For the fifth consecutive year, Independent Think-Tank Expert-Grup together with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung have organized one of the most important conference – MACRO 2017. At the event the “State of the Country Report 2017" was presented. This report represents a comprehensive analysis of the economic, social and political situation in the Republic of Moldova. The event took place on October 6 and gathered 13 speakers, from 6 countries: Hungary, Norway, Belgium, United Kingdom, Romania, and Republic of Moldova, to discuss the main development opportunities for the Republic of Moldova until 2030.
Organized under the slogan “Moldova of 2030 in Europe of 2030: defining a sustainable development path in a dynamic environment”, Macro conference 2017 has planned to address the social, economic, and governance risks and opportunities along with the way those dimensions influence the development trajectory of the country.
The event was attended by over 150 participants including decision makers, public and private sector representatives, local and international experts, social activists, researchers and members of academia.
Panel I: Rethinking the Economic Growth Model of Moldova
Speakers: Valeriu PROHNIȚCHI, Policy Specialist, UNDP Moldova, Mariana RUFA, Executive Director, European Business Association, Erik REINERT, Professor of Technology Governance and Development Strategies, Technical University of Tallinn, Estonia, Irina VLAH, Governor of ATU Gagauzia.
Valeriu PROHNIȚCHI: Among the global challenges that influence the Republic of Moldova are climate change, increasing global population, global economic imbalances, geopolitical instability, automatization, machine learning and media revolution. Meanwhile, there are national tendencies that negatively affect the country such as dry weather, eroded human and social capital, immigration, and local demographic transition. According to some experts a new class of landowners is emerging. Valeriu Prohnițchi also considers that education is the main strategy worth investing. Schools should be attractive for children, parents and the entire community. Study, study and study again, should be the most important priority of an individual.
Mariana RUFA: We can only reduce corruption by having zero tolerance towards it. The principles of integrity should be promoted not only formally, but also using all the available means including judiciary processes where the trust of the foreign investors is very low. A strong country should have a solid foundation. Another important aspect is the consolidation of the financial sector not only for foreign investors but also for citizens.
Erik REINERT: Brain-drain of highly educated people is a common issue in Moldova, Poland, Estonia and other countries. There is little work force left in the country, as a result the country’s production capacity is limited. The solution to this problem is a new economic model based on human capital.
Irina VLAH: There is a positive tendency in the development of the region. Investments increased by 43%, and exports doubled. In 2016 ATU Gagauzia received financial support in the amount of 164 mln lei. The problem in Moldova is that 98% find themselves to be political experts and only 2% are well versed in economics. As a politician I can tell you that people are more concerned about their salary and living standards therefore we will work with all the interested partners in the region.
Panel II: Making the Economic Growth Work for the People
Speakers: Viorica DUMBRĂVEANU, Vice Minister of Health, Labour and Social Protection, Sergiu SAINCIUC, Vice President, National Confederation of Trade Unions, Martin HUTSEBAUT, European expert, ex-ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation), Sergiu GAIBU, Program Director, Independent Think-Tank Expert-Grup
Viorica DUMBRĂVEANU: Without economic growth it is impossible to implement sustainable social policies. A multi-policy approach may be viewed as a solution to this problem. A key element in the social security is equality. The preferential pensions were excluded and a new framework was established. A framework that increased the average monthly pension to 2000 lei.
Sergiu SAINCIUC: Currently there are more employment opportunities than the number of people looking for jobs. The issue is that the majority of people are underqualified for these jobs. Additionally, there are large pay gaps. The minimal wage should be set at the level of 2000 lei initially, then 2300 lei (corresponding to the real sector) and 3000 lei at a later point in time. There are many positive things about the pension reform, however, these are limited and would not ensure stability in a long run.
Martin HUTSEBAUT: The government should be aware that youth is the future of this country. Par example the salary in Moldova is 50% lower than in Romania. The informal sector offers more employment opportunities. Even in a free economy functional employment laws are imperative. Good jobs will come when new opportunities will be explored. For example there are opportunities in the waste management industry. There is a number of companies in my home country Belgium that recycle waste that was extracted from underground.
Sergiu GAIBU: Presented a comparative analyses of the social systems in the Republic of Moldova and Central and Eastern Europe.
Panel III: Good Governance: the Key Elements Defining the Success of Moldova of 2030
Speakers: Liliana CARASCIUC, Executive Director, Transparency International - Moldova Chapter, Ion GUMENE, Programme Director, Independent Think Tank Expert-Grup, Ion STURZA, President, Fribourg Capital
Kálmán MIZSEI: European Union Advisory Mission, Iurie CIOCAN, Director, Reform Implementation Centre
Iurie CIOCAN: In my opinion a reform should turn a vision into concrete actions and processes. When the reform of the government was implemented all the business processes were analysed. For example there were a number of mistakes in the job descriptions. From 2009 to 2017 we concluded a 40% increase in the Ministries personnel. Therefore, we decided to create the Public Services Agency which combined 5 state institutions.
Ion GUMENE: The aim of government’s reform should be to minimise expenses and strive to achieve more objectives. You can’t see the benefits in a year, two or three. First of all we should change the processes such as recruitment, promoting integrity, elaborating public policies, offering public services, management of the public finances, public administration empowerment.
Ion STURZA: The popularity of MPs and parliamentary fractions is overrated. Any legislative proposal in this circumstances will be highly criticized. There is a huge confusion as of what is the role of power in a society. In my opinion it was a step forward to create the position of the state secretary. On a different note, we also shouldn’t forget that the young generation are egocentric, focused on their personal gain over the interests of the society or businesses.
Kálmán MIZSEI: We witness transparency and integrity collapse in the judicial sector. Both, the EU and the US should introduce stricter rules when offering financial support. Sometimes there is a lack of wisdom when offering support. I am not a pessimist and I firmly believe that the situation in the Republic of Moldova can be improved.
You can find the presentation in Romanian on the following link: