The European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of the European Union, and the Ministry of Finance of Moldova today signed an agreement for a €100 million increase to the original €150 million loan for the rehabilitation and upgrading of key national road sections. These sections are mainly on the extended trans-European transport network (TEN-T) and the Solidarity Lanes going through Moldova, contributing to better integration with the European Union.
With this loan increase, EIB Global plans to finance the rehabilitation of an additional 42 km of national roads and the construction of approximately 7 km of national roads in Moldova. The new operation will finance improvements to the Hîncești–Leova–Cahul–Giurgiulești national road, which leads to Moldova’s only international port of Giurgiulești on the Danube River. The port enjoys a strategic position adjacent to Ukraine and to the European Union with Romania. The other segment involves the construction of a bypass around the town of Cimișlia to shift transit traffic on the TEN-T road away from the town centre.
The EIB loan supports the goals of the EU Economic and Investment Plan for Moldova in the transport sector by spurring regional and national economic growth, facilitating trade, and supporting private sector development. This financing is covered by the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument — Global Europe (NDICI — Global Europe) comprehensive guarantee.
Minister of Finance of Moldova Dumitru Budianschi said: “By signing this loan with the EIB, we are demonstrating our commitment to the rehabilitation and upgrading of key national road sections, which is becoming increasingly important for the economic development of the country and the wider region. Moldova’s roads are vitally important for transport and for ensuring uninterrupted trade flows from Moldova and Ukraine to Romania, to the Danube River through the Moldovan port of Giurgiulești, and to other EU countries. A well-functioning transport system is critical for economic growth. Upgrading Moldova’s road infrastructure and promoting regional economic links while improving road safety and saving lives is a winning combination. The government appreciates the continued cooperation with the EIB and this timely investment.”
General Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development of Moldova Lilia Dabija said: “The new investment signed today is a continuation of the successful cooperation with the European Investment Bank. We are delighted to be expanding our work with the EIB, which is supporting us in developing Moldova’s road network and infrastructure, including improving connectivity and connecting Moldova to the trans-European road network. Modern, safer roads and improved transport links enable better transport of goods and services, as well as the movement of people, and increase productivity in the economy. The investment in road rehabilitation will also result in improved and safer driving conditions in the country. Building safe infrastructure and protecting road users remain our highest priorities. Furthermore, improvements to the road leading to Moldova’s only sea and river port is very important for us, as each new kilometre of road represents a step closer to the European Union. Access to safe and modern roads in Moldova should not be a privilege, but a must for all on our way towards increased resilience, sustainability and faster EU accession.”
EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska, who is in charge of operations in Moldova, said: “We are quite literally paving Moldova’s roads to the European Union. The expansion and upgrade of road routes in Moldova has become an even higher priority since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, contributing to the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes and the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The blockage of the Black Sea ports has negatively affected not only Ukraine, but also Moldova, which has lost essential transport routes through Ukraine for its own exports. In view of this, the EIB has offered its support to Moldova to address the country’s most urgent as well as longer-term needs to improve national roads by introducing European road quality and safety standards. Better road networks in Moldova will enable the easier, safer and faster movement of people, goods and services between markets, and contribute to regional and national economic growth in Moldova and to the better integration of Moldova and Ukraine with the European Union.”
Alberto Carlei, Head of EIB Representation for Moldova, said: “The road segments targeted by this operation will be rehabilitated in accordance with best European practices in terms of safety and quality. Therefore, the project is expected to improve connectivity in Moldova and strengthen its competitiveness. A modern road transport network is essential for faster economic development, especially considering that trade via the Solidarity Lanes will further increase as both Moldova and Ukraine integrate deeper into the EU single market.”
Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova Jānis Mažeiks said: “The signature of this investment agreement between the EU bank — the EIB — and the Republic of Moldova is proof of our continued support for the country’s economic development. The European Union has been supporting the improvement of Moldova’s transport infrastructure over the last ten years and the main priority roads linking Moldova to the European Union have already been built. A recent example is the road linking Chișinău to Ungheni at the Romanian border. We are glad that the beneficiaries of our assistance — the people of Moldova — can already benefit from it. Together with our EIB partners, we will continue to provide support to implement the Economic and Investment Plan for Moldova and to further integrate the country into the European Union.”
EIB Global and Moldova
The EIB will continue to contribute towards an economically strong, energy-independent and green Moldova. So far, the EIB has done this by investing €280 million and mobilising a further €16 million in grants for projects in the public and private sectors in 2022 alone.
Next year, the EIB’s priority will be investments in the energy and transport sectors, which will help Moldova achieve energy independence and integrate further with the European Union.