Russia.
In 2005, Moldova decided to change its political orientation and became the first CIS country to formulate an action plan with the European Union. The Moldova-EU Action Plan has increased alignment between Moldova and the EU. Today Moldova is closely oriented towards the European Union.
Geography and Climate
Moldova lies between latitudes 45° and 49° N, and mostly between meridians 26° and 30° E (a small area lies eastof 30°). The total land area is 33,851 km2.. The largest part of the nation lies between two rivers, the Dniester and the Prut. The western border of Moldova is formed by the Prut river, which joins the Danube before flowing into the Black Sea. Moldova has access to the Danube for only about 480 m (1,575 ft), and Giurgiulești is the only Moldovan port on the Danube.
Moldova's proximity to the Black Sea gives it a mild and sunny climate. Moldova's climate is moderately continental: The summers are warm and long, with temperatures averaging about 20 °C (68 °F), and the winters are relatively mild and dry, with January temperatures averaging −4 °C (25 °F). Annual rainfall, which ranges from around 600 mm (24 in) in the north to 400 mm (16 in) in the south.
Following the regional financial crisis in 1998, Moldova has made significant progress towards achieving and retaining macroeconomic and financial stabilization. It has, furthermore, implemented many structural and institutional reforms that are indispensable for the efficient functioning of a market economy. These efforts have helped maintain macroeconomic and financial stability under difficult external circumstances, enabled the resumption of economic growth and contributed to establishing an environment conducive to the economy's further growth and development in the medium term.
Moldova imports all of its supplies of petroleum, coal, and natural gas, largely from Russia. Moldova is a partner country of the EU INOGATE energy programme.
Moldova's rich soil and temperate continental climate (with warm summers and mild winters) have made the country one of the most productive agricultural regions since ancient times, and a major supplier of agricultural products in southeastern Europe. In agriculture, the economic reform started with the land cadastre reform.
Tourism focuses on the country's natural landscapes and its history. Wine tours are offered to tourists across the country. Vineyards/cellars include Cricova, Purcari, Ciumai, Romanesti, Cojușna, Milestii Mici.
The main means of transportation in Moldova are railroads 1,138 km (707 mi) and a highway system (12,730 km or 7,910 mi overall, including 10,937 km or 6,796 mi of paved surfaces). The sole international air gateway of Moldova is the Chișinău International Airport.
For the 2004 census, Orthodox Christians, who make up 93.3% of Moldova's population, 1.9% of the population is Protestant, 0.9% belongs to other religions, 1.0% is non-religious, 0.4% is atheist, and 2.2% did not answer the religion question at the census.
There are 16 state and 15 private institutions of higher education in Moldova, with a total of 126,100 students, including 104,300 in the state institutions and 21,700 in the private ones. The number of students per 10,000 inhabitants in Moldova has been constantly growing since the collapse of the Soviet Union, reaching 217 in 2000–2001, and 351 in 2005–2006.
Health and fertility
The total fertility rate (TFR) in Moldova was estimated in 2013 at 1.55 children/woman, which is below the replacement rate of 2.1. In 2012, the average age of women at first birth was 23.9 years, with 75.2% of births being to women under 30, and 22.4% of births being to unmarried women.
Public expenditure on health was 4.2% of the GDP and private expenditure on health 3.2%.
Emigration is a mass phenomenon in Moldova and has a major impact on the country's demographics and economy. The Moldovan Intelligence and Security Service has estimated that 600,000 to one million Moldovan citizens (almost 25% of the population) are working abroad.
Food and beverage
Moldovan cuisine is similar to neighbouring Romania, and has been influenced by elements of Russian, Turkish, and Ukrainian cuisine. Main dishes include beef, pork, potatoes, cabbage, and a variety of cereals. Popular alcoholic beverages are divin (Moldovan brandy), beer, and local wine.
Most retail businesses close on New Year's Day and Independence Day, but remain open on all other holidays. Christmas is celebrated either on January 7, the traditional date in Old Calendarists Eastern Orthodox Churches, or on December 25, with both dates being recognized as public holidays.
Trânta (a form of wrestling) is the national sport in Moldova. Association football is the most popular team sport in Moldova. Rugby union is popular as well. Registered players have doubled, and almost 10,000 spectators turn up at every European Nations Cup match. The most prestigious cycling race is the Moldova President's Cup, which was first run in 2004.
- Favourable geographical position at the crossroads of commercial routes
- Proximity to large world markets (European Union and Commonwealth of Independent States)
- Platform for manufacturing and exporting both to the CIS and to the EU
- Competitive general corporate income tax rate in the region – 12%
- Tax and customs framework similar to that of the EU
- Considerable network of operational Double Tax Treaties and Investment Protection Agreements
- Market access through three Free Trade Agreements including:
- WTO members (worldwide)
- Autonomous Trade Preferences (EU countries)
- Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA)
- CEFTA members (most Balkan countries)
- CIS members (with certain exceptions)
- Entrepreneurial activities under preferential terms and conditions developed in free economic zones
- Well-skilled multilingual workforce
- Relatively low employment costs
- Favourable visa regime
- Improved legal framework regulating entrepreneurial activity
- Starting a business – fast and easy to handle
- Investment opportunities through privatisation of public property and public-private partnership