Republic of Moldova
CAPITAL : Chis¸inau
FLAG : Equal vertical bands of blue, yellow, and red; emblem in center of yellow stripe is Roman eagle with shield on its breast.
ANTHEM : Limba Noastra ( Our Tongue )
MONETARY UNIT : The leu ( MLD ) is a paper currency, replacing the Russian rouble. As of May 2003, 1 MLD = $0.08236 ($1 = MLD 14.45) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is in force.
HOLIDAYS : Independence Day, 27 August.
TIME : 2 PM = noon GMT.
The topography of Moldova consists of rolling steppe gradually sloping south toward the Black Sea.
The climate is of the humid continental type. The country is exposed to northerly cold winds in the winter and moderate westerly winds in the summer. The average temperature in July is 20° C (68° F ). The average temperature in January is -4° C (24° F ). Rainfall averages 58 cm (22.8 in) a year.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Three-fourths of the country's terrain features chernozyom (black soil), which supports the natural vegetation of steppe-like grasslands. Carp, bream, trout, and pike populate the lakes and streams.
The most recent estimates indicate the population is 64.5% Moldovian; Romanian; 13.8% Ukrainian; 13% Russian; 2% Bulgarian; 1.5% Jewish; and 5.2% Gagauz or other.
In 2002 the active armed forces numbered approximately 7,200, with reserves of 66,000. The army had 5,560 personnel and the air force numbered 1,400. The paramilitary consists of 3,400 internal troops and 900 riot police. Defense expenditures in 2001 were $6 million or 0.4% of GDP. Moldova has peacekeeping forces in Russia, and Russia has 1,000 troops stationed in Moldova.
About 13% of the total land area consists of pastureland. In 2001, the livestock population included 394,000 head of cattle, 447,000 pigs, 830,000 sheep, 109,000 goats, and 13,000,000 chickens. Pork production amounted to 44,000 tons in 2001, when 16,000 tons of beef were produced. In 2001, 560,000 tons of cow's milk and 34,500 tons of eggs were also produced.
With no direct connection to the Black Sea, fishing is limited to the Dnister River. The total catch in 2000 was 151 tons, with carp accounting for 87% of the landings. Commercial fishing is not a significant part of the national economy.
Forested areas accounted for about 9.9% of the total land area in 2000. Production is largely domestically consumed; wood and paper product imports in 2000 amounted to $23.4 million.
Moldova did not possess significant mineral resources. More than 100 deposits of gypsum, limestone, sand, and stone were exploited. Production totals for 2000 were: gypsum, 32,100 tons (18,500 in 1999); sand and gravel, 277,000 cu m (346,700 in 1997); lime, 31,000 tons (19,900 in 1996); and cement, 222,000 tons (50,000 in 1999, and 121,800 in 1997). Moldova also produced crude steel, peat, oil, and natural gas.
The demand for insurance services continues to rise. Forty companies employing 2,800 persons competed for the insurance market in 1998.
The personal income tax rate ranges from 10-50%; the corporate rate ranges from 15-40% with a standard rate of 32%. Payroll taxes are charged at rates of 4.7-30%. Also levied is a 20% value-added tax (VAT). A reduced rate applies to bread, milk and gas. For five years, 2002 to 2007, a number of housing projects will be exempt from VAT.
TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION
Picturesque scenery and several wineries are the primary attractions of Moldova. Unfortunately, civil unrest since Moldova's independence has caused a decline in tourism. In 2000 there were 18,964 tourist arrivals and tourism receipts totaled $46 million per year.
The US government estimated the cost of staying in Moldova in 1998 at $175 per day.
Petru Lucinshi was elected president in the 1 December 1996 second round presidential elections. He succeeds Mircea Snegur.
Moldova has no territories or colonies.
Brezianu, Andrei. Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Moldova. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2000.
Dima, Nicholas. From Moldavia to Moldova: The Soviet-Romanian Territorial Dispute. 2d ed. Boulder, Colo.: East European Monographs, 1991.
Dyer, Donald (ed.). Studies in Moldovan: The History, Culture, Language and Contemporary Politics of the People of Moldova . Boulder, Colo.: East European Monographs, 1996.
Gribincea, Mihai. Agricultural Collectivization in Moldavia: Basarabia during Stalinism, 1944-1950 . Boulder, Colo.: East European Monographs, 1996.
McElrath, Karen (ed.). HIV and AIDS: A Global View. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002.
Moldova. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Co., 1993.