Moldova Digital Summit 2024: Establishing Moldova as a Leading Hub for Digital Innovation in Eastern Europe

Moldova has firmly established itself as a prime destination for digital innovation in Europe, as demonstrated by the successful Moldova Digital Summit 2024, which took place from June 6-8 in Chișinău. Held under the patronage of the country’s Prime Minister and themed “Powering a 100% Digital Tomorrow”, the event marked significant announcements. These included the launch of EVO, Moldova’s one-stop shop app for all citizen-state interactions, the announcement of new business features to its national Instant Payments System, and the unveiling of its upcoming Identity Cards with an embedded qualified esignature, while also serving as a valid travel document.

Attracting over 3,000 attendees from Moldova and Europe — including countries like Romania, Latvia, Poland, France, Estonia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom — the summit underscored Moldova’s role as an emerging tech hub.

The event offered a dynamic platform for sharing insights and exploring digital transformation strategies across four pillars: government, business, skills, and infrastructure. It featured over 124 speakers from 14 countries who addressed critical areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and digital government. Notable presentations on the main stage included:              

  • Taavi Kotka – first CIO of the Estonian Government, who transformed Estonia into a digital nation – discussed how Estonia became the first country in the world where 99% of public services are digital.
  • Toju Duke – expert in artificial intelligence, author, thought leader, and founder of Diverse AI – spoke about how to approach artificial intelligence responsibly within an ethical legal framework.
  • Louise Beaumont – senior Vice President, Global Open Banking & Open Finance at Mastercard, shared her extensive experience and offered fresh insights on building on digitalization to deliver prosperity through open banking and open finance.
  • Steve Jarrett – Chief Data and AI Officer at Orange – joined Moldova Digital Summit to talk about artificial intelligence at scale.
  • Nina Jankowicz – co-founder and CEO of The American Sunlight Project – talked about the struggle to separate truth from manipulation in an information-saturated world and how we can stand up to the information war.
  • Rein Lang – Former Member of the Parliament of Estonia and Former Minister of Justice of Estonia – spoke about how the political leadership shapes tomorrow’s digital governance.
  • Andrew Wrobel – founding partner of Emerging Europe, the largest global tech community – shared insights on foreign direct investments, export strategies for the UK market and other countries, digital transformation, technology, and innovation.

The EXPO Zone, divided into four areas focused on Research and Innovation, Digitalization in GOV, Corporate, Startups and Investment, with a dedicated Startup Alley, showcased cutting-edge technologies, innovation and over 20 local startups, providing a fertile ground for forging international partnerships and investment opportunities.

Highlighting its commitment to digital excellence, Moldova unveiled several key initiatives at the Summit:

  • EVO app, set to become the one-stop solution for all digital public services, presented by Dumitru Alaiba, the Minister of Economic Development and Digitalization, immediately became the country’s top productivity app on app stores, with over 24,000 downloads.
  • New Digital Identity Cards, set to be released in 2025 as valid travel documents for all Moldovans, featuring an embedded digital signature.
  • MIA Instant Payments, the hit p2p transfer system presented new features for individuals and businesses alike, set for release starting July 2024.
  • Moldova IT Investment Guide, aiming to attract foreign investments and bolster the IT sector, developed in collaboration with Emerging Europe.
  • Presentation of the Digital Europe Program, which opens up access to significant European funds for Moldova in four areas: high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, advanced digital skills, and optimal use of digital technologies.
  • Memorandum of Understanding signed between “Moldova Innovation Technology Park (MITP)” and “Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP)” from the United Arab Emirates.

Moldova’s strategic location and innovative digital policies are positioning it as a leader in digital transformation in Europe. The country’s integration into the European Union’s Digital Single Market and its proactive approaches to IT education and digital public services exemplify its aspirations to become a fully digital state by 2030.

Moldova – a model for a fully digital state

Moldova is rapidly establishing itself as a model for digital governance. With over 60% of its public services already digitized and a goal to increase this to 75% by year’s end, Moldova demonstrates a strong commitment to debureaucratization. In 2023, reforms eliminated barriers equivalent to 0.5% of GDP, with further reductions planned for 2024. These efforts have earned Moldova the 60th place in the Global Innovation Index. Additionally, Moldova debuted at 118th out of 193 countries in the Global Soft Power Index, reflecting its growing cultural, social, and economic influence on the global stage.

Moldova presents itself as a compelling investment destination, offering a unique European fiscal model that supports profit reinvestment and business growth. The extension of the Moldova Innovation Technology Park until 2035, maintaining a single tax rate of 7%, creates a stable and predictable environment that is attractive to tech investors. Moreover, recent reforms in limited liability company regulations enhance entrepreneurial freedom and enable more efficient business management.

Moldova Digital Summit 2024 has set the benchmark for digital transformation events in the region and is organized by the Ministry of Economic Development and Digitalization in partnership with the National Association of ICT Companies (ATIC), with support from Moldova’s eGovernance Agency, Moldova Innovation Technology Park, Invest Moldova Agency, Tekwill, Startup Moldova, Technovator, and the Moldovan Technical University.