Since independence in 1991, huge improvements have led to Moldova reaching Upper-Middle-Income status, but it continues to face structural challenges that have been exacerbated by the impact of COVID 19 pandemic and conflict in neighbouring Ukraine.
Project NameOptim - Opportunities Through Technologies and Innovation in Moldova
Project Phase2023 to 2026
FundingThis project is an SDC mandate.
Thematic focusPrivate Sector Development
Two sectors are having a huge potential to enable sustainable development in Moldova: agriculture and ICT. Traditionally, agriculture and food industry sectors contributing close to 20% to the national GDP and employing almost 1/3 of the working age population. ICT sector is one of the fastest growing industries whose contribution to the GPD rose to over 7% generating high-skilled employment opportunities.
Agriculture is vulnerable to climate and weather induced risks while low level of skills, technology penetration and poor access to finances caused poor productivity and competitiveness. ICT, in turn, is focused on sophisticated programming but labour retention and almost exclusive export markets orientation doesn’t allow for full recognition and support. These are the challenges that Helvetas is tackling.
Optim 2.0 – second phase
We are particularly targeting disadvantaged groups such as young unemployed people, women, returning migrants, ethnic minorities, and those living outside the capital Chisinau.
The OPTIM Project has so far focused on supporting private sector business to improve their business models, adopt new products and services which opened doors to new markets. By facilitating access to information and training opportunities in the nationwide, more people obtain relevant demanded skills for today’s market.
In this phase Helvetas will mainly focus on increasing the competitiveness of the agricultural sector, investing in innovative solutions and business models, digital practices and technologies that lead to economic gain. As well as to create business development opportunities and offer the beneficiaries access to higher value markets and know-how, access to efficient and accessible finance, and, just as importantly, to provide affordable training offers.
Bojan Kolundzija, Team Leader of the OPTIM project, Moldova