Sweden grants over US$4.5 million for enhancing export capacities of entrepreneurs from both banks of the Nistru river

Crina Dumitriu
PNUD Moldova

Over the next three years, the business environment on both banks of the Nistru river will continue to benefit from assistance in concluding trade partnerships, increasing competitiveness and developing export capacities. Sweden offers a new funding of $4,567,044.

These funds are provided in the framework of the AdTrade project, which is implemented since December 2018 by UNDP, with the financial support of Sweden and from the summer of is funded as well by the United Kingdom. The new phase of the project was launched at the conference "Advanced
cross-river capacities for trade", organized in Chisinau on 14 December 2022. 

We appreciate the support of the development partners of the Republic of Moldova for enabling opportunities for innovative and competitive entrepreneurs on both banks of the Nistru to improve business partnerships and restore the common economic and commercial space, said Oleg Serebrian, Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration of the Republic of Moldova.

“After seeing the excellent results of the ‘Advanced cross-river capacities for trade’ so far, we are confident that the SMEs community on both banks of the Nistru river has the potential to continue growing. Sweden remains a committed partner in supporting the business environment and promoting exports to the EU and beyond. We are pleased to announce that a cooperation agreement has already been signed with UNDP and Sweden will continue to support the ‘Advanced cross-river capacities for trade’ for the next three years,” said Katarina Fried, Ambassador of Sweden to the Republic of Moldova.

The assistance provided by Sweden will contribute to the improvement of the business environment and the regulatory and institutional framework for the integration of exporters from the left bank of the Nistru river into the foreign trade of the Republic of Moldova. At least 70 companies will benefit from certification and export promotion assistance, out of which 40 companies will improve their competitiveness thanks to the infrastructure provided through the four clusters created. The additional funding will enable the development of 40 more businesses and creating of at least 200 jobs on both banks of the Nistru river.
“Since June 2021, the United Kingdom, along with Sweden, has been supporting the UNDP project ‘Advanced cross-river capacities for trade’, known as AdTrade. By the end of 2023, the United Kingdom will invest £1 million in the project. AdTrade will help entrepreneurs from both banks of the Nistru river to become more competitive on export markets, particularly in the European Union and the UK,” said Steven Mark Fisher, UK Ambassador to Moldova.

Since December 2018, the AdTrade project has conducted a series of innovative interventions to expand the access of the enterprises from the left bank to the export promotion mechanisms available on the right bank and ensure their sustainable further development. So far, more than 1,700 representatives of companies and business associations from both banks of the Nistru river have improved their capacities to benefit from the opportunities of foreign trade agreements and have been guided to access new markets. 140 companies received assistance for digitalization or identification of markets and, as a result, concluded 45 contracts and increased exports by 8%.

With the support of Sweden and the UK, more than 240 jobs were created and 1,411 were maintained in the context of the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 74 entrepreneurs received business development grants, including 37 run by women.

“I am very pleased by the results achieved by the project, particularly in the area on women economic empowerment, both in term of new jobs created, new businesses, but also professional development opportunities, including for refugees. The project has greatly contributed to cross-river exchange of information, knowledge, experience, but also to the improvement of business climate and strengthened public-private dialogue on both banks,” said Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.

Other results achieved so far within the UNDP/AdTrade project were presented at the conference. Thus, 7 agri-food processing units were equipped with photovoltaic systems and state-of-art equipment, and 36 companies increased their competitiveness and export potential by applying innovative technologies.
At the same time, 7 business associations from both banks of the Nistru river strengthened their capacities and created partnerships. Also, with the help of the
project, the first social entrepreneurship platform on the left bank of the Nistru river was created, and 100 people were trained on how to start a social business.

The AdTrade project brought the professions of the future closer to the girls from Tiraspol and the villages of Copanca and Cremenciug, by renovating two specialized classrooms for 150 girls. The “Advanced cross-river capacities for trade” conference was followed by an exhibition of products of more than 20 beneficiaries of the AdTrade project from both banks of the Nistru river. The financial assistance provided by the UK and Sweden will contribute to increasing
the export capacities of companies from both banks, creating more jobs, especially for women and people from socially vulnerable groups, which will improve the living conditions of residents on both banks of the Nistru.

Crina Dumitriu

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