Moldova & IMF IMF Activities Publications Press Releases

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Exclusive Interview given by Jeroen J. M. Kremers, Executive
Director of the IMF to the Moldovan agency MOLDPRESS

Question: Last week you had your first documentary visit in
the Republic of Moldova as Executive Director of the
International Monetary Fund for the Republic of Moldova. How
do you appreciate the results of this visit and what are
your impressions about our country?

Answer: I visited your country with the view to get a
better understanding of it and to be able to exercise my
responsibilities as Executive Director of the IMF for the
Republic of Moldova (I was nominated for this position five
months ago) in a more efficient and effective way. I
represent Moldova and eleven other countries in the
Executive Board of the IMF. I work for Moldova. The
executive director does not hold an official position in the
process of negotiating a collaboration program between the
IMF staff and the authorities of a certain country. The
executive director comes in explicitly when the
collaboration program or agreement is submitted to the Board
of Executive Directors of the IMF and simultaneously has the
mission to promote good understanding among parties during
the negotiations and to contribute to solving possible
As with regard to the revision of the program between the
IMF and the Republic of Moldova I can say that the parties
have reached an agreement that provides a number of
requirements still to be met by the Government, meaning that
the further program depends entirely on your country and the
decisions to be taken.
I would like to make a clear distinction between the short-
term program and the broader context within which this
program unfolds, as both aspects are very important for your
As with regard to my impressions, I would like to say that
you have a beautiful country with very hospitable and
talented people, a country with very important economic
possibilities that have be to turned to the best account. I
was impressed by the existing agricultural traditions:
agricultural people have a special experience and a work
rather than talk mentality with a strong sense of own
responsibility, which is a real advantage.
That is why I think that it is very important for the
Republic of Moldova to have a clear development strategy so
as to capitalize the existing possibilities.

Q.: While staying in Chisinau you had the possibility to get
acquainted with the situation in the country. Could you list
the problems that should be solved by the Republic of
Moldova in priority manner?

A.: I would draw attention to two aspects: the evolution
within the transition period from a planned economy to a
market one, and the transition from the soviet centralized
mentality to democratic values. Both processes recorded
significant results; yet, there is much to be done to reach
the final target. In case a country stays somewhere between
these two points and has a high unemployment rate, it may
face the situation when the public becomes tired of
transition, thus generating a turn back to what used to be
before: a strict control by the state over economy and the
use of old instruments for justified public policy concerns.
Such risks could be observed in other post-soviet countries
and it is very important to avoid them.

Q.: The transition to market economy has been lasting in
Moldova for more than ten years and no end of this process
may be seen. How could you explain such long transition
term? What should the state do to accelerate the process?

A.: Let us be realistic. Moldova tries to do within 10 years
what my country, the Netherlands, did in more than 100
years. In my point of view, transition fatigue happens
because the various actions are not always sufficiently part
of a coherent strategy. There are good measures that
generate a better situation; yet, there are also damaging
movements. I think it happens because of lack of a fully
coherent strategy, of an explicit end-target to be
understood and accepted by all the people involved.
It would be relevant to have some more discussions and
achieve common understanding upon a national strategy, which
would establish the ways of country development. This
strategy should contain, in my opinion, the model aimed for
and the modalities to reach it, the way in which the state
shall influence the economy and use market instruments.
Transition to market economy implies significant
responsibilities for the government: within this context it
is very relevant to explicitly set the role of the state in
the process and provide the state non-interference in cases
within market competence. When the Government intervenes in
the market with administrative measures instead of applying
market instruments, it does nothing else but choking the
market economy and enployment.
The mentioned strategy should include other priorities, too:
macroeconomic and monetary stability, reduced inflation and
control over budgetary deficit. To ensure a sustainable
economic growth, the institutional framework needs
strengthening. I mean here the determination of the state
role in the economy, an independent and experienced judicial
system, and anti-corruption actions. Within this chapter the
Republic of Moldova is badly reflected in the last
international studies on direct foreign investments. If the
situation fails to improve within the field of anti-
corruption, foreign investments shall further remain a
problem for the Republic of Moldova. This is not a problem
only for Moldova, but the way forward is clear.

Q.: What do you think about the chances of the Republic of
Moldova to receive in September this year at the meeting of
the IMF Executive Board the next tranche within the PRGF
Facility signed between parties in December 2000?

A.: The requirements to be met by the Government of Moldova
are clear and I hope they shall be fulfilled as provided in
the preliminary agreement between the two parties. In such
case, I shall do my best at the Board meeting as for the
Executive Board to take a favourable decision for the Republic of
Moldova. I would like to emphasize that the Government should
contemplate these policies not because the IMF wants it, but
because they are beneficial for the economy of Moldova and for
its development. Under such circumstances the IMF shall resume
Moldova's foreign financing, without which the Republic of
Moldova may face short-term financial problems. Furtheron, the
resumption of the active cooperation program with the IMF may be
important for Moldova if considering the country's position at
the Paris Club.

Q.: The existent agreement between the Government and the
Republic of Moldova expires in December this year. What new
agreement may be concluded between the Republic of Moldova
and the IMF and how long shall the relevant negotiations

A.: The revision of the current program and the negotiation
of a new program depend on the Republic of Moldova. It is
very important for the IMF to know what the Republic of
Moldova really wants, what are the directions of its
development. It would be opportune to work on this during
this period of time until the expiration of the current
agreement. This would be a benefic both for your country
and for further negotiations with the IMF. I cannot say
anything about the expected period of time needed for such
negotiations, but if parties manage to conduct direct and
coherent discussions, I think the time framework shall be

Q.: Opponents of the IMF and the World Bank consider that
the Republic of Moldova may survive without the loans of
these international financial institutions. What do you
think about this idea?

A.: The objective of IMF and WB having relationship with a
certain country is not merely to provide financing. The main
target of these relations is to render assistance in
application of these financial institutions' experience with
the view to promoting stronger and more efficient economic
and financial policies. The IMF does not apply only one
rigid formula, but leaves much room for justified public
policy concerns and for what a country wants. For example,
the IMF is positive about the social market economy of my
own country, the Netherlands.
If, even so, a country declares that it does not like and
does not need this IMF and WB experience and strategy and
that it shall follow another specific way, then this is a
decision for the country itself to have. But personally, I
think that such a country would commit a mistake. In my
point of view, a strategy that is fundamentally different
from the modern strategy of social market economy will be a
dead end. So I think the discussion in Moldova and your
question should not be just about the financing, but also
about an economic policy strategy that is good for

23 June 2003


Interviu acordat in exclusivitate agentiei "MOLDPRES"
de directorul executiv al Fondului Monetar International
pentru Republica Moldova, Jeroen J. M. Kremers

Intrebare: Saptamana trecuta ati efectuat prima vizita de
documentare in tara noastra dupa numirea Dvs. in functia de
director executiv al Fondului Monetar International (FMI)
pentru Republica Moldova. Cum apreciati rezultatele acestei
vizite? Ce impresii v-a produs tara noastra?

Raspuns:. Am vizitat tara Dvs. pentru a o cunoaste mai bine si
a putea sa-mi exercit mai eficient obligatiunile ce imi revin
ca director executiv al FMI pentru Republica Moldova, functie
in care am fost numit acum cinci luni. Reprezint in Consiliul
de directori 12 tari, inclusiv Republica Moldova, ceea ce
inseamna ca eu lucrez pentru Moldova. Directorul executiv nu
are un rol oficial in negocierile ce le poarta stafful FMI cu
o tara sau alta asupra programului de colaborare, acesta se
incadreaza plenar in munca atunci cand se prezinta programul
sau acordul de colaborare la Consiliul de directori al
Fondului, avand, totodata, misiunea de a promova in cursul
negocierilor buna intelegere intre parti si a contribui, in
cazul in care apar unele probleme, la depasirea acestora.

In ce priveste revizuirea programului FMI cu Republica
Moldova, pot comunica ca s-a ajuns la un acord, in care sunt
nominalizate cateva probleme care urmeaza a fi solutionate de
Guvern, cea ce inseamna ca continuarea programului depinde in
exclusivitate de tara Dvs., de deciziile ce vor fi luate.

Vreau sa fac o distinctie clara intre programul pe termen
scurt intre parti si contextul mai larg in care deruleaza
acesta, pentru ca ambele aspecte sunt foarte importante pentru
tara Dvs.

Vis-a-vis de impresii vreau sa spun ca aveti o tara frumoasa,
cu oameni foarte ospitalieri si cu mult talent, o tara cu
posibilitati economice foarte importante ce urmeaza a fi
valorificate. M-au impresionat traditiile existente in
sectorul agrar: agricultorii dispun de o experienta specifica,
o mentalitate ce include principiul "mai multa munca si mai
putina vorba" si de un puternic spirit al responsabilitatii,
ceea ce este un avantaj pentru ramura.

De aceea, cred, pentru Republica Moldova este foarte important
sa aiba o strategie clara de dezvoltare pentru a pune in
valoare posibilitatile existente.

Intrebare: Fiind la Chisinau, ati luat cunostinta mai
amanuntit de situatia din tara. Numiti cele mai importante
probleme ce urmeaza a fi solutionate in mod prioritar de
Republica Moldova.

Raspuns: Vreau sa atrag atentia asupra a doua aspecte:
evolutiile in tranzitia de la o economie planificata la una de
piata si trecerea de la mentalitatea sistemului centralizat
sovietic la valorile democratiei. In ambele domenii au fost
inregistrate succese semnificative, dar pana a ajunge la
punctul final mai este o cale lunga de parcurs. In cazul in
care tara se afla intre aceste doua puncte si are o rata
inalta a somajului, poate aparea situatia cand populatia se va
satura de perioada de tranzitie si se va produce reintoarcerea
la ceea ce a fost: controlul strict din partea statului asupra
economiei, utilizarea instrumentelor vechi justificate in
contextul problemelor politicii de stat. Atare riscuri exista
si in alte tari postsovietice si este foarte important de a le

Intrebare: Perioada de tranzitie la economia de piata dureaza
in Republica Moldova mai bine de zece ani, iar sfarsitul
acesteia deocamdata nu se vede. Prin ce se explica durata atat
de lunga a tranzitiei? Ce trebuie sa faca statul pentru a
accelera acest proces?

Raspuns: Trebuie sa fim realisti. Moldova a incercat sa faca
in 10 ani atatea, cat tara mea, Olanda, a facut in mai bine de
100 de ani. In opinia mea, extenuarea cauzata de tranzitie are
loc pe motiv ca diversele actiuni ce se intreprind nu
intotdeauna se incadreaza intr-o strategie coerenta. Se iau
masuri ce conduc la schimbari in bine si, totodata, se fac
miscari cu consecinte paguboase. Aceasta are loc, cred, din
cauza lipsei unei strategii coerente de dezvoltare, a unui
scop final clar care sa fie inteles si acceptat de toata lumea
implicata in elaborarea si implementarea strategiei date.

Ar fi bine sa se intretina mai multe discutii si sa se ajunga
la o intelegere comuna asupra unei strategii nationale in care
sa fie stabilite caile de dezvoltare a tarii. Aceasta
strategie trebuie sa contina, in opinia mea, modelul ravnit si
modalitatile de atingere a acestuia, modul in care statul va
influenta economia si va utiliza instrumentele de piata.
Tranzitia la economia de piata implica responsabilitati foarte
mari din partea statului. In acest context este foarte
important de a stabili clar rolul statului in procesul dat,
precizandu-se ca acesta nu trebuie sa se implice in situatiile
ce tin de economia de piata. Atunci cand Guvernul, in loc sa
aplice instrumentele de piata, intervine prin metode
administrative, el nu face altceva decat sa sugrume economia
de piata, inclusiv plasarea in campul muncii.

In strategia nominalizata urmeaza a fi incluse si alte
prioritati: stabilitatea macroeconomica si monetara, reducerea
inflatiei, controlul asupra deficitului bugetar. Pentru a
asigura o crestere economica durabila trebuie consolidat in
mod cardinal si cadrul institutional. Este vorba de stabilirea
rolului statului in economie, functionarea unui sistem
judiciar independent si profesionist, de actiunile
anticoruptie. La acest capitol Republica Moldova apare intr-o
lumina nefavorabila in ultimele studii internationale privind
investitiile straine directe. In cazul in care situatia la
capitolul anticoruptie nu se va imbunatati, investitiile
straine vor ramane si in continuare problematice pentru
Republica Moldova. Desi coruptia nu este o problema specifica
doar pentru Moldova, o alta cale decat combaterea ei nu exista.

Intrebare: Ce credeti despre sansele Republicii Moldova de a
obtine in septembrie curent, la sedinta Consiliului de
directori al FMI, transa urmatoare a creditului din cadrul
Acordului privind mecanismul de reducere a saraciei semnat de
parti in decembrie 2000?

Raspuns: Conditiile ce urmeaza a fi indeplinite de Guvernul
Moldovei sunt clare si, sper, ele vor fi onorate, precum este
inscris in acordul preliminar asupra caruia au convenit cele
doua parti. In acest caz, in sedinta Consiliului de directori,
voi face tot ce depinde de mine pentru ca acesta sa ia o
decizie favorabila Republicii Moldova.

Vreau sa accentuez ca Guvernul trebuie sa promoveze politicile
convenite nu de aceea ca aceasta o vrea FMI, ci pentru ca ele
sunt benefice pentru economia Moldovei si pentru dezvoltarea
ei. In situatia data va fi reluata finantarea externa a tarii
de catre FMI, finantare fara de care Republica Moldova ar
putea avea probleme financiare pe termen scurt. In plus,
reluarea programului activ de colaborare cu FMI poate fi
importanta pentru Republica Moldova si in contextul situatiei
in care se afla ea la Clubul creditorilor de la Paris.

Intrebare: Acordul actual intre Guvern si FMI expira in
decembrie curent. Pe care acord nou cu FMI poate miza
Republica Moldova si cat vor dura negocierile asupra acestuia?

Raspuns: Revizuirea programului actual si negocierea unui nou
program depinde de Republica Moldova. Pentru FMI este
important sa cunoasca ce vrea Republica Moldova, in ce
directie se va dezvolta ea. Ar fi bine ca in perioada care a
ramas pana la expirarea acordului cu FMI sa se lucreze asupra
problemei date. Aceasta ar fi benefic si pentru tara Dvs., si
pentru viitoarele negocieri cu FMI. Nu pot spune cat vor dura
negocierile, dar in cazul in care partile vor purta discutii
directe si coerente acestea, cred, vor lua mai putin timp.

Intrebare: Oponentii Fondului si Bancii Mondiale (BM)
considera ca Republica Moldova poate supravietui si fara
creditele acordate de aceste institutii financiare
internationale. Ce credeti despre aceasta optiune?

Raspuns: Scopul relatiilor FMI si BM cu o tara sau alta este
nu doar de a le oferi suport financiar. Scopul principal
rezida in faptul de a le acorda asistenta pentru aplicarea
experientei acestor institutii financiare in vederea
promovarii si implementarii unor politici economice si
financiare mai eficiente, mai puternice.

FMI nu aplica doar o singura formula rigida, lasand destul
spatiu pentru problemele justificate ale politicii de stat si
aspiratiile tarii. De exemplu, FMI accepta economia sociala de
piata promovata in tara mea, Olanda.

Daca o tara declara ca nu-i place si nu are nevoie de
experienta si strategia generala a FMI si BM, ca va merge pe o
alta cale, specifica doar ei, acesta este dreptul ei, dar in
asemenea caz, cred, tara data comite o greseala regretabila.
In opinia mea, o strategie fundamental diferita de strategia
moderna a economiei sociale de piata, va fi un sfarsit de
cale. De aceea, cred, in discutiile purtate in Moldova trebuie
sa se acorde atentie nu doar finantarii externe a ei, ci si
necesitatii elaborarii si implementarii strategiei unei
politici economice coerente, benefice pentru tara, pentru
fiecare cetatean al ei.