There is much optimism in Moldova, following the country being awarded EU candidate status, the adoption of a comprehensive digitalization package, and the investments in IT and energy driving the economy forward, according to Gladei & Partners Partner Iulian Pasatii.
“The recent European Political Community Summit is keeping everyone abuzz,” Pasatii begins. “With Moldova finally getting a candidate status, the entire country is feeling a strong pro-EU vibe. This has resonated with the markets as well, and we have seen a stunning increase of investor interest and appetite flowing into Moldova.” According to him, “swaths of interesting M&A projects are in the pipeline across all sectors which only spells excitement for the future.”
Moreover, Pasatii reports that the country has recently seen its parliament adopt the “Digitalization 2.0 package, a comprehensive all-out reform that seeks to push Moldova into its next evolutionary stage by overhauling a dozen legislative acts and laws. The package primarily aims to improve the legal framework from a purely digital perspective, introducing many improvements to the e-commerce, digital filings, and data protection fields”, Pasatii outlines. “Right now, it is possible to set up a company in Moldova without ever having to set foot in it,” he says, quickly adding that “this, of course, should not be a reason not to visit – it really is a beautiful country!”
Additionally, the Digitalization 2.0 package has, as Pasatii puts it, finally harmonized the Moldovan legal framework to that of the EU when it comes to an important area – the GDPR, particularly from the data processors' angle. “Previously, many businesses have expressed concerns over the fact that Moldova had not fully harmonized with the GDPR, a crucial data protection framework. However, with the package in place, we are finally fully aligned,” he says. “Businesses can finally rest assured knowing that, for example, data processors and subprocessors are treated uniformly in Moldova and the EU. With this gap finally being bridged, we are ready to take the next step in our economic development,” Pasatii explains. “Following the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the economy has taken a bit of a downturn, but things are finally looking up.”
Still, Pasatii does stress that the reverberations of the pandemic are still being felt. “Some of the pandemic-induced hardships are still around – and the economy feels it – but the most important thing here is that there is optimism, finally,” he shares. “We are on a strong growth pattern and, with the ever-growing number of helpful investments and grants from the country’s institutional partners, there is reason to remain hopeful.”
Finally, Pasatii shares his take on the main business sectors that are driving this market optimism forward. “Aside from the traditionally strong performing sectors – real estate and agriculture – we have recently witnessed a strong uptick in activity in the IT sector as well as the energy sector,” he says. “Many tech companies have started setting up local subsidiaries and representative offices in Moldova recently, and the effects are being felt almost daily. Also, the energy sector has been pretty fruitful lately – following the energy crisis of last year, things are finally looking up and there are quite a few investments that stand to revamp the landscape,” Pasatii concludes.