President of Chamber of Commerce and Industry says Moldova to be able to increase national economy, capacity of native companies to be competitive on market only through investments
16:10 | 26.05.2023 Category: Interview, Event
President of Moldova’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Sergiu Harea has given an interview exclusively with the MOLDPRES State News Agency on topical subjects, promotion of native products in international markets and the holding of the Moldovan Business Gala in next summer.
MOLDPRES: In the 2023 year, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry will organize 50 fairs and exhibitions both in Moldova and abroad. What other activities do you plan to carry out this year, in order to support economic agents from Moldova in the promotion of native products?
Sergiu Harea: In next summer, we will mark the 105th anniversary of the setting up of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI). The Chamber’s activity has a century-old history and during these years, we have tried to support and promote the native companies which develop business in Moldova. The most known activities of the Chamber deal with the promotion of the business on the domestic and external markets. The exhibition sector is quite important for us. It was not in vain that we this year approved a plan of 50 exhibition activities. Following the pandemic period and subsequently following the unleashing of the war in Ukraine, practically during three years, the exhibition activity was in a break in Moldova. We tried to organize virtual exhibitions, but they are not so interesting for the consumers. In these conditions, there is an imminent request on behalf of economic agents to get to consumers and show what they managed to do on the pandemic period on the local market and on the international one. We managed to plan the organization of five exhibitions in the neighbour state Romania. We launch the Bookfest exhibition activity in Chisinau and afterwards we will get prepared for the exhibition in the agro-food sector, Indagra food, staged in Bucharest. Other fields on which CCI’s work is focused begin from the promotion of exports and attraction of investments, bilateral meetings, business forums, promotion of companies, training specialists, organization of activities of promotion of foreign companies willing to invest in our country. CCI practically daily carries out activities of backing and promoting native entrepreneurs.
MOLDPRES: In the end of the last week, CCI organized the exhibition, Republic of Moldova Presents, in Cluj, Romania. How the native producers were met by consumers from Romania and which are the most demanded Moldovan products on the Romanian market?
Sergiu Harea: In 2016, CCI came up with an initiative of exhibitions, Republic of Moldova Presents, in Romania. The first event was organized in Iasi in the same year. Subsequently, we ruled to extend ourselves and with the support of county Chambers, we managed organize such events in Ploiesti, Brasov, Baia Mare. At the same time, there were more requests to go to Cluj as well, given that we have an extraordinary Diaspora in this region. In this year, we went to Cluj for the first time ever and benefited from the opportunity to participate in the City’s Days. Twenty two companies participated in the exhibition, which promoted native products, alcoholic beverages, cooling drinks, dried fruits, oils, pastry products. We were surprised by the openness and interest of the Cluj citizens in our products. There were a lot of visitors and at the same time, our producers got more offers to sign cooperation contracts with foreign entrepreneurs. After each exhibition which we organized in cities from Romania, deliveries of products from Moldova to this market were launched, which essentially contributes to the development of the native companies, as the market from Romania is pretty competitive and the Moldovan products are quite demanded beyond the Prut river. Romania is our principal commercial partner, as well as a bridge for the European markets, with over 500 million consumers. There were exhibitions also in Ukraine and Belarus with the Republic of Moldova Presents stand.
MOLDPRES: After the success in Cluj, the Republic of Moldova Presents will come to Brasov in next June, as well as in other cities of Romania. What novelties will the events of this year bring for consumers from Romania and do you plan similar exhibitions in other countries?
Sergiu Harea: The next exhibition will be held in Brasov, where we have earlier been twice. For the first time ever, a wine festival will be organized at the exhibition this year. At the same time, tastings of Moldovan products and a small concert of people’s ensembles from our country will take place. Entrepreneurs from various sectors of the national economy can submit the acts on participation in the event till 31 May this year. We plan to have over 60 companies on the Council Square – a central place, where there are visitors not only from Romania, but also from other countries of the world. We have requests also from other counties to organize such events, but we do not manage to go everywhere, as the possibilities of our entrepreneurs are also not so great, so as to be able to weekly or monthly go to an exhibition abroad. We try to find also other opportunities for other markets, to go with native producers within topic-related exhibitions, such as the ones for wine-makers. For instance, we will go to Green week, in Germany, next year, in the fruits and vegetables sector. We have up to ten contracts signed between sides to organize the events abroad, which represent a good thing, as our companies return from there confident that they can invest in Moldova and increase the exports.
MOLDPRES: The Moldovan Business Gala will be organized in next June in Chisinau, during which the winners of the Trademark of the Year and the Prize for achievements in the quality sector will be announced. How many entrepreneurs have submitted their files on participation in this contest?
Sergiu Harea: We are happy with the fact that entrepreneurs are interested in promoting the brands, trademarks, as well as with the fact that they invest in the quality of their products and services. This year, we have a number of 110 companies which submitted 16 nominations to the Trademark of the Year contest and 45 applications for the Prize for achievements in the quality sector. The number of files submitted is by about 10 per cent larger than in the year before at both contests. Over 200 native companies will participate in the Moldovan Business Gala. We have clear-cut goals: we emphasize the investments in intellectual property and in quality, as once we are on the global market, it is important that we persevere in quality. The European products are quite ‘’spoiled,’’ everybody pursues the quality. The European consumers are attentive to what they consume and then the investment in quality is the one which matters. During years, 1,800 trademarks were promoted and backed by CCI, due to the Trademark of the Year contest and more than 500 companies have taken part in the contest, Prize for achievements in the quality sector, so far.
MOLDPRES: What international practices might the economic agents from Moldova take over, in order to enhance the competitiveness of the native products on foreign markets?
Sergiu Harea: We organize exhibitions with the participation of entrepreneurs from Moldova abroad practically weekly. Last week, we were in Italy and Turkey with a team of up to ten entrepreneurs, who were able to discover novelties from the field of economic activity in Europe. At the same time, this week, we organized an event dedicated to the Italian design in Moldova, titled, Bridges and streets’ infrastructure, and we also had a meeting with a delegation from Azerbaijan. During these events, entrepreneurs take over the best practices, including the possibility to import advanced technologies, in order to meet the competitiveness. The competition is extremely big on the EU market and one should always come up with novelties here, with diminution of costs, with a higher labour productivity, as well as with traditional national nuances. It is not in vain that the government and we insist on investments in certain sectors, such as the processing, IT field, economy’s industrialization, as only in this way we will be able to increase the national economy, as well as the native companies’ capacity to be competitive on market. These international experiences bring value added to our companies. I encourage the companies to be active in the promotion of their interests, as well as to invest in something new, which is to highlight the native products. We hope that once the negotiations on Moldova’s accession to the European Union start, we will have a lot of programmes on support for all branches of the national economy. We must prepare as early as now for being able to turn to good account the opportunities and possibilities provided by EU.
MOLDPRES: Mr. Sergiu Harea, thank you for the kindness to give this interview with our agency.