Moldova Structural Reform Program (MSRP)
Nathan implemented the USAID-funded Moldova Structural Reform Program, a four-and-a-half-year, $11.17 million project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), that strengthened Moldova’s business and trade enabling environment through a flexible, demand-driven approach. The project concluded early 2022 and was followed on by the Moldova Institutional and Structural Reforms Activity (May 2022-current).
Nathan’s work divided into three (3) components:
➡ Component 1: Improving Moldova’s Compliance and Implementation with International Trade Agreements
Nathan provided technical support in establishing the Moldova Trade Information Portal (M-TIP), online platform that aggregates and integrates Moldova’s regulatory information related to external trade and related data, as well as digitizing and centralizing Moldova’s Authorized Economic Operator (AE) program, and facilitating paperless cross-border trade by integrating the eTIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) -EPD (Electronic Pre-Declaration) into Moldova’s customs system. On a demand-driven basis, the Program also provided nimble and responsive analytical support to trade initiatives that came before the Economic Council and other fora within core of the WTO TFA, Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTA) and related implementation action plans approved by the Government.
➡ Component 2: Improving Moldova’s Business Enabling Environment through Structural Reforms
Improving the country’s business enabling environment through structural reforms
Nathan supported MoEI with implementation of its Action Plan for Regulatory Strategy, contributing technical assistance toward application of the Standard Cost Model for determining the administrative burden on businesses imposed by major fields of regulation, making recommendations for reducing administrative costs, and provided technical assistance in developing sectorial risk criteria within inspection reforms. MSRP supported drafts for government regulations on framework methodology for conducting risk-based inspections as well as organization of dispute resolution councils, and administered capacity-building training programs for civil servants focused on regulatory issues.
➡ Component 3: Establishing and Managing a Trade Corridor Enhancement Fund
Nathan undertook a comprehensive logistical and administrative analysis of Moldova’s trade corridors to identify and understand constraints to trading across borders. The Trade Corridor Assessment (TCA) team conducted interviews with shippers, transporters, and freight forwarders, among others, to collect quantitative and qualitative data regarding corridor performance in terms of cost, time, and reliability. Preliminary TCA produced a report briefly describing the context of Moldova’s trade corridors (trade composition, trade routes, transport and logistics institutional framework, and transport and logistics infrastructure), presenting preliminary findings and set the framework for the Full TCA. The Full TCA incorporated a full review of the performance of Moldova’s trade corridors including multimodal, road, and rail routes and established a baseline diagnostic for MSRP’s areas of subsequent trade-focused activity. The report identified needs for institutional and regulatory improvements and made a total of 31 detailed recommendations to address them. These recommendations specified action items for both public and private sectors, outlined timeframes for implementation, calculated potential impact, and identified opportunities for public-private partnerships (PPPs).
Across these Project components, Nathan emphasized cutting bureaucratic red tape and supporting a a fairer, streamlined regulatory system that optimizes its use of information technology and web-based applications. The Program also established Moldova’s first functioning, accessible, FTA-compliant trade portal and information repository.
MSRP worked in close cooperation with Government of Moldova (GoM) counterparts, including the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure (MoEI), Financial Market Regulators, the Customs Service of Moldova (MCS), as well as a wide variety of external stakeholders to improve policies, regulations, institutions, and processes in support of sustained and inclusive economic growth in Moldova.