ECO-BUS WEEKLY DIGEST June 22-28. Most important Economy & Business news by IPN
● TUESDAY, June 23
Public transport could be a key source of infection with COVID-19, ADEPT
MP of the parliamentary opposition Petru Frunze said the passenger transport is the most dangerous source of infection with the novel coronavirus. If the law enforcement agencies during workdays, in the morning and in the evening, examine the passenger routes serving large localities situated within 50 km from Chisinau and Bălți, they will find packed units of transport that represent a source of infection. An analytical note produced by the Association for Participatory Democracy (ADEPT) says the solution proposed by the MP is to introduce additional routes as this will enable to considerably diminish the risk of infection. Petru Frunze asked the Prosecutor General’s Office to examine the inaction of persons with responsible posts at the Ministry of Economy and Road Infrastructure in ensuring the implementation of solutions for liberalizing the passenger transport sector.
Supply and demand on currency market in May
The degree of covering the net demand for currency from business entities by the net supply of currency from private individuals in May constituted 104.1%, as opposed to 64.3% in April. According to the National Bank of Moldova, the net supply of currency from private individuals in May rose by US$ 75.8 million (+102.4%), while the net demand for currency from business entities – by US$ 28.9 million (+25.1%). The Bank intervened and bought currency totaling US$ 10 million on the local interbank market.
● WEDNESDAY, June 24
All economic activities will be resumed July 1
All the economic activities will be restarted on July 1, with small exceptions. The rehabilitation or recovery centers, the education process at general, professional and higher education institutions and the children’s summer camps and nightclubs remain suspended. A decision to this effect was taken by the National Extraordinary Commission for Public Health on June 23. It is allowed staging one-time assemblies involving at most 50 persons by observing the public health measures and by mandatorily compiling the epidemiological monitoring list of the event (by organizers). Rallies cannot be held near public and education institutions, hospitals and other places with an increased risk of infection.
Premier Energy to buy electricity from Energocom
ÎCS “Premier Energy” SRL held the tender contest for the purchase of electrical energy for the period between July 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. SA “Energocom” was designated winner after ZAO “Moldavskaya GRES” (Kuchrgan Power Station) withdrew from the competition. In a press release, Premier Energy said the competition involved three suppliers: SA “Energocom”, CAO “DTEK Pavlogradugol” and OOO “DE Trading”. ZAO “Moldavskaya GRES” withdrew officially from the competition in favor of SA “Energocom”.
Over US$130m sent to Moldova from abroad through banks
An amount totaling US$134.50 million was transferred through licensed banks in favor of private individuals in Moldova last month. The figure is by 24.6% higher on last May. Half of the transfers came from EU member states. Cash transfers from the Commonwealth of Independent states constituted 13.6%, while from other states – 36.3%. According to the National Bank of Moldova, transfers from the EU came to US$67.48 million, up 32.5% on May 2019. Owing to the Brexit, transfers from the EU in May 2020 were by US$9.66 million lower, but the transfers “from other states” rose by a similar amount.
Moldova’s exports to China at US$17.4m, potential not fully realized
China is the largest market of the world with a very large absorption capacity. Among Moldova’s trading partners, China takes the sixth position. In 2019, according to the data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics, Moldova exported goods totaling US$17.4 million to China. The World Bank, which recently carried out a study, said the supply chain disruption amid the pandemic and the recession of the main economic partners will constrain exports, director of the Investment Agency Rodica Verbeniuc stated in discussions centering on the commercial relations between Moldova and China. China’s Ambassador to Moldova Zhang Yinghong said that China has a population of 1.4 billion and thus has the largest consumption potential.
Agency for Agriculture Development and Modernization to be created
The public authority “Unit for Implementation of Agricultural Production Growth Project” will be reorganized by being transformed into the Agency for Agriculture Development and Modernization that will be a public institution. The Agency’s mission will be to manage the assets transmitted by the founder, donations and/or loans of foreign backers allocated to the Agency for management. It will facilitate the farmers’ access to modern agricultural machinery for sale-purchase, including in installments, so as to ensure the growth of competitive agri-food production by providing consultancy and expertise, training, assistance in planning businesses.
Period for importing products through eastern border extended
The period for bringing oil products through the eastern border of the Republic of Moldova was extended by six months. A decision to this effect was taken in the June 24 meeting of the Cabinet. This way, the oil products imported through the border crossing point “Novosavitskaya–Kuchurgan” could be cleared through the customs post “Bender 2” until December 31, 2020. The Reintegration Policies Bureau said the decision was taken in a move to support the business entities in Moldova’s eastern districts working in this area and to make sure that the region is supplied with oil products.
● THURSDAY, June 25
Details about economic activities that remain restricted
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection provided details about the activities that remain restricted and cannot be resumed on July 1, in accordance with the decision taken by the National Extraordinary Commission for Public Health. In a press briefing, the Ministry’s secretary of state Konstantin Rymish said that all the economic activities are resumed, but the presence of persons in groups larger than three, of persons older than 63 outside home and in public places without an urgent necessity and of children and adults at playgrounds, sports grounds and places of recreation is banned. The rehabilitation and consultative-diagnostic centers with programmed treatment will not yet work. The education process and children’s summer camps remain suspended. There will be held no sports and cultural competitions.
Economy Ministry aims to improve permissive documents issuing one-stop shop
The Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure intends to improve the process of working out and implementing the automated system for managing and issuing permissive documents for entrepreneurs. The business entities can file online an application for obtaining a permissive document at one access point. They can pay online for the service with the corporate card and can follow the stage at which the document is, secretary of state at the Ministry Lilia Palii was saying in a press briefing. Of 151 existing permissive documents, 131 documents were configured and are operational through the Electronic Permissive Documents Issuing One-Stop Shop. Only 69 documents are available online for now.
Igor Dodon: Russia will extend duty-free regime for Moldovan goods
President Igor Dodon said that Russia, at his request, agreed to extend the duty-free export regime for Moldovan goods. This means that the Moldovan fruit, vegetables, cans and wine products as of July 1 will be exported to Russia without paying customs duties. While on a working visit to Moscow, Igor Dodon said the discussions on the most important subjects of the bilateral agenda resulted in a number of agreements. “Moldova and Russia will resume the negotiations on the €200 million loan for supporting the Moldovan economy. During the next few days, the governments of the two states will agree the procedures that are to be performed in this regard,” Igor Dodon posted on Facebook.
Development of energy efficiency projects: green pact for Moldova? Debate
The European Union is a leader in the promotion of sustainable energy, environmental sustainability and combating of climate change. The Association Agreement with the EU and the projects supported within the Eastern Partnership play an important role in the common efforts for sustainable development. In the course of this year alone, the EU allocated over €800 million for EaP sustainable energy initiatives. Related issues were developed in a public debate staged by the Institute for European Policies and Reforms. The European Commission has launched an instrument designed to address the environmental challenges: reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, economic growth, etc., said Gintautas Baranauskas, the representative of the EU Delegation to Moldova. According to him, an important role in this regard is played by the common effort of the EU and EaP states. Moldova makes progress in diversifying the energy sources and in ensuring increased energy security.
● FRIDAY, June 26
Park with photovoltaic panels to be put up in Feștelița
A park with photovoltaic panels with a capacity of 300 kW will be built in Feștelița village of Ștefan Vodă district. This way, the solar energy will be transformed into electricity that will be sold in order to collect additional revenues into the local budget. The initiative is financed by the European Union through the Covenant of Mayors East that was signed by the village. In a debate organized by the Institute for European Policies and Reforms, mayor of Feștelița Nicolae Tudoreanu said the local public administration designed a plan of action that produces results owing to the sustainable energy project launched within the Eastern Partnership for the signatories of the Covenant. In partnership with the Moldova Social Innovation Fund, the local authorities applied to create a center of excellence by piloting energy efficient technologies and demonstrative renewable energy sources.
Low absorption capacity is a barrier to energy efficiency projects
The low absorption capacity of the local public authorities is one of the main barriers in the implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Practically no major successful project was implemented with own forces by the local administration, these being almost all put into practice with the foreign donors’ support. The absence of experts in the field, who should be remunerated appropriately, is another problem, said participants in a debate staged by the Institute for European Policies and Reforms. One of the projects financed by the EU, which supports the local public authorities in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy, is the Covenant of Mayors East whose, signatories implement the sustainable energy action plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020.
Five days left until launch of new version of “e-Invoice” system
The new version of the automated information system for creating and circulating electronic fiscal invoices “e-Invoice” will be put into operation on July 1 this year, the Center of Information Technology in Finance has said. The switchover will be ensured by transferring data from “e-Invoice” to the new version of the system between 00.05am and 09.00am. On June 1 this year, the Center started to test the new version of the “e-Invoice” system. The testing process now involves 224 users from 117 entities. At the start of June, the Center also launched a series of free online training courses on how to use the new version of the system, intended for private individuals. The 24 courses held so far involved over 600 specialists engaged in issuing and recording of electronic fiscal invoices, primarily from central and local public authorities.
Memorandum of Understanding between NBM and central bank of Hungary takes effect
The Memorandum of Understanding between the National Bank of Moldova and the central bank of Hungary (Magyar Nemzeti Bank) entered into force on June 22, 2020. According to the NBM, the purpose of the memorandum is to develop cooperation between the two central banks in the field of banking supervision and to ensure an efficient exchange of information in this regard. Thus, the Memorandum of Understanding will facilitate the performance of banking supervision functions and will contribute to maintaining financial stability.
● SATURDAY, June 27
Alexandru Slusari asks to question a number of officials over grain subject
Deputy Parliament Speaker Alexandru Slusari requested to question representatives of the National Food Safety Agency and the Ministry of Aeroculture and Regional Development over the situation on the first group grains market in the next meeting of the parliamentary commission on agriculture and food industry. According to the MP, farmer’s storehouses in several weeks will be full of barley and wheat that cannot be solid in a year with production shortage. According to Alexandru Slusari, the grain market stagnates. The National Food Safety Agency imposed unofficial restrictions on the export of grain until September 1 and of barley until July 15. The certification of exports grew more expensive. The exporters in such conditions do not buy barley and wheat form farmers. The state also does not make purchases for the domestic market.
Freight train route suspended owing to high level of water in the Prut and Nistru
As the level of water in the Prut and Nistru in northern and southern Moldova rose suddenly, Moldova’s Railways took measures to monitor the situation on the Ocnița-Lipcani, Ocnița-Vălcineț, Prut-Cahul, and Cahul-Giurjiulești railroad sections. The movement of trains on the Lipcani-Mămăliga section was suspended in connection with the high level of water and will be resumed when the necessary repair works are completed. Spokesman for Moldova’s Railways Constantin Olteanu said a freight train route was suspended because of a problem on a bridge. All the passenger trains, Chisinau-Bender, Chisinau-Ungheni, Ungheni-Bălți, and Bălți-Ocnița, run as usual.