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Moldovan Team-Building in Time of Crisis

October 19, 2009

190 hours 00 minutes of aggregate Moldovan Government time was dedicated to a World Bank-sponsored one-day joint retreat which brought together Moldova’s development partners and the entire Cabinet to build a consensus around how the country will overcome the current socio-economic crisis and where should it be moving in the years ahead. Twenty members of the new Moldovan Cabinet, headed by Prime-Minister Vlad Filat, and representatives of the World Bank, IMF, UN agencies, EBRD, European Commission, SIDA, US Embassy and DFiD participated in the discussions.

The World Bank took the lead in preparing for the event – the first of its kind in the history of Moldova. The scope of the retreat was to consolidate a common understanding of fiscal, economic and social measures that will need to be taken to move Moldova out of the current socio-economic crisis. With an estimated 9 percent drop in GDP in 2009, the priorities include fiscal stabilization, economic recovery, and social protection of the most vulnerable members of society.

" During our discussions, we realized the gravity of the economic problems Moldova is facing as a consequence of the global economic crisis. Today’s retreat highlighted the measures that need to be taken in order to overcome the current difficult situation. We count on the support of our development partners but we also have to find ways in which we can help ourselves deal with the crisis. "

Vlad Filat

Prime-Minister of Moldova

The joint Government-Donor retreat, held on October 19, was preceded by a public launch of a World Bank-led Policy Notes for the Government of Moldova. The Policy Notes, in turn, formed the basis for the Government’s own Financial Stabilization and Economic Recovery Plan.

"Our discussions were professional, evidence-based, constructive, open and honest about the problems of the country and what we can do to help. Moldova needs reforms that will form the basis for stable economic growth," said Martin Raiser, World Bank Country Director for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, during a press-conference at the end of the retreat.

The World Bank’s immediate response to helping Moldova weather the crisis is the allocation of $24 million dollars to help Moldovan export-oriented companies access scarce credit resources and retain existing export markets; in addition to helping Moldovan businesses become more productive and competitive in the long-run.

Additional Financing is being put into the Moldova Social Investment Fund project. The project aims to improve rural social infrastructure, through creation of new rural jobs, in addition to local contracts for labor and supplies. The road ahead is difficult, but the partnership with the new Government is stronger than ever.