Economic Conditions of Foreign Country
Economic Conditions of a Country
Moldova — Youth Unemployment and Technological Development and Capacity within the Economy
One of the most critical concerns of the current Work Bank is the high rate of youth unemployment in South Eastern Europe. This phenomenon of high youth unemployment, it is feared, will lead to a state of increasing instability across the region. More and more young people in this region are aimless in life, and grow up without being instituted in an appropriate ‘work culture.’ Either they will emigrate, depleting their nations of young employees, or become drains on the economy. These countries are also afflicted by low birth rates, which will continue to create a diminished labor force.
Development of cost-effective active labor market programs must be complemented by youth programs,” states the World Bank. Essential to these programs are loans from the Bank that promotes skills development and cultural activities, as well as community engagement and participation. “Such programs should also involve all the concerned ethnic groups so as to contribute to the broader goal of social cohesion.” (World Bank, 2003, “Youth Inclusion and Empowerment in South Eastern Europe Study.”)
As a part of such programs, “amongst others, the SDI-SEE has supported the preparation of stand-alone LILs for youth at-risk in FYR Macedonia and Moldova. (World Bank, 2003, “Youth Inclusion and Empowerment in South Eastern Europe Study.”) Because of the World Bank’s stated interest and the concern, Moldova and its youth unemployment was selected as the country in question to study. Moldova’s economy, although still in a relatively new stage of development has data tables regarding its economic status because of the World Bank’s concern about this particular issue. Furthermore, it was postulated that technological development must also be studied and encouraged in consort with youth unemployment
One reason to consider is level of technological exposure and literacy in the population overall, is that it is directly correlated to the skill level of a young workforce. It gives a ‘clue’ as to how much preparation the young population has for the demands of the global, technologically forward marketplace. In Moldova’s case, according to the World Bank Data Tables, in a 4.3 million population, as of 2003, only 60, 0000 Internet uses existed in the country in 2002. The one statistic that makes this lack of technological connection and literacy potentially less dire is that only 11,000 users were connected in 2001. Thus, this aspect of ‘connectedness’ is increasing, as is foreign aid and investment to Moldova, from 75.5 million dollars to 93.5 million dollars in 2003. However, high technology exports decreased in Moldova from 3.1 to 2.3% of the local economy. Also, data is not being compiled regarding levels of completing primary or secondary education by the country. (“Moldova,” 2003, Country Profile Data Table)
The trend thus is greater investment in the country of Moldova, perhaps partly out of world concerns about regional instability. But as yet these investments have not yielded appreciable dividends in terms of creating more technological exports from the nation. Individuals seem more technologically connected in their personal lives, but this has not increased the rate of employment, specifically youth employment, nor is there data being kept on youth employment in expanding sectors of technologically oriented industries that require education and possess more of a long-standing future than traditional modalities of employment. The country does, however, have low levels of illiteracy, which shows that potential does exist to develop the young sector of the labor economy. There is little difference between male and female literacy, an indicator that women are not discriminated against in education, an important factor in foreseeing an integrated internationally-focused workforce in the future of the nation. (“Moldova,” 2003, Country Profile Data Table)
As a member of the World Bank, an institution than lends money to countries with an interest on increasing youth employment in a sector of the economy with potential growth, the Bank can look favorably on the fact that more Moldovan individuals are making use of the Internet and technology in their lives. However the limited growth overall of the economy and particularly the technical sector of the economy casts doubt upon the long-standing potential taxing power of the government, as well as its ability to maintain and foster such economic growth.
As a country, Moldova’s GDP growth rate has fluctuated from 1.7 to 1.5 to 1.6 billion dollars. The overall trend in its growth, as well as its inflation and unemployment rates has thus been constant, although not encouraging. What is least encouraging about Moldova’s statistics is that the population overall is declining, rather than increasing, showing a lack of forward-thinking, or future planning for a family and a professional career on a long-standing basis on the part of the youth sector. Coupled with the high youth unemployment rate, this is particularly discouraging.
As a developing economy, the application of the Classical Model is perhaps more effectively to the Moldavian example. “Moldova is now the poorest nation in Europe, after starting out at independence in 1991 as a middle income country. Its GDP per capita is significantly below the average for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Central European countries. Moldova suffered one of the deepest economic declines in the CIS after independence in 1991. The loss of traditional trade linkages and payments, and the traumatic terms of trade shock resulted in considerable economic disruption as domestic prices adjusted to international levels. Real GDP growth declined by around 10% per year on average until 2000. Living standards fell sharply, poverty increased, and the quality of social services deteriorated.” But “the economy started to grow in 1997 as a result of macroeconomic stabilization and structural reforms.” Note, “64% of the poor live in the rural areas. The poor have also been hurt by the erosion of education, health and other public services,” and a high rate of emigration and a low birth rate continue. But the country has responded well to aid, as “increased private consumption, fueled by large workers’ remittances, contributed to an acceleration of GDP growth from 2.1 in 2000, to 6.1 in 2001, and 7.2% in 2002. Inflation fell from 39% in 1999 to a single digit rate of 4.4% at the end of 2002. Capital inflows, such as workers’ remittances and foreign direct investments, have also helped stabilize the exchange rate to 36% of its 1997 level.” (“Moldova Country Brief, 2003)
Thus, the overall portrait emerges is discouraging in the immediate present, but perhaps slightly more encouraging when one considers how far the nation has come. Clearly, the nation has potential. With continued, but carefully managed and targeted support to address the specific problem of unemployment, emigration, and migration amongst the young, the future of Moldova is not as dismal as it seemed in the early 1990s.
Moldova Country Brief.” (2003). World Bank Website. Retrieved on March 8, 2004 at http://lnweb18.worldbank.org/ECA/eca.nsf/ExtECADocbyUnid/ED6B6063A1E08A3585256D5D00684811?Opendocument
Moldova.” (2003). Country Profile Data Table. World Bank Website. Retrieved on March 8, 2004 at http://devdata.worldbank.org/external/CPProfile.asp?SelectedCountry=MDA&CCODE=MDA&CNAME=MoldovA&PTYPE=CP
World Bank. (2003). “Youth Inclusion and Empowerment in South Eastern Europe Study.” Retrieved on March 8, 2004 at http://lnweb18.worldbank.org/ECA/ECSSD.nsf/0/b615ea4e0090f71485256d2d006cdea5?OpenDocument
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