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EBRD helps Moldova set up Economic Council

By Olga Rosca

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With help from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Moldova took an important step towards achieving a more favourable business environment and stimulating domestic and foreign investment by establishing an economic advisory body to the Prime Minister.

To be chaired by Prime Minister Iurie Leancă himself, the Economic Council will facilitate dialogue at the highest decision-making level between the business community, policy-makers and civil society with a view to improving the investment climate and advancing economic development in Moldova.

The EBRD is supporting the creation of the Council with a €300,000 grant from its Early Transition Countries Fund and its generous donors to finance the activity of the advisory body’s Secretariat.

Prime Minister Iurie Leancă said: “The new EBRD-backed initiative, the Economic Council to the Prime Minister, will focus on improving the business environment, attracting investment, simplifying procedures in state institutions, removing the barriers that dissatisfy businesses and implementing new tools of e-government. All this will make the private sector a stable source generating well-paying jobs for citizens, state budget revenues and sustainable economic growth.”

Olivier Descamps, the EBRD’s Managing Director for Turkey, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, added: “I am delighted to endorse today the launch of the Economic Council to the Prime Minister. At the EBRD, we see it as a meaningful platform that will engage some of the brightest of Moldova’s economic and business innovators in crafting Government’s much-needed response to the key challenges of the country: creating an open, stable and predictable environment for doing business, fighting corruption and ensuring the rule of law. These are indispensable for attracting job-generating investment to boost economic growth and bring prosperity to Moldovans.”

The Economic Council will bring together state institutions, business and investor associations, donors supporting the development of the private sector, and representatives of civil society.

The Council will perform a number of functions, including advising the Prime Minister in relation to measures that will foster a more favourable business environment, drafting and proposing amendments to relevant legislation, promoting an inclusive and constructive public-private dialogue to pursue reforms, and working to advance Moldova’s position in international rankings such as Doing Business, Global Competitiveness Index and Index of Economic Freedom.

Support to the Economic Council to the Prime Minister is also part of the Bank’s new strategy for Moldova, which will be adopted by the end of the year and will set out the EBRD’s priorities in the country in the period 2014-17.

The EBRD – one of the largest investors in Moldova – has signed 100 investment projects in the country, covering the energy, transport, agribusiness, general industry and banking sectors, for a cumulative amount of €897 million. The EBRD has also pursued an intensive policy dialogue to tackle key transition challenges – in transport, municipal infrastructure, energy and financial sectors – and to help create a business-friendly climate.

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