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Gaining a better understanding of German business culture: Partnering in Business with Germany celebrates 15 years of cooperation with Moldova

On 26 April, Partnering in Business with Germany and its long-standing implementing partner, the Moldovan Chamber of Industry and Commerce, celebrated 15 years of cooperation. 

More than 100 former participants in the programme as well as representatives of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the German Embassy in Chişinău and the Balti Free Economic Zone came together in the Moldovan capital Chişinău for this occasion. They discussed economic trends and their potential for business cooperation between German and Moldovan companies.

Olga Bejenaru, a Ph.D. in economics and a former participant in Partnering in Business with Germany, found in her own analysis of German-Moldovan economic relations that there are positive trends for cooperation between the two countries, especially in food processing, energy and imports/exports (of everyday products, particularly foodstuffs). According to estimates made by the International Trade Centre in 2023, Germany is the country with the highest potential demand for Moldovan (dried) fruit.

From left to right: Chirica, Buschmann, Di Leonardo, Bejenaru, Ciobanu ©GIZ/Pink Frog Media

Alexander Di Leonardo, President of the German-Moldovan Business Association, highlighted how Partnering in Business with Germany, a programme devised by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action as part of its policy to promote foreign trade and investment, supports German-Moldovan economic relations. “I consider the programme to be important, because it helps many young Moldovans understand how German firms work and do business. Over the past 15 years we have seen just how important this programme is for Moldova, because it has given rise to many good partnerships between German and Moldovan firms and new companies have been established in Moldova as a result of this. These are propelling the country forward in a way that also benefits the German economy, as a new sales market is being created.”

 

The Republic of Moldova is an EU accession candidate. The country offers tax privileges for IT companies, thus providing incentives for foreign investors. This means that IT parks benefit from tax privileges that allow German companies/customers to access low-cost IT services online from the country’s booming IT sector. Moldova is also showcasing itself as an attractive site for manufacturing, complete with a talent pool eager to work for international companies. German companies investing in Moldova will find skilled workers in the country. Also, many Moldovan companies in the agricultural sector have increasingly been looking to find new trading partners in Germany ever since the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine destroyed their traditional trading relations with Russia and Ukraine.

From left to right: Bostan, Bulgaru, Ghereg, Moderatorin Bucataru, Perkin ©GIZ/Pink Frog Media

Networking between Moldovan and German companies works well, and this was visible during the celebrations: former participants in the programme presented their cooperation projects and discussed them, for instance with Phillip Willner, managing director of Moldova’s German-language business association. Mr Willner has been living in Chişinău since 2020. He is the co-founder of a proptech company. He was very interested in the presentation given by former participant in the programme Anton Perkin, Managing Director of the FusionWorks IT company. Perkin’s firm offers various IT services and German customers generate 45% of his turnover. They agreed right on the spot to have a meeting soon to explore potential business opportunities. Perkin said, in summary of the celebrations: “Today’s event is very important as it allowed us to meet many Moldovan alumni of Partnering in Business with Germany who took part in the programme in other years and to present our companies to potential German partners in our country. The networking event offered outstanding opportunities for matchmaking. After the event, we immediately engaged into talks to get cooperation within Moldova off the ground.”

Markus Weichert, BMWK ©GIZ/Pink Frog Media
Entrepreneur Mihai Bostan is convinced of the programme's success ©GIZ/Pink Frog Media
Former programme participants from different years ©GIZ/Pink Frog Media
Moderator Oxana Gusarova ©GIZ/Pink Frog Media
©GIZ/Pink Frog Media
©GIZ/Pink Frog Media
©GIZ/Pink Frog Media
©GIZ/Pink Frog Media