How to relaunch Moldova’s economic diplomacy?

11 November 2021

The Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE) publishes a policy brief, which analyzes the most important current constraints and provides a set of recommendations and interventions for relaunching the economic diplomacy of the Republic of Moldova, focused on attracting foreign investments and increasing the capacities of the competent national authorities on the basis of clear performance criteria.

According to the author of the document, Elena Varta, program director at the Center for Policy and Reforms (CPR Moldova), economic diplomacy aims to promote national economic interests abroad and is an essential area for the foreign policy of any state. This is especially true for small economies, such as the Republic of Moldova.

“The economic diplomacy in our country is an area with untapped potential, especially because of a lasting lack of political will, but also due to the systemic problems that have deepened in recent years, such as the lack of labour force and exodus of the population. Other causes include the poor interaction, communication, and coordination between key institutions. The tasks placed before the diplomatic missions and consular offices abroad and in particular those formulated for the economic attachés, are general and extremely unfocused. All of these factors overlap with the lack of necessary resources within the relevant institutions, the absence of trade and economic offices or attachés in countries that could become important destinations for Moldovan exports, but also in some cases limited involvement of ambassadors in promoting economic diplomacy objectives”, mentioned the author.

To ensure a more sustainable economic development, the economic diplomacy shall be placed at the top of the Moldovan foreign policy priorities. The Republic of Moldova needs a new long-term vision on economic diplomacy, based on best practices from abroad, such as those from Estonia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, or the Netherlands.

At the same time, taking into account the current economic context and the existing budgetary constraints, for the next period there are needed short-term interventions that do not require vast investments or efforts, including (I) the establishment of performance criteria for each of diplomatic mission and consular offices abroad, ambassadors, economic attachés and commercial-economic bureaus; (II) the adoption of an inter-institutional plan for the year 2021-2022 that includes a set of clear and specific actions for the Moldovan economic diplomacy, focused on promoting exports and attracting investments; (III) a clear distribution of responsibilities and appointment of key national authority that will serve as the coordinator for various matters linked to promotion of economic diplomacy.

For more findings and key recommendations, please see the policy brief here.

This policy brief was prepared in the framework of the project “Policy bridges with the EU: Securing the Europeanisation process of the Republic of Moldova” implemented with the support of the Soros Foundation Moldova. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors alone.


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