A national business agenda (NBA) is a vital tool for the business community to encourage investment and stimulate business activity and economic growth. Developing an agenda mobilizes the business community to use its skills to effect public policy reform by setting legislative and regulatory priorities and clearly communicating them to policymakers. CIPE actively participates in helping business organizations develop their own national business agendas. CIPE’s NBA Guidebook highlights several case studies that serve as representative examples of this work. During those NBA processes, CIPE experts equipped and empowered local organizations to mobilize stakeholders, lead working groups and roundtables, and engage in public-private dialogue. This case study serves as addendum to the NBA Guidebook.
Read the NBA Guidebook in English here: https://www.cipe.org/wp-content/uploads/2006/06/NBAGuidebook.pdf
After Moldova gained independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, its economy remained very concentrated, with a few state-controlled companies dominating the landscape and little to no independent private sector. More than half of the Moldovan economy was regulated by institutions that had significant interests in the business sectors they oversaw.
These state-owned companies largely continued the economic policies from the Soviet time. They had no real competition because they benefited greatly from the protection of government officials who had vested interests in them. As a result, there was no level playing field for private companies. In addition, this system of privileging state companies fueled a cycle of systemic corruption in the country, where lack of transparency and using corrupt channels to buy the loyalty of politicians became the norm.
Ultimately, the broad-based Moldovan private sector was not included in the policymaking debate and only a select few state-controlled companies dictated the country’s economic policies. As long as this system continued to prevail, Moldova could never realize its full economic potential as a market-based economy.
After the collapse of the semi-authoritarian rule by the Communist party in the 2009 parliamentary elections, Moldova shifted course towards integration with the European Union (EU) and instituted a set of democratic and market-oriented economic reforms. Seizing upon this opportunity, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) focused its strategy on helping the country succeed in its democratic transformation by supporting the private sector to start taking a proactive role in the decision-making process to ensure the government delivered on its promises. CIPE partnered with the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDSI), a Moldovan economic think tank, to foster a culture of public-private dialogue (PPD) that would encourage greater transparency and inclusiveness in the policymaking process. With support from CIPE, IDSI successfully built a network of private sector organizations, known as the National Business Agenda (NBA) Network, to advocate the implementation of pro-growth economic policies.