Alphan Akpece, Efes Vitanta Moldova Brewery: FIA focuses on creating favorable conditions for all types of investments, regardless of their origin
For 20 years, the largest foreign investors in Moldova, united in the Foreign Investors Association (FIA), have been working together with the authorities to improve the investment climate in the country. These are the most active enterprises generating progress in their sectors and influencing the sustainable development of the Moldovan economy at large and its social sphere. About “Why and how” FIA was established, its achievements and what are the foreign investors’ priorities as of today and in the future – you will find out in the interview with Alphan Akpece, Vice President of FIA, General Director of Efes Vitanta Moldova Brewery.
– According to your opinion, why did foreign investors come together in an Association 20 years ago? What benefits does FIA offer to your business, and how does it contribute to the development of the Republic of Moldova?
– The formation of the association of foreign investors was not driven by a desire for special treatment or the promotion of solely foreign interests. Instead, our primary goal was to create a platform for constructive dialogue with state authorities, share our knowledge and experiences, both local and international, and lend support in aligning local business standards with international ones.
When it comes to the direct benefits for our company, we must highlight the opportunities for communication, community building, and the exchange of experiences that the FIA offers. It’s a place where we can engage in dialogue with our peers, fostering partnerships. Simultaneously, the collective awareness of shared or sector-specific challenges enables us to collaborate in identifying solutions and proposing them to the authorities. The FIA is, first and foremost, a community of experts.
It’s important to note that foreign investments don’t mean companies that are foreign to the Republic of Moldova. While we rely on capital from abroad, we produce Moldovan products and services, pay contributions, taxes, and salaries in Moldova, employ Moldovans and also invest back to society. Consequently, as previously mentioned, the FIA isn’t an association solely focused on foreign investors’ concerns. Instead, we concentrate on creating favorable conditions for all types of investments, regardless of their origin. Our objective is to facilitate growth and development for the Republic of Moldova as a whole, rather than catering to a specific company or group of companies. In this regard, our forthcoming White Book serves as evidence of our commitment.
– Which proposals in the White Book have significantly improved the business environment in your industry or the economy as a whole? Could you provide some examples?
– As previously mentioned, we, as an association, don’t focus solely on immediate needs or those specific to a particular business. Our approach is holistic. Therefore, the improvements resulting from the implementation of some recommendations from the White Book are geared towards enhancing the overall business climate, streamlining bureaucracy, tax legislation, and labor laws. We also anticipate that the recommendations on waste management will have a positive impact on businesses and also to environment, thus, thanks to them, a system of extended producer responsibility has been launched in Moldova and prerequisites have been created for the implementation of the deposit system for packaging, which is a European practice that has proven its effectiveness both for business and the environment, as well as for consumer protection.
When considered collectively, the legal changes, informed by our recommendations and our contributions as experts in the decision-making process, are capable of driving transformative changes across the entire economy.
– What are your company’s objectives in formulating the proposals in the White Book 2023? What are the strategic challenges facing your company, the industry, and Moldova as a whole?
– Our proposals for 2023 have emerged from three key considerations. First, we conducted a thorough analysis of the current situation within our industry and related sectors, aiming to develop solutions based on the genuine needs of the real economy sector. Second, we recognize the evolving relationship between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union, requiring accelerated processes and a proactive approach from businesses to address priorities and opportunities. We understand that the concept of reform in Moldova has faced challenges and skepticism in the past, but the current conditions necessitate a reformation of the national economy, with EU accession presenting a favorable opportunity. Finally, our proposals also stem from the urgency of building a sustainable, resilient, and climate-adapted economy capable of embracing the green transition.