Moldova stands as a frontrunner in the realm of digitalisation in Central and Eastern Europe, with a noteworthy accomplishment of 40% of public services catering to the general population, particularly entrepreneurs, being readily accessible online. Upholding this momentum, the Government of Moldova is determined to amplify the range of public services available to citizens, aiming to double their quantity within the next year. To establish Moldova as an authentic hub for digital advancement and innovation in Central and Eastern Europe, a multifaceted platform is being developed. This platform will grant access to vital technological resources, expertise, and know-how while fostering collaboration and investment prospects.
The recent Moldova Digital Summit, a momentous occasion dedicated to Moldova’s digital transformation and technological innovations, attracted a sizeable gathering of 2,500 participants from 30 countries. This esteemed event boasted an impressive roster of 68 speakers, including renowned experts and leaders from the realms of technology and business.
The theme of the event, “Evolve towards a Borderless Future,” demonstrates the direction in which Moldova is heading, influenced by global trends. At the forefront of the summit’s presentations, panels, roundtables, and workshops was the Artificial Intelligence session, featuring speakers from renowned technology companies such as Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Orange, Pentalog, and forward-thinking individuals from UC Berkeley.
The G2C borders were also challenged to disappear through the launch of the Moldova Government super app “EVO,” developed by the eGovernance Agency with support from international donors, primarily USAID, Sweden, UKaid, the World Bank, and UNDP. This super app will grant Moldovans access to all public services at their fingertips and fundamentally transform the connection between citizens and the state, reducing bureaucracy, corruption, and waiting time. Additionally, the eGovernance Agency of Moldova signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Digital Transformation with Romania. This document serves as a roadmap for developing a common digital space between the two countries, consolidating a shared digital infrastructure for electronic public services, facilitating investments, and fostering innovative entrepreneurship in the fields of information technology and cybersecurity.
The first day of the summit culminated in the inaugural Moldova Innovation Awards, a celebration of creativity and technological innovation. The grand ceremony underscored the tremendous potential of Moldova’s tech and creative sectors. With over 55 applications from 41 tech and creative companies in Moldova, the awards successfully highlighted the transformative work being undertaken by Moldova’s tech community to revolutionise the future of digital solutions.
The Moldova Digital Summit proved to be an excellent occasion to showcase the industry’s achievements and their importance for economic development. As of 2022, the ICT sector has recorded the highest growth rate among all sectors of the economy, surpassing 45%, and employs 3% of the active population. It has a significant contribution of approximately 7.4% to the country’s GDP, accounting for 11% of the country’s exports valued at over USD 500 million. Consequently, it remains one of the priority development sectors for the Government of the Republic of Moldova.
These achievements were made possible due to the IT infrastructure and a facilitative business and legal environment. For instance, Moldova has access to high-speed internet, ranking 6th for the lowest fixed broadband costs, enjoying 100% mobile network coverage and ranking 6th in broadband accessibility worldwide. At the regional level, Moldova offers the most attractive business incentives, such as a single tax of 7% on turnover within the Moldova Innovation and Technology Park (MITP) – a virtual park that combines EU best practices and simplifies bureaucratic procedures. To date, MITP has attracted 1600 residents, including IT companies from 38 countries. Furthermore, thanks to the platform provided by MITP, which received the “Global Challenge Winner” award in 2019, Moldova continues to advance its digitalization and e-Governance efforts, fostering ongoing dialogue about interoperability to create a unified digital space and address challenges that hinder widespread adoption of these strategies.
These key features are now complemented by opportunities for remote work for MITP residents’ employees, an IT Visa for hiring talent outside Moldova, as well as the recently approved “contactless business” legislative package, which reduces the burden and physical presence requirements for business founders in the country.
As the Moldova Digital Summit 2023 draws to a close, it is evident that the achievements of the Moldovan IT sector have propelled the country to new heights in the technology industry. However, Moldova offers much more than just a thriving IT sector. With its world-renowned wines and Guinness World Record-bearing wine cellars, it captivates visitors with a taste of unrivalled excellence. The untouched landscapes, unspoiled by mass tourism, provide a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts seeking to immerse themselves in breathtaking beauty. Moreover, the warm hospitality of the locals creates an inviting atmosphere, combined with an abundance of creative talent and a vibrant startup, innovation, and creative ecosystem. Moldova truly stands as a multifaceted gem, ready to welcome the world with open arms and endless opportunities for collaboration, growth, and exploration.
About Moldova Digital Summit
The “Moldova Digital Summit” serves as a prominent event within Moldova’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry. This summit acts as an effective platform for dialogue among stakeholders in the digital sector, aiming to harness technology’s potential in addressing the nation’s most intricate challenges. The event is organised by the Moldovan Association of ICT Companies under the auspices of the Prime Minister and financed by USAID, the Governments of Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, and the EU Delegation. Other international and local partners, including GIZ Moldova, Moldova Invest Agency, AmCham, Orange, Helvetas, and UNDP, have also made substantial contributions to the event.