With the June 2014 ratification of the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the European Union, Moldova is poised to benefit from duty-free access to some of the world’s most prosperous markets. The Moldova Competitiveness Project (MCP) — formerly known as the Competitiveness Enhancement through Workforce Development and Innovation project (CE-WIN) — aims to maximize these economic benefits. Funded by USAID and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), MCP works to improve the quality of Moldovan products and services to help the country’s private sector participate more in the European Union and other higher-value markets. The project, implemented by Chemonics, works in partnership with J.E. Austin Associates and the Bhavana World Project.
MCP works in a variety of industries, including wine and tourism, apparel and accessories, and information and communications technology. The project primarily invests in workforce development initiatives to promote development of skills that Moldovan businesses need. Activities also build demand for Moldovan products domestically and internationally by promoting market links and supporting Moldovan brands. Another large part of the project involves facilitating collaboration between the public and private sectors to increase investment and improve the business environment.
MCP follows two predecessor Competitiveness Enhancement and Economic Development projects in Moldova, known as CEED and CEED II. These programs also approached competitiveness by focusing on productivity, trade, and investment. By using a value chain approach, CEED and CEED II set the foundation on which MCP builds.