Honourable Mr. Speaker, Honourable Ministers, ladies and gentlemen.
Corruption is a development issue. Corruption makes the poor poorer and I have calculated that Moldova's annual economic growth would have been 2 percent per year higher if it had controlled corruption like Estonia or Slovenia; in other words every Moldovan is working 6 weeks a year to pay for the cumulated impact of the failure since 2009 to control corruption.
It was a disappointment on 25 September when the latest World Governance Indicators were published. The World Governance Indicators said that Moldova's Control of Corruption greatly deteriorated between 2012 and 2014 and Moldova's Control of Corruption is no better than Liberia, Tanzania, Pakistan, Mali, Benin, Malawi and so on. Please note that these indicators were calculated before the bank scandal become public. There is other evidence that corruption has deteriorated recently. According to our survey data, the average firm received 80% more inspections in 2014 than in 2013, and between 2008 and 2013 the share of government contracts paid in bribes increased from 8 to 11 percent.
This evidence of deteriorating corruption is relevant to today's launch of the Working Group on anti-corruption. A legal framework which has not changed over time cannot explain why corruption is getting worse over time. A static legal context cannot explain a dynamic deterioration. The worsening of corruption must therefore be due to political rather than legal factors, in which case the Working Group's noble efforts will not be addressing the political root cause of worsening corruption. If Moldova's Control of Corruption index was 15 percent better in 2006 than it is now, one could obviously improve control of corruption tremendously right now and under the existing legal framework.
The statistical data and evidence, therefore, tell us that political action, in parallel to reform of the legal framework, is most important for controlling corruption in Moldova. We would respectfully and humbly advise the authorities to work in this direction.
The World Bank grateful to the Speaker for his invitation to this meeting and honoured to have been asked to participate in this critical discussion.