The Government of the Republic of Moldova has been devoting significant policy efforts over the past years fostering private-sector development, including the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The OECD has been supporting this work through successive projects on SME policies, carried out in close co-operation with the Ministry of Economy and other public and private stakeholders involved.

The Republic of Moldova (Moldova hereafter) has made digitalisation a policy priority. The country is currently preparing its Digital Transformation Strategy 2023-2030. This new policy document will emphasise the topic of digital literacy as well as digital business skills, with a view to improving private-sector competitiveness. In support of these efforts, the OECD launched a new project on promoting digital business skills in Moldova on 15 February 2022. This work builds on OECD expertise on digitalisation policies, including the regional report Beyond COVID-19: Advancing Digital Business Transformation in the Eastern Partner Countries, launched in November 2021. Throughout 2022, the OECD provided guidance to Moldova on how to build a conducive ecosystem and set the right policies to further advance the development and uptake of digital business skills among its SME population.

To this end, the OECD carried out desk research and fact-finding exercises with local stakeholders and international experts, analysed the current state of play, and eventually suggested policy options. Three working group meetings, gathering senior policy makers from Moldova, private sector representatives and international practitioners and experts from OECD countries, as well as EU and OECD representatives, have also fed into the report. The project also benefitted from very valuable inputs from a designated senior expert on digitalisation issues from the Government of Latvia, Mr Kaspars Nesterovs as lead reviewer.

This report summarises the main findings and provides policy options to 1) strengthen the institutional and policy framework for digital skills; 2) improve digital skills assessments and anticipation, in order to better understand digital skills needs and develop tailored policies; and 3) step up support to help firms acquire digital skills through training activities and targeted measures to tackle barriers to SMEs’ digital skills development.

This work stream was implemented within the framework of “EU4Business: From Policies to Action – Phase 2” in the Eastern Partnership, with the financial support of the European Union (EU). The project was co-financed by Romania.

This peer review note served as a basis for discussion at the Peer Review of Moldova at the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Roundtable on 15 March 2023.

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