MIEPO Will Open Exporter Academy To Boost Regional Development in Moldova
The North Regional Forum is the first forum organized in Edineț, in late November, which has succeeded to bring together more than 400 participants from 11 districts from the northern part of the country; representatives of the Ministry for Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment; of the Customs Service; the Fiscal Service; the National Food Safety Agency; the Agency for Interventions and Payments in Agriculture. The event also attracted representatives of ODIMM, CCI, ADR Nord, who were available to pick up questions from local companies, local investors, active enterprises, producers and exporters, funding parties, business associations.
At the opening of the Forum, MIEPO director-general Vitalie Zaharia said that the organizers intended to expand the Moldova Business Week platform onto the regions, along with solutions for the business community regarding the access to finance, attraction of investments, competitiveness and export growth. It also seeks to transmit the Government’s messages for the local public authorities to synchronize their activities to the business reforms and to bow an ear to entrepreneurs’ pleas.
Exporter Training Academy
MIEPO announced that in early 2018 it would be opening – in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure – an Exporter Training Academy, a support platform for the domestic business environment. The future platform would manage a number of programs for enterprises with experience in production and sales in the local market, and for enterprises engaged in export operations or planning to start exporting its own products, and thus looking for partners in the target markets for expansion.
The Academy would be endowed with a set of instruments to motivate economic patriotism, to increase the attractiveness of entrepreneurship in districts and to encourage local businesses; most of these instruments have been used in practice already. One such instrument is the training of local public authorities (LPAs) in economic management and their participation in public-private partnerships, Zaharia stated. The understanding by local functionaries what business needs and how to manage correctly the relationships with entrepreneurs is a major step towards increasing the attractiveness of small and medium-sized communities, he underlined.
Another measure that helps create regional opportunities is reducing the bureaucratic burden of legal procedures for registration, customs clearance, and reporting. The majority of these procedures may be carried out at the district offices of the competent public services, with no need to travel to the capital or other municipalities with administrative leverage.
”There are many entrepreneurs and producers in the regions who need to be supported, advised, and promoted.
In this regard, MIEPO and other autonomous agencies will collect opinions and reactions from business people and PLAs about the reforms which the Government implements in the business regulatory field, eventually for evaluation and adjustment in case of necessity. Also, MIEPO will collect feedback about the reduction of permissive acts, verifications, and reports, and will submit the findings to the Government for a performance assessment, the organization’s director said.
Public funds for development
MIEPO, along with other governmental agencies, has called the entrepreneurs from the northern zone of Moldova to take part in the training courses on business administration, and learn the laws and procedures for export operations. An effective instrument is the participation in international fairs and exhibitions in various parts of the world, where Moldovan companies would tie direct linkages with foreign buyers. The expenses related to the rent of showroom, delivery of samples, and advertising of Moldovan products will be covered by the government, and this fact enhances the interaction with potential buyers and also helps exporters to set out direct shipping routes, Mr. Zaharia said at the forum.
Of same importance are the economic missions and study visits which MIEPO, the Moldovan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and other agencies organize for entrepreneurs who want to learn the best practices and advanced technologies in various fields, especially in agriculture and processing industry. The persons who need guidance shall receive free consultancy from MIEPO specialists about the inception or business development plans, for any producing sector, export destination, or type of services, the official assured.
The efforts aimed to persuade the locals – in particular migrants and young people – about the importance of investing in the communities they came from are backed up with activities designed to attract foreign investors in the regions. To achieve this goal, MIEPO has published investment guides per industry and specific zones, which can be downloaded from the organization’s official website. At present its specialists are drafting a guidebook with investment opportunities for each of the three regions, including the North Development Region, which will embody the main economic references and statistical information about the 14 districts that are part of the respective region. The guidebooks will be also shared via the Moldovan embassies which will thus participate in the Government’s new economic diplomacy.
In the same context, MIEPO and other competent agencies will soon launch a single register of Moldovan producers, exporters, and service providers, which will see the light in several languages for investors looking for partners in Moldova. This document too will be available for download from the websites of MIEPO and other public authorities. It will bring together detailed information about firms and services, and investment offers from the Government. The register will also cover information about foreign companies outside the free economic zones and industrial parks.
Furthermore, MIEPO is working now on a catalogue of investment projects that are being drafted or are in progress, both in the public sector and in the private sector, including the PPPs between the authorities and business entities.
A map of regional opportunities
The participants at the forum were particularly interested in an innovative project of MIEPO to produce a map of regional and local opportunities. It would include the brown-field and green-field locations, transportation, public utilities, business incubators, relevant training centers and academic institutions, labor and service providers, natural resources and others.
An entrepreneur who intends to start up a business in Edinet, for example, will be able to analyze a wide range of information about the district and its settlements, and later he will be able to take an informed and balanced decision, Zaharia explained. The map will also let investors calculate the real costs of production and eventually export operations.
The participants in the forum said they were satisfied with the information they received at the event and one of them found a similarity between MIEPO’s action plan and the activities of a USAID-funded agricultural competitiveness project, which completed two years ago.
”I observe that the authorities launched a large campaign for business support of enterprise in the rural medium. It reminds me of the ACED program in 2011-2015, which I had been part of as a beneficiary. The specialists of that program used to school Moldovan producers and helped them with training and innovation to become exporters. I hope that our government will succeed to repeat ACED’s successes,” entrepreneur Vladimir Gamureac said.
The North Regional Economic Forum was organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure and the Moldovan Association of Business People. The event gathered around 400 participants including local entrepreneurs; producers and exporters; funding parties; PLA representatives; business associations (Moldovan Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Moldovan-Italian Chamber of Commerce), and autonomous public agencies (ODIMM, AIPA, ANSA, ADR Nord).