According to the 2022 World Investment Report by UNCTAD, FDI inflows to Moldova amounted to USD 264 million in 2021, up from USD 150 million in the previous year. The total stock of FDI was estimated at USD 4.8 billion in the same year, around 35% of the country’s GDP. The majority of FDI in Moldova comes from neighbouring European countries, particularly Romania, which accounted for 34.6% of total FDI in 2020 (latest data available). Other important sources of FDI include Cyprus, Russia, and Ukraine. The main sectors that attract FDI in Moldova are manufacturing, financial intermediation, and trade. In recent years, there has also been a growing interest in the country's IT sector, which has the potential to become a key driver of economic growth and development. The National Strategy for Investment Attraction and Export Promotion identified seven priority sectors for investment and export promotion: agriculture and food, automotive, business services such as business process outsourcing (BPO), clothing and footwear, electronics, information and communication technologies (ICT), and machinery.
Foreign direct investment in Moldova remains low, and the economic and political environment is not particularly attractive to investors. The country faces several challenges, including the need to fight corruption, improve the investment climate, remove obstacles for exporters, convert remittances into productive investments and develop a reliable financial sector. Administrative and judicial reforms are also needed. On the other hand, the country could be a bridge between Western and Eastern European markets, and foreign companies enjoy national treatment in most sectors. Moldova is cost competitive, it offers tax breaks to investors and has 7 free economic zones; moreover, foreign investors are permitted to repatriate residual funds. With "Law 174/2021", the Moldovan Parliament approved the rules on control of investments into sectors important for the security of the state, including energy, water, transport, AI, aviation security activities, management of airports and other infrastructures, weapons, etc. Prior to investing in a relevant sector, any potential investor is obliged to obtain approval from the Council for Promotion of Investment Projects of National Importance. Moldova ranks 91st out of 180 economies on the 2022 Corruption Perception Index and 96th out of 176 on the 2023 Index of Economic Freedom.
|Foreign Direct Investment||2020||2021||2022|
|FDI Inward Flow (million USD)||150||410||587|
|FDI Stock (million USD)||4,710||4,781||4,901|
|Number of Greenfield Investments*||5||5||9|
|Value of Greenfield Investments (million USD)||134||69||244|
Source: UNCTAD - Latest available data.
Note: * Greenfield Investments are a form of Foreign Direct Investment where a parent company starts a new venture in a foreign country by constructing new operational facilities from the ground up.
The current Law on Investment in Entrepreneurship came into effect in 2004. It was designed to be compatible with European legislative standards and defines types of local and foreign investment. It also provides guarantees for respect of investors' rights, non-application of expropriation or actions similar to expropriation, and for payment of damages in the event of investors' rights being violated. The law permits investment in all sectors of the economy, while certain activities require a business license.
The government promotes the following industries as attractive for foreign investment through the Moldovan Investment and Export Promotion Organization (MIEPO): agriculture, automotive, ICT, medicine, renewable energy and textiles. Description of the sectors can be found on the MIEPO website.
The government established a number of mesures in order to promote investments in the country. Companies investing USD 250,000 can benefit from tax deduction for the first 5 years. Income tax has also been lowered. The government promotes equality amongst international and local investors and the fact that there is no limit to capital invested.
Free economic zones (FEZ) are parts of the customs territory of Moldova, separated economically, and strictly bounded on the entire area, where certain types of entrepreneurial activities are allowed on preferential conditions to local and foreign investors. There are seven Free Economic Zones (FEZs) in Moldova at present.
For more information, refer to the Invest in Moldova website.
To learn more about the different legal forms of enterprises that may be settled in Moldova, you can visit the PWC guide to investment in Moldova.
The JSC shares need to be subsequently registered with the National Commission for Financial Market (NCFM). It takes five business days from the required documents being submitted. The fee for the registration of JSC shares is 0.4% of the amount of stock issue.
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Latest Update: September 2023