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Economic Growth

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Increased Investment and Trade in Targeted Sectors


Moldova Competitiveness Project (MCP)
Implementer: Chemonics International, Inc.
Project Period: 10/2015 – 09/2020 
Projected Budget: $21.85 million

The Moldova Competitiveness Project (MCP) supports Moldova’s efforts to promote a strong, diverse and export-oriented economy by improving competitiveness and efficiency in key industries. MCP focuses on three areas: Information and Communications Technology (ICT) clustered with creative services and precision engineering; wine production and export clustered with the tourism sector; and light industry (clustered textiles and apparel with footwear sectors). The project supports these industries to reach a level of maturity that promotes sustainable improvements in the competitiveness of these sectors and provides well-paying and desirable employment—which increases incomes, alleviates poverty and reduces the pressure to emigrate. MCP interventions contribute to increased productivity, improved product quality, expanded market linkages, and an improved sector-enabling environment for targeted industries. The project focuses on improving the quality of Moldovan products and services so that Moldova’s private sector can compete within the EU and other higher-value markets. Expanded market linkages created through MCP engagement have led to increased exports and domestic sales in targeted industries. Increased technical skills in the labor force will contribute to targeted industries’ efforts to expand and develop new investments.

The mission has also leveraged additional funds from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

High Value Agriculture Activity
Implementer: Chemonics International, Inc.
Project Period: 11/2016-11/2021

Projected Budget: $20.96 million

The USAID High Value Agriculture Activity (HVAA) stimulates the transformation of Moldovan high-value agriculture (HVA) by expanding trade and strengthening market linkages; improving productivity, post-harvest handling and private sector capacity to comply with European and international standards; increasing the capacity of member-based organizations; and improving the enabling environment leading to increased investments and an improved workforce. The activity stimulating the transformation of the Moldovan high-value agricultural sector into an engine of economic growth for the country, leading to improved competitiveness of and high living standards for rural Moldovans in the long term.

Moldova Structural Reform Program 
Implementer: Nathan Associates Inc.
Project Period: 09/2017 - 09/2021
Projected Budget: $11.17 million

This new activity is designed to improve the Republic of Moldova’s business and trade enabling environment. It will help government institutions and the private sector accelerate the implementation of trade liberalization mechanisms, adopt structural and business enabling reforms, and improve strategic communications between private and public actors.  Through a flexible, demand-driven approach developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and USAID, Moldova Structural Reform will help improve policies, regulations, institutions, and processes that can lead to sustained and inclusive economic growth in Moldova. 

Financial Sector Transparency Activity (FSTA)
Project Period: 09/09/2019 -  09/08/2022  
Projected Budget: $8,127,190.

The Moldova Financial Sector Transparency Activity (FSTA) will support Moldova’s economic growth through improving the financial sector transparency, stability and soundness, by further strengthening the capacity of the National Bank of Moldova (NBM), the Moldova Central Securities Depository (CSD) and of the Moldova National Commission for Financial Markets (NCFM) to combat financial crimes, automate the monitoring of shareholder transparency and fight systemic money laundering in the banking sector and by enhancing the efficiency and reliability of the securities settlement and registry infrastructure in Moldova. Greater transparency and reform in the banking and financial sector will result in increased public trust in supervision institutions and greater capacity to expose money laundering and fight corruption.

Development Credit Authority (DCA)
Financial Institution-Partner: Prime Capital 
Project Period: 09/2011 – 04/2028
Projected Budget: $ 200,000

The Development Credit Authority (DCA) enables Moldovan financial institutions to increase financing for local small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) through a loan guarantee mechanism. These guarantee agreements support lending in the SME, Energy and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) target areas. An increase in the availability of credit improves the competitiveness of the private sector and advances economic opportunities.

 DCA programs include two guarantee facilities with Prime Capital. The first one supports the Moldovan Information Technology (IT) sector. Through this guarantee, USAID/Moldova aims to increase loans to IT firms for capital and long-term investments and to support loans to IT professionals for mortgages and long-term asset financing. This improves the quality of life and provides continued support to committed investment in the country (e.g., home ownership), thus reducing emigration of the ICT sector’s skilled labor. This program has expanded to include loans to young entrepreneurs and women-led businesses. This guarantee is in direct support of USAID’s Moldova Competitiveness Project.

In 2014, USAID/Moldova and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) launched a second guarantee with Prime Capital to support lending to the energy sector. The objective of this guarantee is to improve the operational efficiency of MSMEs in Moldova in order to strengthen their commercial viability and growth in an environmentally sustainable manner, thus contributing to job creation and increased living standards. The Project also aims to allow individuals to improve their energy efficiency, affecting cost savings, benefiting energy use in Moldova, and in turn, increasing living standards.

Development Credit Authority (DCA)/ Development Finance Corporation (DFC)
Financial Institution-Partners: StarNet and Agroindbank
Project Period: 01/2019 – 09/2029
Subsidy Cost: $ 500,000

Project Budget: $ 8,919,747

>In 2017, USAID facilitated a DCA/DFC loan guarantee worth of $8.9 million to enable StarNet to mobilize local financing for the first physical IT park – Digital Park infrastructure in Moldova. In 2018, USAID Moldova worked with the DCA/DFC to enter into a US Treasury backed guarantee agreement with Moldova Agroindbank. This agreement reduced the risk of lending the large sums to StarNet and enabled the project to scale up the financing of Moldova’s first technology park. In January 2019, Agroindbank disbursed the first tranche of financing for the construction of Digital Park, setting in motion the loan guarantee sealed between USAID, Starnet and Agroindbank. The remainder of the loan will be disbursed in the coming years to fund the construction of the next towers of the Park. The end goal for Digital Park is to become a physical hub for IT companies and tech startups, hosting over 2,500 jobs and 50 firms. It will create a ‘Silicon Valley’-type working environment that contributes to creativity and competitiveness and attracts regional and international investment. The first phase of the Digital Park became fully operational in December 2019.

ICT Excellence Center (ICTEC) Project
Implementer: Information Technology and Communications Association (ATIC)
Project Period: 08/2015 – 06/2020

Projected Budget: $4 million

Under this project USAID launched and develops, together with a number of strategic partners, an ICT Excellence Center in Moldova. The activity will contribute to USAID’s economic growth objective under the Private Sector Competitiveness Program area of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Framework. The activity is being implemented in collaboration with the Government of Sweden, Moldovan Government and private sector, using the Global Development Alliance (GDA) model. GDAs are USAID’s premiere model for public-private partnerships and help to improve the social and economic conditions in developing countries, deepening USAID’s development impact. 

A USAID grant for the development of an ICT Excellence Center (ICTEC) will be matched by both cash and in-kind contributions, by private and government partners, that will bring significant new resources, ideas, software, technologies and development activities, such as trainings, practical assignments and mentoring programs. Private partners include multinational companies such as IBM and Microsoft and Oracle; Information Technology and Communications Association (ATIC) members representing local ICT companies; and government partners such as the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, the e-Government Center and Technical University of Moldova. The Technical University of Moldova will host the Center on its premises. The agreement was signed with ATIC on August 25, 2015.

This will be a 58-month project. During the 58 months the project will: 1) support the setup and equipment needs of the facility; 2) support the creation of a business plan integrating relevant IT educational content and entrepreneurship activities; 3) train and prepare qualified staff; and 4) initiate and expand educational, training and entrepreneurship development activities.

The mission has also leveraged additional funds from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

Agricultural Registry for Wine and Vine 
Implementer: The National Agency for Rural Development (ACSA)
Project Period: 10/2017 – 30/2021
Projected Budget: $2 million

This new four year activity is part of the Moldova Economic Growth Project. Its goal is to help Moldova meet international requirements for wine traceability to assure quality and food safety. This will enhance market access opportunities for the wine industry, contributing to the industry’s competitiveness and economic growth for Moldova. The activity’s objective is to establish a complete traceability and quality assurance system in the wine industry by scaling up to the national level the Agricultural Registry for Wine and Vine and building capacity of local quality control organizations and institutions.

The Agricultural Registry for Wine and Vine builds on USAID’s previous Moldovan Wine and Vine Registry Activity, which was a pilot activity that ran from January 2015 through September 2017. This earlier activity set up the structure for the Wine and Vine Registry, designed the software, and a piloted data gathering from a small sample of grape producers. This first phase demonstrated the feasibility of setting up in Moldova a fully functional wine registry, and the commitment of the Moldovan Government and growers to meet international standards. This follow-on Agricultural Registry for Wine and Vine activity will expand the registry across Moldova and serve as a model for other crops which will require traceability in the near future. Traceability is necessary to gain market-access to more demanding and thus higher priced international markets.

The National Office for Wine and Vine is the coordinator of this program, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment, rural extension network, and producer organizations.

Activity intervention area expands nearly to 600 localities in 23 raions and municipalities, including Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia.

Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF)/Horizon Capital
Project Period: 09/1994 - 12/2023

In 1994 USAID created WNISEF, a regional $150 million private equity fund investing in SMEs in Ukraine and Moldova. Since its inception, WNISEF has invested nearly $200 million in over 118 companies in the region that employ about 25,000 people, and has provided training to hundreds of local managers. It has also helped unlock a total of $1.4 billion in capital for SMEs via WNISEF, the Emerging Europe Growth Fund (EEGF) follow-on fund, and EEGFII. In 2014, USAID directed WNISEF funds toward promoting policies and practices that support private sector development. The focus areas include economic leadership, local economic development, social investment and export promotion. Presently, Horizon Capital is raising its third fund, EEGFIII, with WNISEF and is contributing up to $30 million in investment capital.

Technical Assistance to the National Bank of Moldova (NBM)
Implementer: Financial Services Volunteer Corps (FSVC) via the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA)
Project Period: 02/2017 - 02/2018

Projected Budget: $2.6 million

The project provides technical assistance to the National Bank of Moldova (NBM) in five different areas: establishing a single Central Securities Depository (CSD), developing a financial inclusion strategy and promoting mobile payments solutions, building the NBM’s crisis communication capacity, streamlining the NBM’s human resources (HR) function, and enhancing the NBM’s capacity to track current account services statistics.

Supporting Entrepreneurial Education in Eastern Europe (Georgia, Serbia, Moldova and Macedonia) 
Implementer: Junior Achievement Moldova 
Project Period: 02/2017-01/2021

Projected Budget: $179,102

The aim of this program is to reduce poverty and youth unemployment in the region by building young people’s soft skills and stimulating more entrepreneurial activity.  There is a proven connection between entrepreneurship education initiatives in secondary schools and higher education, and more start-ups and job creation later on among Junior Achievement alumni. By the end of the program in Moldova, over 9000 students will have attended the School Company Program, 275 new teachers will be prepared to teach this program and 439 students will take full ESP Certificate (the International Entrepreneurial Skills Pass). The program will build partnerships with local and national authorities, NGOs, community groups and private sector businesses.

Regional Farmer to Farmer Program 
Implementer: CNFA 
Project Period: 10/2018 – 09/2021

Projected Budget: $1,300,000

Combining cultural exchange and sustainable economic development, the USAID Farmer to Farmer program provides voluntary technical assistance to farmers, farm groups and agribusinesses in developing and transitional countries to promote improvements in food processing, production and marketing. The program in Moldova will focus on increasing incomes of Moldova’s producers, processors, exporters, and other value chain actors through improved associations, curricula improvement, marketing, and environment conservation in the organic agriculture and dairy/livestock value chains.

Assessment of Local Power Generation Options in Moldova
Implementer: Worley Parsons Group INC
Project Period: 01/2019 – 01/2021
Projected Budget: $1,299,500 

The purpose of this activity is to support Moldova’s economic growth through improving energy supply security and availability for all economic activities, and minimizing economic losses caused by an insufficient and unreliable energy supply. The activity will assess the technical, commercial and legal issues related to a potential increase in local conventional high efficiency generation capacity and its impact on increasing security of supply, reliability and the balancing of renewable resources.