Switzerland and UNDP signed on 23 November 2022 a $4 million agreement for the “Resilient and inclusive local markets in Moldova” project, implemented by UNDP. The project will start in January 2023 and aims at enhancing local economic development and resilience through local entrepreneurship, investments, and access to decent work for people, particularly youth, women, people with disabilities, returnees, and refugees, within communities.
“Creating more and better jobs is one of the priorities of Switzerland in Moldova. This project is an investment into the regions of Moldova and its people. Contributing to the creation of highly skilled, better-paid and more sustainable jobs outside of the capital is one way of developing and retaining the country’s workforce and youth in Moldova. It also contributes to national and social cohesion,” noted Guido Beltrani, Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in the Republic of Moldova.
With a duration of 24 months, the project will support the economic development and resilience of three micro-regions and 15 communities, in view of improving the livelihoods and living conditions of 20,000 people. It will support SMEs to act as catalysts of economic growth at local level and will encourage their cooperation in micro-clusters, depending on the local potential for economic specialisation. As such, value chains that are specific for the micro-regions will be strengthened and economic opportunities will be improved.
The micro-clusters will benefit from support to enhance their competitiveness on national and international markets. Entrepreneurs will be encouraged to employ digital and green solutions in their activity, so as to boost competitiveness and save costs, while protecting the environment.
At least 105 local public administration representatives and private sector stakeholders will benefit from improved skills and knowledge on integrated local development, regional specialization, access to finance, and local investment attraction.
“We are confident that this project will ensure the engagement of all relevant local and regional stakeholders in shifting the focus from community-based to regional clusters, by pulling together regional capacities and shared perspectives. This new approach will amplify the essential contribution of the SMEs to the local dimension of the economy, particularly in rural communities and small towns,” noted Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.
During 2015-2022, UNDP and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) carried out the “Migration and local development” project – part of the intervention “Moldova – Making the Most of Migration”, bringing together local public authorities, NGOs/hometown associations, private sector, and people, including migrants originating from target communities. More than 116 localities from the Republic of Moldova and 556,000 people have benefited from improved livelihoods and local public services.