Representatives of 14 companies and two IT associations from both banks of the Nistru River discussed cooperation opportunities with their Romanian colleagues during a study visit to IT and support infrastructure companies in the cities of Cluj and Bucharest. The study visit was organized by the Advanced Cross-River Capacities for Trade Project (AdTrade), funded by Sweden and implemented by UNDP.

According to Maxim Cataranciuc, Project Manager, human capital makes a significant contribution in IT sector to the added value of the products/services, and rapid development of this sector favors development of exports to various destinations, especially to the EU countries: “Companies should study technological trends and anticipate market requirements to remain competitive on the market. That is why, by this study visit, we have engaged to facilitate a dialogue and exchange of experience between IT companies from both banks of the Nistru and Romania – the country which shows high performance in IT sector and produces many IT specialists of the European level.”

The agenda of the study visit included meetings with the former Romanian Minister of Communication Marius Bostan, with IT practicing mentors, representatives of several ICT companies and global software development hubs in Romania.

Ivan Geli, president of the IT Association from the Left bank of the Nistru River, was impressed with the conditions in which the Romanian IT specialists work, and the advantages they are offered for innovation and application of the most challenging software solutions in practice. "In Bucharest, for example, we visited several coworking spaces, which offer multiple advantages for residents. IT companies invest in their employees by offering them in challenging projects, trainings and social benefits. I believe that some of the good practices we have learnt in Romania can be replicated in Moldova, which has every chance to become a host country for foreign investment in IT sector."

Traian Chivriga of XY Partners says that he has identified several opportunities for collaboration with companies over the Prut: "Romania is an important exporter of global IT technologies and services, and yet Romanian companies look for new project development partners. That is why we discussed possibilities for developing some IT projects together. I believe that there are many specialists on our market that could meet the basic requirements."

IT specialists from both banks of the Nistru River also visited the Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj, an important training Centre for the future IT specialists. According to Marina Bzovîi, Director of the National Association of Private ICT companies, this visit was a good opportunity to revise the priorities of her company: "In a highly competitive environment, companies need to continuously improve the quality of their products, but also to engage in educating new specialists. For example, in Romania, university professors are involved in research and IT development projects, innovation laboratories, which give them a more accurate view of the needs and evolution of the ICT market. Also, IT companies create internship programs and summer camps to facilitate employment of students. I believe that this approach could be successfully applied in Moldova too."

The Advanced Cross-River Capacities for Trade Project (AdTrade) provides assistance for the creation of long-term trade links between entrepreneurs on both banks of the Nistru River and enabling an environment of trust and cooperation in the region. The initiative stimulates and promotes exports of goods and services from the region by opening access to the opportunities offered by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). The project supports the development and enhancement of the competitiveness of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and contributes to the creation of new companies, which, implicitly, will lead to improvement of the living conditions of both banks of the Nistru.

Contact person: Natalia Costaş, Communications and Media Relations Consultant, Tel.: 0 69 22 11 41; E-mail: natalia.costas@undp.org

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