29
Fri, May
65 New Articles

The Buzz in Moldova: Interview with Daniel Cobzac of Cobzac & Partners

The Buzz in Moldova: Interview with Daniel Cobzac of Cobzac & Partners

Moldova
Tools
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

“The end of 2019 has marked the end of the Sandu Cabinet — led by former Prime Minister Maia Sandu — and the takeover of the Prime Minister position by Ion Chicu,” says Daniel Cobzac, Managing Partner at Cobzac & Partners in Chisinau. “The Socialist Party now has its largest representation ever, and it was able to appoint one of their own to the Prime Minister’s position.”

According to Cobzac, “the other seats are reserved for the Democratic Party, which at this point is going through a tough period.” According to him, “a couple of their representatives have recently left the Party, stating that they ‘disagree with the Party’s policies.’ They currently have 22 seats, while the Socialists hold 37 seats. Thus, together both parties hold the majority with 59.”

Cobzac reports that the Moldovan Parliament voted in a few new legal procedures, including, most notably, one related to preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism. “The legislation itself existed since 2017,” he explains, “but there was no mechanism of control by the state’s institutions. These new laws were made to regulate the procedure, and were very welcome.” Nonetheless, Cobzac reports being dissatisfied with how strict the laws are, as they provide for “very large fines for entities who are obliged to monitor deals, but also every other actor involved in the deal.” He admits that many “still have no idea how this will eventually play out in practice.”

Although he reports some chaos following the end of the Democratic Party’s Government, Cobzac says that “the political situation in 2020 is improving,” which he describes “a good sign for Western partners, as the new Prime Minister sympathizes with Russian Federation and makes attempts to improve relations with both the EU and USA.”

Still, he says, “the newly-appointed Government will try to attract foreign investment, but personally, I am not optimistic.”

But there’s another opportunity for change coming soon, Cobzac points out, noting that the upcoming Presidential election, which is set to take place in the fall, is now the hottest topic in Moldova. “Multiple promises were made, and while remaining skeptical, we hope some of them will actually come true.”

Ultimately, Cobzac says, “our Western partners have already given us signs that they will not carry on with the investment plans and will cease cooperation if major reform in the judicial sector doesn’t happen soon.” He reports that the previous Government started working on some of those reforms, but those efforts tailed off. “It is time to continue walking down this path. Otherwise, we might find ourselves without any funding in the future. Isolation was, and still is, our biggest fear.”