EBRD delegation visits Moldova

By Olga Rosca

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Bank’s regional management meets new government
A senior delegation from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), led by Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus Francis Malige, visited Moldova on 23 and 24 March for high-level talks.
EBRD officials met Moldovan Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici, Minister of Economy Stephane Bride, Minister of Finance Anatol Arapu, Minister of Environment Sergiu Palihovici and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Daniela Cujbă.
Discussions focused on the EBRD’s investment in Moldova, its strategic priorities for the next three years and the business climate in the country.
In a meeting with Prime Minister Gaburici, Francis Malige reinforced the EBRD’s strong commitment to supporting the Moldovan economy and reforms in the country.
“The EBRD is a strong partner for Moldova. We work with the public and private sectors, providing much-needed investment, advice and support for reforms,” he said.
“The implementation of reforms and a more enabling business climate are crucial for the country’s economic growth and will open many new opportunities for investment, including by the EBRD.”
The Bank has agreed a range of activities to support the Moldovan government to reform the investment climate, encourage the development of the private sector and promote good governance.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed last year, the parties have joined efforts, among others, to enhance the work of the EBRD-backed Economic Council to the Prime Minister; support the establishment of an independent mechanism to address concerns and complaints by businesses about instances of ill-treatment or unfair competition; develop alternative dispute resolution as well as arbitration procedures; and create a single, transparent registry of shares of Moldovan banks.
In his meetings with the authorities, Mr Malige also reiterated the EBRD’s concerns over transparency and governance in the Moldovan banking sector which, coupled with a weak judiciary system, have negative implications for investment and financial sector stability.
“The current situation in the banking sector is a sad example of what happens when transparency and governance are not enforced”, he said.
The EBRD has decreased its finance for this sector fourfold from over €40 million in 2010 to just over €10 million in 2014 in reaction to the situation.
However, the Bank remains the largest institutional investor in the country. In Moldova, it focuses on supporting private sector activity, promoting European standards and regional integration and developing efficient and sustainable public utilities. To date, the EBRD has invested some €900 million in over 100 projects in the country.
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