Italy and Moldova have established close ties, both culturally and economically. Enrico Nunziata, Italy’s Ambassador to Moldova, discusses trade between the two countries and highlights Moldova’s attractions for Italian and other foreign investors.
European Times: What is the relationship between Moldova and Italy?
Enrico Nunziata: Italy is Moldova’s third-biggest export market after Russia and Romania and its fourth-biggest source of imports. Moldova’s exports to Italy totalled around 7.7% of the country’s exports, while Moldova’s imports from Italy totalled around 6.2% of total imports. Over 1,000 Italian companies are operating in Moldova, including Exim Bank and Cedacri International. Italy accounts for 13% of Moldova’s FDI and is the country’s top investor in equity capital. In addition, around 150,000 Moldovans live in Italy. Italy is also supporting a number of cultural projects in Moldova. An Italian delegation recently visited Moldova to discuss projects for Italian specialists to help restore historic landmarks here. The two countries continue to forge new ties, and travel between them is getting easier thanks to new air-travel connections.
European Times: Which sectors are Italian investors targeting in Moldova?
Enrico Nunziata: Italian investors are present in many sectors, from manufacturing to call centres and financial services. A significant new Italian investment is a plant to produce electrical cables, which will open in the Balti free zone by the end of this year. This company, like many Italian companies in Moldova, aims to manufacture products to be exported to Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and other eastern markets. In another example of cooperation, the Confederation of the Italian Manufacturing Industry and Private Enterprises of Florence (Confimpresafirenze) and the Scientific-Practical Institute of Biotechnologies and Veterinary Medicine for a project concerning livestock production.
European Times: What are some new investment opportunities being created in Moldova?
Enrico Nunziata: Italian investors are increasingly looking into possibilities in Moldova in business services, municipal services, food-processing and packaging, and renewable energy, to give some examples. In general, investors in larger projects have fewer challenges. The Italian embassy organizes an investment forum in Moldova every year and the Moldovan government is a big supporter of this initiative. Moldova’s pavilion at Expo Milano in 2015 will showcase Moldova’s investment attractions. This will be a wonderful occasion for Moldova to show its economic potential to the world.
European Times: What is your personal message to potential investors?
Enrico Nunziata: Moldova has proven that it can produce goods and services which meet EU standards. Investing in Moldova benefits the local population and brings profits for investors.