Moldova - International trade

Exports amounted to $470 million in 1999 and included foodstuffs, wine, and tobacco (which accounted for 66 percent of total exports), textiles and footwear, and machinery. Most exports in 1998 were shipped to Russia (53 percent), while Romania took 10 percent, Ukraine 8 percent, Germany 5 percent, and Belarus 4 percent. Imports in 1998 were worth $560 million and included mineral products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals, and textiles. The majority of imports originate from Russia (22 percent); other major importers were Ukraine (16 percent), Romania (12 percent), Belarus (9 percent), and Germany (5 percent). In 1998, the collapse in the value of the leu brought the trade deficit to $389.1 million from $297.3 million in 1997, due to lower exports and higher import costs.

Prospects for increased trade grew by the turn of the century. In 2000 alone Moldova's foreign trade rose 22 percent to US$1.27 billion dollars. Moreover, Moldova joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, an action which held the promise of opening trade beyond the limited confines of former Soviet countries.

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