Good afternoon Prime Minister Gavrilita, distinguished colleagues. Thank you so much for inviting me to share Thanksgiving lunch with you.
Thanksgiving is an important American holiday centered around sharing a traditional meal, celebrating the people who are important to us, and expressing gratitude for the positive things we have experienced throughout the year. I am thankful to be able to serve as Ambassador to this wonderful country and to have such wonderful partners as all of you as we work to address the immediate challenges and build a democratic, prosperous, and secure future for Moldova. I am also grateful that we can gather in person to celebrate this year as a testament to the challenges we have overcome throughout the pandemic and to our shared successes and continued strong partnership.
We are living in an exceptionally complicated period of history. Moldova has been significantly impacted by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, brutal attacks on civilians, and systematic destruction of critical infrastructure. Moldova has proven a staunch friend to Ukraine and to the Ukrainian people through its principled opposition to this unjust war as well as its inspiring humanitarian response.
We commend the Moldovan government for persisting despite these challenges in implementing its ambitious reform agenda and EU accession plans. We have seen significant steps forward this year to improve the rule of law and diversify Moldova’s energy sector, and know Moldova is poised to move forward on its digitalization agenda to reduce red tape and barriers to investment.
During my time traveling throughout this beautiful country, I have been welcomed by Moldovans from all walks of life who are dealing with serious challenges. I have heard from Moldovan entrepreneurs including many of you around the room about the difficulties caused by supply chain disruptions, high energy prices, high inflation, and loss of investor confidence.
The United States will continue to strengthen its partnership with Moldova to identify avenues of support for Moldovan entrepreneurs and businesses during these challenging times. We will continue to support reforms to strengthen Moldova’s business and investment climate, improve the justice sector, bolster cyber security, and diversify energy supplies. We will continue to promote key Moldovan sectors like IT, agriculture, tourism, and wine exports, while ensuring that American businesses can compete on a level playing field across all sectors.
I am particularly grateful for the work that AmCham does in Moldova. I am constantly impressed by your dedication to Moldova’s economic future as you maintain and expand your businesses. You play a pivotal role in fair and inclusive economic development and ensuring Moldova’s path toward European integration. Your partnership and continued engagement are critical as we reinforce our bilateral economic relationship and hope to inspire additional foreign investment in Moldova. And the United States remains committed to helping you succeed.
Thank you again for having me here today, and Happy Thanksgiving!