Moldova: The vineyard of the East
Thanks to its substantial wine-growing areas Moldova was always one of the richest Soviet republics. Since the country became independent in 1991, this has remained the most important branch of its economy. However, with a per capita income of close to EUR 165 per month, Moldova is Europe's poorest country. Many of the 3.4 million Moldovans have to get by on even less. According to the World Bank, more than 22 % of its population live below the poverty line. A third of the potential workforce left to seek work abroad and its remittances contribute to the country's growth. There is little inward investment, not least due to the unresolved status of Transnistria. With a population of 600,000, this region to the east of the Dnister broke away in 1992 and has since been under Russian control. In June 2014 the Republic of Moldova has ratified a Free Trade Agreement with the EU (DFCTA), which encourages the development of the country in future and which emphasizes the significance of the cooperation with the EU. The objective of German Financial Cooperation is to promote sustainable economic growth, reduce poverty and put an end to mass emigration. KfW Development Bank supports micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SSMEs) with start-up loans and helps with the development of infrastructure.