From Our Members

Moldova, a new destination for the European business community

Moldova’s economic landscape showcased during the Netherlands – Moldova Business Forum.

 Moldova’s commitment to advancing its development reform agenda, particularly through expanding its trade partnerships with EU nations, is driving a rapid transformation of the country’s business environment and creating new opportunities for trade.

Over the past year, enterprises from 20 different nations have demonstrated a strong interest in investing upwards of one billion euros in the Republic of Moldova, with an impressive 83 per cent of this investment originating from EU member states.

This consistent trend has been maintained for the past few years. The country gained particular importance after the regional conflict heightened the need for Ukrainian exports and the flows of goods arriving from Asia.  European businesses hold Moldova in high regard due to its plenty of skilled talent, strategic geographical location, favourable political context (as an EU candidate), competitively priced skilled labour, efficient production optimisation, a welcoming tax system, and expertise that contributes to a thriving and growing economic partnership.   

With its growing reputation as a hub for progressive ideas and entrepreneurial ventures, Moldova is steadfast in its determination to bolster its ties with the global community in 2023. This potential was prominently displayed at the Netherlands – Moldova  Business Forum, a recent event hosted in Chişinău. The platform brought more than 20 companies from the Netherlands to Chişinău, who came to explore and better understand the potential of the country and to establish strong commercial relationships. Meanwhile, Moldovan entrepreneurs gained a better understanding of the potential opportunities that the Dutch market offers for local businesses. 

The Netherlands – Moldova Business Forum: Shaping future strategic collaborations 

This successful collaboration between both countries was on display at the Netherlands – Moldova  Business Forum, which took place on October 4 and 5 in Chişinău.

Business leaders, innovators, and policymakers came together, forging connections, and laying the groundwork for transformative and strategic partnerships. At the forefront of this economic evolution is the dynamic partnership between Moldova and the Netherlands, a bond that has propelled trade volumes of  62.2 million US dollars in the first two semesters of 2023.  

The forum was a clear message to the international business community – Moldova is open, eager, and well-prepared for transformative partnerships that will redefine its economic landscape. 

Dorin Recean, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, said: “Moldova is increasingly integrating in the European Union, including the European Union market, which means that Moldova can produce products and services for the whole of Europe. In addition, we concluded this summer the free trade agreement. All this creates development opportunities for companies. Our country will continue to invest in infrastructure, energy transition and climate change adaptation, and these are great investment opportunities. Whenever the Government sees a problem, a constraint or an opportunity, we work together to solve these problems. We encourage Moldovan companies to look beyond the country or regional border.”  

Fred Duijn, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Moldova, added: “A few months ago, the Netherlands started a new initiative here, through the Embassy of the Netherlands in the Republic of Moldova. Moldova is on the path to Europe, a lot of reforms are taking place and there are a lot of initiatives to be discovered. I am proud to host this first business forum and it is a great pleasure to have representatives from the Dutch business community. I know that many of you started this initiative many years ago, you came to Moldova as real pioneers, but I see that the new generation of entrepreneurs in the Republic of Moldova is also getting closer to the Netherlands and vice versa, I know that there are many entrepreneurs from the Republic of Moldova who have already discovered the Dutch business environment. Moldova needs a thriving business environment, society needs creativity, and the Netherlands supports you on this path.”  

Moldova, a country where economic growth is on the rise 

To date, 22 bilateral agreements have been signed between Moldova and the Netherlands, spanning various crucial cooperation sectors, including agriculture, energy, IT, and labor, among others.

Within the innovative hub of Moldova IT Park – recognised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as a leading global example in the promotion and advancement of the IT ecosystem – ten companies with Dutch investments thrive. These forward-thinking enterprises are generating approximately 292.5 million Moldovan lei in revenue, with an astonishing 98 per cent earmarked for exports. 

Says Gerard Den Hartog, Engineering Manager at Railtechniek van Herwijnen: “We came to Moldova in 2006 and set out to find engineers. We selected eight students and after graduation they went to the Netherlands for a three-month training. In the meantime, we set up the office here. When they came back, everything was ready and they started working. The business went exceptionally well and we discovered more opportunities. In 2007, we decided to expand our activities, and now we offer cold calls and services for our group companies.  The newer IT companies know how Dutch companies work, they have been trained there, many Moldovan students are studying in The Netherlands, so they know how we work and how we think, they have observed our practices, which they implement in Moldova. In the face of such competition, the difference between Dutch and Moldovan business culture is barely noticeable.”  

Adds Bas Strijker, Director Operations and Finance at ADDCODE: “Our business here goes back to 2008, when we were searching for a new location. We didn’t want a two hour time zone difference from the Netherlands, so we considered Moldova and Ukraine, but we were a little bit afraid of corruption and stability, so there was Moldova, a relatively small country, but so was our business. We considered that putting up brands on the market would be much easier and we succeeded. Now, after 15 years, 80-90 per cent of the software developers in Moldova know our name, so we succeeded and we are happy to be here. The workforce is there, it’s growing. From the Government, there is a lot of focus on IT, and now Moldova IT Park is one of the big things.” 

Investing in Moldova transcends mere transactions, it involves partnerships based on trust and shared commitment to progress. The Moldovan people work tirelessly to turn ambitions into real opportunities. Companies that invest in Moldova don’t just make an acquisition, they become part of a real, thriving community where ambitions are nurtured, ideas flourish and success stories are written every day. Moldova doesn’t just welcome investments; it invites valid, revolutionary partnerships that will shape the future and redefine entire industries. 

This content has been produced in collaboration with a partner organisation through our Global Visibility Programme. Our programme helps companies boost their digital presence and strengthen the thought leadership of their experts. Find out more here.