Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
After the economic recession of 2009, Moldova’s economy grew on average by 4.5 per cent annually, which is in line with the average levels of other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, but slightly higher than the Central European countries. Despite this growth, the economy did not enhance its capacity to create jobs – the employment rate hovered at around 38–40 per cent, being one of the lowest in the region. Additionally, the labour productivity remained low, especially in agriculture – a key sector that employs about one third of the labour force. As a result, wages remained among the lowest in the region, pushing the labour-force to migrate and depriving the country of one of its most valuable resources – human capital. These constraints became more pressing given the expected slow down in economic growth in the upcoming years (despite the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts, according to which the GDP of Moldova will grow, on average, by about 3 per cent per year by 2020).
Given the focus of the 2030 Agenda on people, the economic growth needs to be more sustainable and inclusive, in order to generate a meaningful impact on human development. Thus, SDG 8 addresses the needs of women and men, youth, disabled, and labour migrants and envisages the key instruments and mechanisms for achieving people-centred economic growth: labour productivity as a key means to increase real wages, along with competitiveness, business diversification and innovation; jobs that are decent, well-paid and equally paid, secure and formal; as well as a robust financial sector for larger access to financing. Higher resource efficiency in production and consumption, which aims to decouple the economic growth from environmental degradation, will make economic prosperity and jobs generation environmentally sustainable.