EU FUNDED INITIATIVE TO SUPPORT UP TO 75 MOLDOVAN COMPANIES IN DEVELOPING THEIR EXPORT CAPACITIES TO THE EU MARKET

Call for Application Announcement

WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?

For the past 3 years, the EU has almost completely opened its market for tariff-free imports from the Republic of Moldova. This has provided a great opportunity for Moldovan companies, although not every company is aware of how they can benefit from it. Therefore, the EU is funding a package of support for some Moldovan companies, to help them understand more about how they can benefit from this, and can gain greater access to the EU marketplace. This package will be delivered through a technical assistance project (Support to the Quality Infrastructure Framework within a DCFTA (Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area) Context in the Republic of Moldova), which is funded by the European Union, and implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure.

WHICH COMPANIES CAN BENEFIT FROM THIS?

Up to 75 companies will be selected from those who express an interest. Almost any company can apply: companies that are already exporting to the EU but want to learn more about how they can build on their success through a better understanding of the regulations; companies who are thinking about exporting but may not know how to make a start, and think that the regulations may be too complicated for them to overcome. In essence, any company which is aiming to become more competitive through expanding its activities into the European marketplace.

ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS FOR THE COMPANIES WISHING TO APPLY?

There are several conditions which need to be fulfilled.

Companies applying for the support package must satisfy all of the following requirements:

  • Be privately owned, active, and registered in Moldova;
  • Have no overdue taxes to the national public budget;
  • Not be involved in any on-going bankruptcy procedures;
  • Have no operational losses during the last completed financial year (2017);
  • Have been over 3 years in active operation.

Note: All of these criteria must be fulfilled. If one of them is not met, the application will not be approved.

ARE THERE ANY COMPANIES/ACTIVITIES WHICH WOULD BE INELIGIBLE?

Yes. There are a number of activities which are thought to be inappropriate for this kind of support. These are (in alphabetic order):

  • Administrative services;
  • Alcoholic beverages production (with over 15% content of alcohol);
  • Casino and any other gambling & betting activities;
  • Construction works;
  • Education;
  • Electricity/gas production/distribution (including heating, hot water and air conditioning);
  • Financial and insurance activities;
  • Health and social services;
  • Immoral or illegal activities;
  • Public administration and defence;
  • Real estate;
  • Re-exporting
  • Stock-market activities;
  • Tobacco production;
  • Transport and storage;
  • Water distribution; garbage collection; decontamination;
  • Weapons and ammunition production (including explosives and pyrotechnical products);
  • Wholesale and retail trade.

WHAT IS THIS SUPPORT PACKAGE ABOUT?

The support packahe is about providing just as much information to each company as that company needs, in order to benefit from the opening up of the European marketplace. Different companies will have different needs because they have had different levels of experience. A team of national and international experts will work with each company (in-house training) and agree an individually tailored programme. The eventual programme will take the form of a combination of workshops, round tables, and face-to-face discussions. For some companies, maybe attending some thematic workshops on issues such as EU Regulations and Directives will be enough; others may need help to design an export-focussed Marketing Plan, including an understanding of the cost implications and taking into account the practical realities of the company itself. The package will try to avoid the idea that ’one size fits all’. The sort of topics we think may be relevant, although these can be added to, once we start to work more closely with the selected companies and understand their specific needs:

·         .Assessing how ready you are to realise your export ideas (this may take the form of a company diagnosis for companies not yet exporting but with plans to do so, to work out what you may need to do/change if you are to be successful in your ambitions);
·         Gaining a greater understanding of how to explore market opportunities (for all companies, including those already exporting);
·         How to prepare export-specific Business/Marketing Plans (including identifying access to any relevant funding);
·         Understanding the importance of relevant EU Directives and Regulations and how they impact on exporting to the EU market;
·         (Following on from the above) gaining an understanding (through examples of Best Practice) of the importance to harmonise with those EU Directives and Regulations, and, consequently, to increase your competitiveness and your likelihood of success in exporting to the EU;
·         (Again, the next logical step might be) Preparing alignment/investment plans to be in compliance with EU requirements;
·         Understanding the benefits and implications of product diversification, including innovation and the use of new technology (this can be discussed thematically, and then further explored, confidentially, on a company by company basis if required);
·         Understanding the advantages of business clusters and other forms of collaboration (this will be a thematic workshop);
·         Understanding the process and stages involved in achieving ISO certification (again, a thematic workshop, but this can be followed by individual consultations to help individual companies kick-start the process);
·         Understanding the enabling environment for exporting companies, including how to access sources of information, support and finance (most companies would benefit from this knowledge which will be covered by one, maybe two workshops and involve a number of the business support organisations already active in Moldova);
·         Management techniques (e.g. risk management; management styles; change management; management for growth) (most companies can benefit from reflection about their current management style, and gain insight into different approaches, based, again, on best practice, to assess whether their current approach is entirely appropriate for the sort of future they would like to plan for).

This is just an outline. To the extent that our resources permit, we will try to give you the information and guidance that is specific to your individual needs.

WHEN WILL THIS BECOME AVAILABLE?

In the initial stage the 75 companies need to be selected – this is explained in the next section. This will be completed before the end of January 2019. Then contact will be established with each company, to gain initial insight into what they are looking for: this will happen during February and early March 2019. We then intend to hold a series of Information Days, arranged on a geographical basis to make it easier for companies to attend, when we will explain the programme in general, based on the feedback we have received, and agree timetables with each company. The full implementation of the package will take place over a 12 months period, starting in March 2019.

HOW MUCH TIME WILL THE COMPANY NEED TO DEDIDCATE TO THIS ACTIVITY?

This support is not full-time. Our team of experts will hold periodic discussions with you, create an Action Plan for you to work through at your own convenience, and then review progress with you at an agreed time. If, in-between specific sessions with experts you have any queries, you will be able to write to/phone the expert in order not to have to wait for what maybe important and urgent guidance.

HOW TO APPLY?

A company can apply by filling in a simple questionnaire. This is available and downloadable on the following websites:

http://www.eu4business.eu/moldova

https://mei.gov.md/en

https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/moldova_en

https://www.odimm.md

https://chamber.md

http://cnpm.md/

http://www.moldovafruct.md/ro

http://eba.md/

http://invest.gov.md/

http://apip.md/

https://riam.md/

Applications must be submitted and received before 16.00 on 14 December 2018 in order to be considered.

Applications should be submitted in writing to the following address:

Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure, Piața Marii Adunări Naționale, 1, Chișinău, MD-2033, office No. 220. (Attention Ms M.Ceresau)

We cannot accept applications via e-mail or fax.

We need you to send us copies of various documents, so each application must contain all of the following:

  • Application Form (word file to be downloaded, filled in and provided in hard copy);
  • Copy of your company Statute;
  • Copy of your company’s Annual Financial Statement for 2017;
  • Copy of the Certificate from the State Fiscal Inspectorate regarding the lack or existence of overdue taxes to the national public budget;
  • Copy of the extract from the State Registry issued by the Public Services Agency regarding the state of the company’s activity.

WHAT ABOUT CLARIFICATIONS?

Any questions and requests for clarifications will be sent, not later than 20 November 2018, via e-mail to the following address: support.quality@weglobal.org

ANY OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION?

The applications will be reviewed by a senior-ranking Committee of experts during December, and that all companies will be informed if their application has been successful by the end of January 2019.

QI DCFTA Project Team

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