September 15, 2022
President Sandu, Prime Minister Gavrilita, Prince Radu, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am grateful for the invitation to join you this morning to help open the 8th Moldova Business Week. This year’s event takes place at a time of considerable challenges, following Russia’s brutal invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Here in Moldova, the war has negatively affected the economy. But that hasn’t stopped Moldovan communities from welcoming and protecting tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees. We commend Moldova for its generous contributions to help its neighbors.
I know from experience that Moldova is renowned for its tenacity, the “can-do” attitude of its leadership and people, and the entrepreneurial spirit woven into the country’s fabric. This “small country with a big heart” is now squarely on the map as a place of exceptional hospitality and ingenuity in the face of adversity. And the government has moved Moldova further than ever on its European path, to receive EU candidate status, as a direct result of its commitment to battle corruption and strengthen rule of law.
This year, the United States and Moldova are celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations. In that time, we have worked together with the Moldovan people, government, private sector, and civil society on the path to building a country that is democratic, prosperous, and secure. Since 1992, the American people have provided over $1.8 billion in foreign assistance to Moldova.
As partners, Moldova and the U.S. Government through USAID, the State Department, and numerous other U.S. agencies – are working together to support improved competitiveness and efficiency in key industries, the development of a strong, diverse, export-driven economy, along with justice reforms and fighting corruption.
This year alone, the U.S. government provided $263 million in new assistance for Moldova to help maintain progress on democratic reforms and economic development despite the impacts of Russian unprovoked aggression in neighboring Ukraine. USAID and other partners are helping key sectors of Moldova’s economy like agriculture, IT, and light industry to reach new, more reliable markets in Europe as Russia continues to create new, unnecessary obstacles to free, mutually profitable trade. For the same reasons, we are expanding energy security programming to help Moldova diversify its power supply to more reliable partners.
Foreign investment, and in particular U.S. investment, is in high demand around the world. U.S. companies bring new technologies, innovation, leading business practices, and of course jobs. And they see the untapped potential here in Moldova. I just welcomed this week ten American companies with the American-Central European Business Association who traveled here for their first ever business delegation to Moldova.
I heard from them what we all know to be true: The government’s focus on enhancing transparency, fighting corruption, and strengthening the rule of law is essential to making Moldova a destination for foreign investments.
I am proud to be the Honorary President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Moldova. AmCham’s mission is to actively contribute to enhancing an investment-friendly regulatory environment in Moldova.
We care about investment and the business climate because we know what is good for business is good for the economy, and when the economy grows it benefits the Moldovan people.
The United States is a committed partner to the Republic of Moldova. Just as we have for the last 30 years, we stand with you as Moldova works to improve its investment climate and grow bilateral trade between the United States and Moldova for a more prosperous future for all Moldovans. As we celebrate 30 years of progress together, we look forward to the next 30 years of close cooperation on our shared goals, including our hope to see more U.S. companies investing in Moldova’s economy and contributing to a prosperous future.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak here today.