Prime Minister Filat, its a pleasure to be here with you, along with Foreign Minister Leanca and the members of the Moldovan delegation.
And, many thanks to CSIS for hosting us here today.
We will gather at the State Department tomorrow to sign a $262 million compact between Moldova and the Millennium Challenge Corporation. This is a milestone program to reduce poverty by investing in agriculture and transportation.
It is an agreement between the United States and Moldova. It is an agreement by and for the people of Moldova to create opportunities for growth and prosperity.
We are excited to sign the Moldova-MCC compact. Yet, the real proof of the compacts success depends on what happens after it is signed. Our sights must be set on implementing the compact and preparing for the future. Let me share a few thoughts on this.Looking ahead, the compacts success requires full and transparent implementation. It requires the hard work to translate the promise of the compact into actions that matter to the people of Moldova. Successful implementation builds on three key factors.
First, sound policies matter. Moldovans qualified for their MCC grant, in the first place, because of the policies they pursued to further good governance, fight corruption, expand economic freedom, and invest in health and education.
A commitment like this must continue now, with the same determination. MCC is a performance-based model for awarding development assistance. We cannot ignoreor set asidewhat we know for sure: Growth flourishes when good policies take root. And, a policy climate that fosters growth must continue as Moldova moves forward with implementing its MCC compact.
Second, country leadership matters. Moldovans worked together to develop their compact. They must do the same to implement it. Civil society, the donor communityincluding our friends at USAIDand the private sector played a key role in defining the compacts agricultural and transport projects. Now, their ongoing engagement is necessary for implementing these projects. MCC does not do the work for partner countries, nor tell them in which sectors to invest. Rather, our partners build their own capacity to lead their own development efforts. This will deliver the results and build the sustainability Moldovans are expecting. And, this will also prove to American taxpayers that our investment in Moldova is well-placed.
And, third, the private sector matters. Rehabilitating irrigation systems, helping farmers diversify into high-value agriculture, and building modern and safe roads to markets create new opportunities for the private sector. I invite entrepreneurs, producers, agriculture service providers, and farming enterprises to explore how their businesses can benefit from the compact. Removing obstacles and creating incentives for the private sector canand shouldhappen alongside our efforts to move more Moldovans above the poverty line.
Policies that mean growth, leadership that builds homegrown capacity, and opportunities that engage the private sector will contribute to the success of Moldovas MCC compact. We must continue to work together to realize success in Moldova as partners for opportunity. We must deliver results that will improve the lives of Moldovas poor and that will open new opportunities for innovation, growth, and investment. This will increase the standard of living for Moldovans, today and well into the future. This is what Moldovans want. This is what our partnership through Moldovas MCC compact must deliver. We at MCC are committed to this course, and we welcome working closely with all of you who share our commitment.
With those comments, it is now my privilege and honor to introduce and yield the podium to His Excellency Vladimir Filat, the Prime Minister of Moldova. Mr. Prime Minister