© Svetlana Costiuc (SVET Photography)
Eastern Europe, Moldova

Strong Markets for Empowered Moldova

© Svetlana Costiuc (SVET Photography)

Only 40% of Moldovans are employed, and many of them live in poverty on low wages. Our first project in the country aims to stimulate Moldova’s markets so that they generate better economic opportunities for rural youths and other disadvantaged groups.

  • Project Name
    Optim - Opportunities Through Technologies and Innovation in Moldova
  • Project Phase
    2018 to 2022
  • Funding
    This project is an SDC mandate.
  • Thematic focus
    Sustainable and Inclusive Economies

Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. Poverty is especially widespread in Moldova’s rural areas, driving its inhabitants to capital Chisinau and abroad. Up to a quarter of Moldova’s active labor force is outside of the country!

The main problem is not the lack of jobs. There are jobs, but they are either low-quality or demand skills that job seekers don’t have. For example, agriculture, Moldova’s biggest sector and employer, offers low, often seasonal, wages. Jobs in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are on the contrary the highest-paid in the country, but the employers struggle to find competent workers.

Generating better economic opportunities and skills

The Improved Market Systems Project aims to stimulate Moldova’s market systems, with a focus on agriculture and ICT, so that they generate better economic opportunities for Moldovans in a sustained way. We are particularly targeting disadvantaged groups such as youth, returning migrants, ethnic minorities, and those living outside the capital Chisinau.

Firstly, we address the constraints that hold businesses back to create a stronger, better articulated and more sustainable demand for skills.

For example, in agriculture, we aim to develop a system that will allow agribusiness to comply with international quality standards and get access to new markets, therefore becoming more competitive, generating more income and better jobs.

Secondly, we address the constraints on the supply side of the labor market to make sure enough people with the right skills are able and willing to take up the available jobs.

For example, in ICT, we aim to, among other goals, to work with training providers to improve ICT courses to match the needs of the sector, and to expand their services to rural youth and women, who are now largely excluded from opportunities.

The Improved Market Systems project is the mandate of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) implemented by Helvetas in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova and international think tank organization Mesopartner.

«It is important for us that the project doesn’t become part of the labor market system. We want our interventions to be sustainable and go beyond the project duration. That’s why we work through local partners. We support them in seeking and creating solutions, rather than bringing our own solutions to the table.»

Artak Harutyunyan, Team Leader of the Improved Market Systems Project, Moldova

Sustainable and Inclusive Economies

Economic growth does not always benefit the poor and poverty is bad for growth. We need to make a proactive effort to break this vicious cycle.

How Helvetas Supports People in Moldova

We aim to stimulate Moldova's market systems and generate more economic opportunities for its citizens.
© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Eastern Europe

Making Markets and Jobs