The Swiss company Schoeni is investing €1.5 million in the construction of a 2,000 m2 plant for processing fruit and vegetables in the free economic zone ZEL “Bălți”, the Ștefan Vodă subzone, IPN reports.
In a press release, ZEL “Bălți” says the plant’s production capacity will be initially of 2,000 tonnes a year. In the long run, the production capacity and area will be extended for five times, up to 10,000 square meters, with a corresponding increase in investments and jobs.
Currently, work to create engineering networks in the Ștefan Vodă subzone is underway. The site for the construction of a plant is being prepared. The plant is scheduled to start operation the next growing season in May-June 2022. The enterprise will start to process vegetables (cabbage, beets, carrots, potatoes, onions), as well as berries (raspberries, strawberries) and fruit (apples, pears). Both frozen semi-finished products and finished products will be made and will be exported to Switzerland and the European Union under the brand “Schoeni Food”.
ZEL “Bălți” Administrator Marin Ciobanu said the attraction of such investors as Schoeni to Moldova remains one of the key objectives of their zone. “This investment project is very important not only at regional level, but also at national level. Besides being the first Swiss company that decided to invest in the Republic of Moldova, it will create preconditions for investing in a less exploited area – processing of agricultural products. The creation of new jobs in the region is another important aspect,” stated Marin Ciobanu.
The Bălti Free Economic Zone (ZEL “Bălți”) was established in March 2010. During 11 years of activity, 78 residents have been registered in the zone and their total investment exceeds $222 million. During this period of time, 11,600 jobs were created, with an average salary of 8,600 lei. The volume of industrial production is currently of 6.9 billion lei a year, while sales total 7.1 billion lei a year. ZEL “Bălți” has 19 subzones, three of which are in Bălți, while the rest are in other regions of the country.