World Bank continues its support of Moldovan private sector development

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The World Bank approved a US$9.8 million Competitiveness Enhancement Project (CEP) for the Republic of Moldova Thursday. The approved amount represents a US$4.90 million credit and a US$4.90 million grant. The credit is offered under IDA terms, the World Bank Moldova Country Office has reported.

The overall objective of the Competitiveness Enhancement Project is to assist Moldova in enhancing the competitiveness of enterprises through improvements in the business environment and making adequate standards, testing and quality improvement services available to enterprises.

"The project will help the Government of Moldova to implement the business regulatory reform that had been started earlier," said Irina Astrakhan, World Bank Task Manager for the Project. "It will also assist the government to begin modernization of the national standards and quality system, leading to improved competitiveness of the Moldovan economy in domestic and international markets and more attractiveness for foreign direct investment."

The CEP Project has four components -- business environment improvement; modernization of measurements, standards, testing and quality (MSTQ) system; facilitation of enterprise access to MSTQ services; and facilitation of access to finance.

"The Project will bring about unquestionable benefits to the economic environment in Moldova by focusing on stability within the framework of business regulation, the promotion of adequate legislation, access to product certification services in line with the standards set by the European Union, encouragement of an innovative potential for enterprises, and facilitation of access to funding by means of various up-to-date mechanisms", said Mr. Valeriu Lazar, the Moldovan Minister of Economy and Trade.

The enterprise sector, especially SMEs, will be the primary beneficiaries of this project. The Ministry of Economy and Trade Business Regulatory Reform Commission and Secretariat, the Service for Standardization and Metrology, the National Institute for Standardization and Metrology, the Accreditation Center for Conformity Assessment of Products and other institutions of the MSTQ infrastructure will also be helped by the project.

The total cost of the CEP Project is US$14.3 million. In addition to the World Bank credit and grant, the project will also be financed by the Government of Japan in the form of grant amounting to US$4.5 million. The Project implementation period is 4 years, from January 2006 to December 31, 2009.

Since Moldova joined the World Bank in 1992, Bank commitments to the country total approximately US$592 million for 29 operations.