Moldova is a former Soviet republic near the Black Sea, bordered only by Romania and Ukraine. The Soviet legacy is visible in its economic behavior and politics, although its culture is more closely related to that of Romania .
The economy of Moldova continues to lean on agriculture, which accounts for more than half of gross domestic product (GDP) generation. Adjusted for inflation, the growth rate of GDP has been unstable over the past few years. This wide variance points to economic instability, but it also suggests that the country might be open to what economists call “catch-up” growth - rapid growth experienced when a less developed country industrializes, achieving a status closer to more advanced economies quickly. The International Monetary Fund projections of GDP per capita suggest that such growth is possible in the coming years.
Moldova’s main import and export partners give an indication of its political ties. As its past suggests, its primary trade partners include former Soviet states, as well as China. Growing production in textile, apparel, footwear, and leather goods is driving diversification of Moldova’s export partners. Moldova’s most significant challenge in this diversification may in fact be corruption.
The country is home to a total population of roughly 3.5 million people, and population growth is essentially zero. Moldovan urbanization remains low, which is in line with the amount of agriculture above. Life expectancy at birth exceeds expectations based on the level of economic development, most likely because of the socialist history of the country. Government expenditure is relatively high, suggesting a large social safety net. Other effects of this include a notably low unemployment rate, in spite of low workforce participation.
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