The project focuses on providing practical and useful information to both businesses and citizens of the Republic of Moldova about the opportunities available through the free trade agreement with the EU, how the challenges involved can be overcome and the financial and other support available from a wide range of sources.
The project works closely with a wide range of partners – including relevant government ministries and agencies, local governments, business and sectoral associations, representatives of civil society, media and other donor-funded projects – to ensure their full participation in activities and straightforward, coherent communications about the agreement.
- Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure
- Organization for Development Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (ODIMM)
- The Moldovan Investment Agency
Over the course of two years, the EU-funded Visibility and Communication for AA/DCFTA Project has assessed the current situation of AA/DCFTA implementation in the Republic of Moldova and targeted areas where the Project could provide communication and visibility enhancements through building information and communication platforms. Together with the key beneficiary of the Project, the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure, and the stakeholders of AA/DCFTA, the Project team analysed the progress, impact and concrete results of AA/DCFTA implementation, optimised visibility for these results and redesigned some of the communication platforms and tools to increase awareness and understanding of the trade agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova among both the business community and the general public. A national opinion survey (1,800 respondents, January-February 2018) was conducted at the start of the Project to assess the level of awareness and perceptions of AA/DCFTA of the public at large and also specific target groups/regions (including Gagauzia). The results were presented to and discussed with beneficiaries and representatives of the EU Delegation, based on which plans and content for 3 National Public Awareness-raising Campaigns were formulated. The campaigns targeted raising visibility for the progress of AA/DCFTA after 4 and 5 years of implementation and the impact for the everyday life of citizens through integrated communications: public events, international conference, information materials, video spots and other channels. Progress in DCFTA implementation was measured in 2 analyses prepared by a think-thank (Expert-Grup).
Under the platform ‘Created in Moldova, Appreciated Worldwide”, the benefits of implementation of DCFTA have been explained and showcased for the public and for the Republic of Moldova, such as creating jobs, the chance to remain at home with families, earn better salaries, better choice and access to safer, quality products. The campaigns have showcased a series of success stories, people who have built successful businesses in the Republic of Moldova, adopted international standards and European norms, export and also offer local consumers high-quality products. 15 videos were produced showcasing success stories of Moldovan business people taking advantage of DCFTA provisions, services offered to businesses (ODIMM) and the overall impact of DCFTA for economic development of the country. Over 1,7 million were reached by TV spots in the first two campaigns and almost 1 million during the third campaign. Over 2 million people were reached online (by video, articles and banners). Success stories and information on the achievements of DCFTA have been published on the most popular web portals in the Republic of Moldova.
In-depth qualitative research was carried out with businesses and opinion-formers (January-March 2018, 8 regional focus groups and 35 in-depth interviews) to identify businesses’ needs for information and support relating to DCFTA and what they need to do to take advantage of opportunities under DCFTA. The results were used to create the portfolio of information, help services and mechanisms to assist businesses within the online portal and the 3 phases of “Info Business: Ask the Expert” regional tours and seminars.
The information collected during the activities above was packaged into a series of 7 practical Mini Guides for businesses (Guide to DCFTA for businesses, Steps to Improve Competitiveness, Exporting to EU, Customs Requirements, Sources of Financial Assistance, Food Safety and Sanitary/Phytosanitary Standards, Rules of Origin), presentations/training materials for events, video tutorials on practical steps, video answers to Frequently Asked Questions, Advice/”how to” factsheets and infographics.
A mobile platform was created, “Info Business: Ask the Expert”, to provide services, advice and training to businesses to increase their level of understanding and enable participation in DCFTA. Over 1,350 participants attended “Info Business: Ask the Expert” seminars.
Other events for businesses included the launch of the “Export Morning” Programme with the Agency for Investment Promotion on opportunities in specific EU markets (Romania, Poland, Bulgaria) and a seminar for businesses in Transnistria on opportunities and requirements for trading with the EU. 56 events were organised under the Project.
The EU4Business.md/DCFTA online platform was created, including practical information explaining the benefits of DCFTA for businesses (both for local producers and increasing the attractiveness of the Republic of Moldova for foreign investors), guides on how to export, customs procedures, other provisions of DCFTA; simplified materials: infographics, video tutorials and video Q&As produced in collaboration with the responsible institutions; articles about progress, perspectives and the status of implementation of particular DCFTA provisions.