The Republic of Moldova's strategy for obtaining associated membership in the European Union was signed last week by 23 political parties in Chisinau. The document has been based on provisions worked out jointly by parliamentarians and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization will allot USD500,000 for studying the water resources and water quality of the Prut and Dniester rivers. The project is aimed at analyzing the water quality to provide timely warnings about future pollution. For this, automatic check stations will be installed in the rivers' upper and lower reaches which will be monitoring the water quality and store information in a special data bank.
Information from the data bank will promptly be available in Chisinau, Kiev and Bucharest, all of whom are participating in the project. This will allow prompt operational reaction to any disasters or catastrophes threatening the rivers with pollution. The project will be the second of its kind for monitoring the water quality in Moldovan rivers and lakes. The first project was carried out two years ago, and was approved by NATO.
The Swiss effect
Crossair of Switzerland is ready to cooperate with Moldova and negotiate serious investment projects, company president Mr Moritz Suter stated at his meeting with the Moldovan President, Petru Lucinschi. The guest pointed out that Crossair has been successfully cooperating with Moldavian Airlines for 3 years, and is ready to expand this partnership. Mr Suter stated his company's readiness to consider joint projects in other fields as well and to take part in the privatization of the Air Moldova state company.
The Moldovan Government is continuing negotiations with the Militzer & Munh holding of Switzerland about granting them a concession to run the National Railroad Company (CFM), Deputy Prime Minister Valeriu Cosarciuc told journalists recently. The international Militzer & Munh holding, that runs over a hundred branch companies in 20 countries, was founded in 1880.
According to Mr Cosarciuc, the Swiss holding is not intending to lease the whole company, showing interest in only one profitable subdivision - freight transportation. However, the Government is insisting that the holding should also take on the passenger subdivision.
Swiss holding experts are saying that the CFM services fail to meet the modern requirements of rapid transportation and quality, as well as servicing infrastructure. As a result, many foreign carriers prefer to travel in detour of Moldova. To repair its railroad tracks alone a minimum of USD two million is needed in investment.
Management efficiency at state-owned wineries is growing. In May, the aggregate volume of sales by Moldovan State-run wineries doubled compared with the same month one year ago. Government interest is accorded to the activities of five "strategic" wineries - those subject to individual privatization projects which, unfortunately, were declined by the Parliament recently. This step has led to freezing the financing of Moldova by international financial institutions. Of these five units, four wineries - Vismos, Aroma, Balti and Calaras - increased sales last month, and only Nistru Struguras saw a downturn in their figures.
As many as 230 economic agents in Moldova hold licenses to produce wines, brandies, vodka and other alcoholic beverages. Last year, they exported USD99.64 million worth of the products, of which 73 percent went to Russia.
The Minsk Tractor Plant (MTZ) is intending to create a subsidiary enterprise in Moldova to assembling its CIS-famous wheeled tractors. The agreement on setting up such a facility was reached during a recent visit by a Moldovan governmental delegation to the Belarussian capital.
The assembly factory will be unfolded under the roof of the Chisinau tractor factory, Tracom. The Moldovan side will contribute premises with all the necessary infrastructure and manpower, and the Belarussian side will supply equipment, technologies, and tractor components. The MTZ has introduced the ISO-9000 international quality system, so the facility to be opened in Chisinau is going to assemble machines meeting all international quality requirements. The subsidiary is projected to make about 1.5 thousand tractors annually.
The American and Moldovan military will build a medical center and drill an artesian water well for 670 pupils of a local boarding school for orphans. The USD175,000 project is financed by the U.S. Government. The construction will be in the form of Moldo-American exercises called "Cornerstone-01-2000 ITF" organized in the framework of the NATO's Partnership for Peace Program. These joint Moldovan-American exercise is the fourth undertaking of its kind. During the exercise period, there will be four partial rotations of the U.S. personnel whose total number will be 260 men.
Cricova wines have brought Moldova top awards from the international Yalta forum. The Cricova-Brut champagne, made by the famous same-name winery (near Chisinau), has won the Grand-Prix of the Golden Griffon-2000 traditional competition of wines, brandies and champagnes held in Yalta (Ukraine) recently. This year, the prestigious international forum gathered leading producers from the CIS and Baltic states, Bulgaria, Hungary and Argentina. Two other Cricova wines won golden medals in Yalta namely the Dionis Dry and Codru (1984 vintage).Dionis and the "Cricova" sparkling wines were awarded special diplomas of honor for the best design and packaging.
Andrew Thomas, 7 July 2000
News Agency Flux