Four clusters in Cahul and Ungheni regions benefit from grants of €100,000 each, and 19 entrepreneurs from both regions received grants from €14,000 to €24,000 each, as part of “EU4Moldova: Focal Regions” programme, financed by the European Union and implemented by UNDP and UNICEF.
The financial assistance provided to clusters and the private sector will enable purchase of equipment, goods, works, and services, all these contributing to job creation and higher investment attractiveness of the regions.
“The assistance provided by the European Union to the Ungheni and Cahul regions of Moldova make them more attractive to locals, tourists and investors who establish companies here. The recent grant competitions, organised as part of the ‘EU4Moldova: Focal Regions’ programme, for Small and Medium Enterprises and for Clusters have attracted more than 100 applications, demonstrating increased interest from entrepreneurs from both regions to invest and develop their business, which will create new jobs and new opportunities for economic growth of the regions. I encourage the private sector, the civil society and the local authorities from both regions to keep the momentum and to stay actively involved in the process of transforming Ungheni and Cahul into prosperous regions, which will have an important role to play given the current status of Moldova as EU candidate country,” said Jānis Mažeiks, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova during the grants certificates awarding ceremony.
“We acknowledge the local business community from Ungheni and Cahul, who have strongly weathered all health, security, energy, and economic challenges during these critical times. I am impressed by the tenacity and courage of the business leaders from these two regions who kept their spirits and determination high to either develop new business, grow the existing ones, or build new forms of partnerships. With this programme we are committed continue developing the economies of the regions, create new jobs, and attract investment,” said Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.
The non-reimbursable assistance for the clusters in Cahul and Ungheni aims to promoting and supporting the spirit of cooperation between urban and rural businesses.
Berries Group Association, which brings together five strawberry producers in Ungheni, is one of the beneficiaries of grants. The producers manage about 40-50 ha of land in the villages of Sculeni and Petrești, Ungheni district. The €100,000 grant and their own contribution will be invested in the construction of a 100-kw photovoltaic plant to produce electricity from renewable resources.
“Once we become energy independent, we will be able to reduce the expenses for pumping irrigation water, as well as for fruit pre-cooling and cold storage. This will both contribute to the development of the Moldovan agricultural sector and ensure a higher energy independence of the country, which is such a pressing issue now,” says Zinaida Plămădeala, director of Berries Group Association.
Besides clusters, seven existing companies and 12 start-ups in Cahul and Ungheni regions will benefit from EU financial support. A wide range of businesses are supported: agriculture, tourism, pastry, tailoring, construction materials etc.
Overall, the 19 businesses will create over 74 new permanent and seasonal jobs in Cahul and Ungheni regions. The grant programme will also be accompanied by free mentoring and training activities to boost the entrepreneurial culture of the focal regions.
CAHULPAN JSC, local producer of bakery, pastries, confectionery, and non-alcoholic beverages in the municipality of Cahul, is one of the beneficiaries of grants. The company received a grant of €24,000 to upgrade its bakery unit.
“Thanks to ‘EU4Moldova: Focal Regions’ programme, we will make the first step in our company’s upgrading, by purchasing two ultramodern ovens. Thus, the EU financial support will have a beneficial impact on more than 180 company’s employees, as well as on the residents of the South region of Moldova,” says Vadim Culidobri, Director of CAHULPAN JSC.
The grants offered for supporting private sector in Cahul and Ungheni regions during 2020-2024 as part of the “EU4Moldova: Focal Regions” programme amount to approx. €1.7 million. The total value of the grants benefiting clusters in the Cahul and Ungheni regions are of € 800,000.
The grants certificates awarding ceremony took place during “Discover the regions of Cahul and Ungheni” National Forum, aiming to promoting the economic and touristic potential of Cahul and Ungheni regions and to improving the local and international perception of the focal regions, as two of the most dynamic regions of the Republic of Moldova.