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Economy

Participate in the 6th edition of Moldova Business Week and get to know more about the Moldovan business environment

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Moldova Business Week is the biggest national economic event outlining the policies, reforms, trends and success stories of the investment climate of Moldova, being designed to create a network to benefit from all the business opportunities in Moldova.

This is how the event is presented on the official website. It will be conducted between November 13-15 at the Palace of the Republic (Maria Cebotari street, 16) and on November 16th at the Tekwill Centre (Studenților street, 9/11).

This year program includes an agenda dedicated to Moldova’s strategic sectors like ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) & BPO (Business Process Outsourcing), Agrifood, Tourism and Green Energy, as well as Creative industries and Cinema Production. For the first time, the 4th edition of Moldova Automotive Days will be held during Moldova Business Week, having a focus on Mechatronics, Clusterisation and Research & Development.

On November 15th, the ProExport Forum will be conducted, which will allow local companies to increase the know-how regarding qualitative exports and establish a useful business network. On November 16th, the annual “Moldova in Fashion” Conference will refresh the business trends in the fashion industry.

More than 1000 national and international leaders and business partners are expected to be present at the event, which is organised by the Investment Agency in collaboration with the development partners and the associative environment. Moreover, over 100 local speakers and 26 international speakers from 15 other countries will discuss the opportunities and challenges of the strategic and niche sectors.

The scope of Moldova Business Week 2019 is to promote the business environment in Moldova as one based on sustainable economic growth, friendly fiscal system and open attitude towards establishing transparent commercial relations with partners around the world.

Moldova Business Week will start with panels dedicated to key reforms to improve the investment climate, progress and challenges of foreign investors, followed by individual B2B discussion sessions.

The 4-days-agenda of Moldova Business Week 2019 can be found here.

Access to the conference is free, based on a prior registration on the official page of the event between October 10th and November 10th, 2019.

Moldova is ranked 48th in the Ease of doing business ranking, according to the World Bank Group report on Doing Business 2020. The rank shows where are the regions with easiest to do business in the world. In 2017, Moldova had the 44th place in the ranking, same as in 2018.

Among the states that are ahead of the Republic of Moldova regarding the ease of doing business are Slovakia, Belgium and Armenia, Moldova being followed by Belarus, Montenegro and Croatia.

Doing Business is a valuable tool used by governments, businesses and potential investors to assess the evolution of business environment in a certain country.

Source: Doing Business 2020 Report

Photo: invest.gov.md

Tourism

Six countryside guesthouses from Moldova that are worth visiting

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Rural tourism is very popular nowadays. It is practised even in such small countries as Moldova, where one can travel and stay in a traditional style guesthouse or inn. They usually offer accommodation services, restaurants, spa, swimming pools, rent a bike, excursions’ services, etc.

Six of countryside guesthouses from the Republic of Moldova have been certified and became a part of the common CerTour network formed of 12 countries in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean areas. Here are the guesthouses:

1. Eco Resort Butuceni

source: pensiuneabutuceni.md

The inn is located in a picturesque place in Butuceni village, being classified as a 3-star guesthouse. The interior and exterior decoration of the buildings is adapted to the rustic style. In 2004, first houses were purchased, which were restored, refurbished and opened for accommodation in 2007. Nowadays, there is also a spa centre, a craft centre, conference rooms, swimming pools, a pond for fishing and a concert space.

source: pensiuneabutuceni.md

The houses have specific architectural elements of the Old Orhei ethnographic area. Thus, some houses contain local elements of decoration, local crafts, furniture, fabrics and everyday items with a great cultural value. The natural drinks and local dishes are served in clay dishes, being prepared using natural ingredients from old traditional recipes.

2. Casa din Luncă

source: casadinlunca.com

The guesthouse was built by the Benzing family in May 2002, in the village of Trebujeni near Old Orhei. It was the first guesthouse of its kind in the Republic of Moldova.

It is classified, according to national standards, as a 3-star guesthouse and consists of two courtyard houses. The area in the yards includes three pavilions, a playground, swings, a swimming pool and a Russian sauna.

source: casadinlunca.com

The guesthouse is an ecological residence, choosing to reduce all types of pollution (chemical, biological, visual, olfactory or sound ones). The efficient use of energy resources is a priority for the staff and clients. Hot water is obtained by using batteries to accumulate solar energy. The heating of the rooms is ensured by the heating system with wood and biomass. The illumination of the territory is mainly done with solar lamps. The guesthouse has an ecological container for the collection of household waste, located in a specially designed space. There is also an autonomous system for capturing and evacuating rainwater.

3. Casa Verde

One of the pioneers in the field of rural tourism was the guest house “Casa Verde”  built in 2001. It is a complex of 3 traditional houses where such traditions as painting Easter eggs is preserved and promoted. This craft is practised by several women from Trebujeni.

The guest house also includes a restaurant where a wide range of fresh, traditional, authentic food can be served or even prepared by visitors, along with non-alcoholic beverages (fresh compote, juices, herbal tea), as well as alcoholic beverages (homemade wines, brandy, sour cherries liquor).

4. Vila Roz

source: vilaroz.com

The countryside guest house was opened in 2011, in Trebujeni, after the reconstruction of the owner’s parent house. The guesthouses’s doors are open all year long, offering accommodation services in two buildings. The terrace is decorated with Moldovan carpets, table covers and other decor elements made by local craftsmen.

The guest house’s kitchen is specialised in traditional dishes, prepared from vegetables grown in the own garden and bought from local farmers. The most famous local dishes are the biscuits in the form of roses and the home-made roses jam.

source: vilaroz.com

5. Fata Morgana

source: fatamorgana.md

The inn is located in Molovata village, Dubasari district. It was opened for visitors in 2012 and accommodates them during the warm season of the year, as well as during the winter holidays. It was designed and built in accordance with local architectural traditions, using traditional materials: stone, wood, clay and reed.

The complex is formed of a big house and small bungalows for relaxation and fishing, as well as a summer terrace and the wine cellar that are decorated with traditional elements such as clay pots, traditional towels, wagon wheels, etc.

The menu of the local restaurant includes traditional dishes like crabs boiled in butter, accompanied by homemade wine and cvas.

6. Hanul lui Hanganu

source: hanulhanganu.md

The guesthouse is located in Lalova, Rezina district. It started its activity in 2006, offering, at that time, accommodation services in two rooms, meal and leisure. Now it represents a set of rooms built in rustic style: walls of clay, roof covered with ceramic tiles, furniture made of natural wood and woollen carpets.

source: hanulhanganu.md

The general objective of the CerTour project is to promote rural tourism in the partner regions and to improve the quality of the offered services by introducing a common quality standard and a certification process. The guesthouses receive certification for a number of criteria: proximity to cities, security, traditional products for sale, sustainable use of natural resources, minimal impact on the environment and others.

Information source: the catalogue of certified guesthouses in the Republic of Moldova

This text is a translation. The original article can be found here.

Photo: pensiuneabutuceni.md

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Economy

The Chicu government was criticised for its intention to introduce taxes on digital giants. Expert’s opinion

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The Government of Moldova led by Ion Chicu was criticised for the proposal of Ministry of Finance, made after the draft state budget for 2020 was made public, to oblige multinational digital companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Netflix or Airbnb to register legal entities in Moldova and pay VAT on the revenues they earn from Moldovan users.

However, “going alone against the companies that rake in colossal revenues by any standards can undermine the efficiency of the whole enterprise and even affect our relationship with the United States,” it is opinated in a study, which has Vladislav Kaim, the member of the UNCTAD Youth Network and a master student in Economics at Lund University, as the author.

According to the Ministry of Finance estimations, such measures of taxation would bring additional 100 million lei in the state budget. Still, the experts community, political opposition and public reacted rather sceptically and, as a result, the Government had to postpone the entering of the decision in force from 1 January to 1 April, as it is mentioned in the study.

In the context of a union-wide digital services tax, which is aimed to be implemented by the EU in 2020, but also the disagreements between countries with different interests, “Moldova as a small market with no current stake in the future of digital economy even more so cannot afford to act unilaterally,” claimed Kaim.

“The presence of Google, Facebook and other digital giants in the life of Moldovans is ubiquitous. Thus, it is the duty of the government to make sure that our citizens get a fair deal from it, but unilateral measures imposed by a small and one of the poorest countries in Europe against the behemoths who thrive on effects of scale an global reach have a very limited potential of achieving that. Their potential impact on our relationship with the US should also be considered.”

The expert suggested two more strategies for the Moldovan government to choose from, instead of going alone against digital giants without leverage. First, to delay the adoption of the new tax until January 1, 2021, until the EU would establish a permanent solution. “Thus, the Moldovan digital taxation regime will match the one of the biggest single market in the world, which can generate beneficial spillover effects in other spheres – for example, a faster obtaining of the GDPR adequacy decision,” Vladislav Kaim claimed.

In case the executive wants to adopt a more proactive and regional strategy, it could come up with an initiative of a joint Eastern Partnership task force on digital taxation, comprised of representatives of the ministries of economy, fiscal bodies and antitrust regulators. “Aiming for an EaP wide digital service tax in coordination with the processes in the EU will likely be supported by the office of Margrethe Vestager, the vice-president of the European Commission whose mandate lies in this sphere,” specified the author of the study.

The study was produced within the project “Fostering the Adoption and Implementation of Key Reforms”, implemented with the support of National Endowment for Democracy and Watch Dog Moldova.

Photo: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images

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Economy

Expert-Grup: economic forecasts for Moldova in 2020

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The experts from the Expert-Grup Independent Analytical Centre have given the forecasts for the Moldovan economy in the year 2020. According to them, the bank fraud will still affect the economy of the Republic of Moldova in 2020, along with this year’s presidential elections and the adopted budgetary policy.

In 2020, the biggest challenge for the economy of the Republic of Moldova will represent the expansionary budgetary policy, which includes a budget deficit of over 3% of GDP and has unclear funding sources.

The analysts emphasised that the risk is related to the increased amount of the possible loans taken by the Government from the commercial banks. “Before elections, governments usually focus on increased budgetary spending with unclear financial coverage and this year is no exception. In the context of worsening relations with development partners, including with the International Monetary Fund, the Government could more intensely resort to domestic loans taken from commercial banks. This will hit the economy again because the banks will prefer to credit the Government rather than the real sector, affecting the investment activity and the economic growth,” stated the Executive Director of the Expert-Grup Centre, Adrian Lupuşor, for Ziarul de Gardă.

Another important challenge is the electoral context, namely the presidential elections that create a high level of uncertainty and instability, the Expert-Grup representatives said. “That is the main fear of an investor, especially in such countries as Moldova. This means that during the election period the level of uncertainty is high and it is risky for someone to invest. This affects the activity of the enterprises, the creation of jobs and the general economic growth. […] These factors create risks for the macro-financial stabilisation,” Lupușor said.

The Moldovan bank fraud scandal, which occurred in 2014, will still affect the economic development of the country in 2020. “In 2018, the Republic of Moldova experienced a shameful evolution in investigations related to the bank fraud. Now that we have a new leadership in the General Prosecutor’s Office, we have certain expectations again,” the expert claimed.

Still, experts of the centre said that  there are no premises for a possible crisis in the foreign exchange market of the Republic of Moldova, even though there will be certain trends with pressures on the national currency in the new year. “They are about reducing exports, remittances, foreign assistance and foreign direct investment. All of it will put pressure on the balance of payments, because the main sources that ensure the inflow of foreign currency in the country will be affected. Still, the National Bank has sufficient foreign exchange reserves to avoid excessive fluctuations in the exchange rate and to face the economic challenges mentioned above,” explained Lupușor.

The Expert-Grup Independent Analytical Centre noted, in a press release, that among the most important challenges for 2020 are the planned budget deficit for 2020, a low capacity to implement public investments with external financing, supplying the country with natural gas, ensuring the legal and decision independence of the National Bank, investigating fraud in the banking sector, but also the worrying developments in the labour market.

Photo: expert-grup.org

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