Contact Forum for Alumni from Moldova

The alumni association ONG INVENT Moldova fosters and develops Moldovan-German relations. With a contact forum in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau on 13 November 2012, graduates of the Manager Training Programme (MP) were supported in their business activities. Written by Mihai Bostan.

110 graduates in three and a half years: this is the impressive result of the advanced training programme for executives Moldova. As well as the quantity, the quality also speaks for itself. Graduates are active in more than 25 economic sectors, such as logistics, tourism, the financial sector, consulting, agriculture and light industry, trade, the IT sector, mechanical engineering and the health sector. According to the Moldovan Alumni Association, two thirds of all graduates are leaders of companies or departments. The training and study of experiences and methods of management in Germany, as well as their introduction into their own companies, happened in a relatively short time and thus ensured a long-term competitive advantage. Many businesses have become reliable partners for German business people in Moldova. They began to operate on foreign markets, diversified their business activities and found partners for mutually beneficial cooperation.

INVENT Moldova was founded in 2010 because Programme participants wanted to build a network. Together with GIZ, the alumni association organised training modules in cooperation with German business trainers. A memorandum on cooperation with ten alumni associations in the Programme’s different partner countries has already been signed. They are planning a cooperative partnership with the German Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade (BWA) and with Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI), the German society for foreign trade and location marketing. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova is an official partner of GIZ for the implementation of the Programme and welcomes the association’s activities.

Over half of the Moldovan graduates of the training programme for executives were present at the contact forum in November, which was organised by INVENT Moldova and GIZ. Sixty graduates from various groups not only had the opportunity to get to know each other and exchange ideas, they also got to talk about their experiences of developing business relations with German companies in order to open up new areas and fields of business. In this way, the contact forum became a platform for informal dialogue and topic-based discussions on business areas that offer links for cooperation. Direct contact with those who make the decisions as well as discussion on long-term prospects dominated the meeting.

For example Andrei Shuleanski has been offering services based around computers for years. He seized the opportunity to speak with Diana Suruceanu from FinComBank, one of the biggest financial institutions in Moldova about which customer-friendly options there are to allow for payments to be carried out simply and securely. Another participant Emil Gutu has completely changed his profile. For two years, he has been running an agriculture business with 6,000 hectares of cultivated land. He used the contact forum to make links with his colleagues from the same sector and to learn more about personal motivation and qualification. He discussed credit terms with bank representatives. It turned out that one of the GIZ graduates had been buying his products for years through an intermediary. He and Gutu have since agreed to conclude a direct purchase agreement.

The visit from a representative of the Moldovan-German Economic Association lent even more significance to the event. The value of the contact forum was also clear from the participants’ reactions, which emphasised the ‘need for such a platform’ and the ‘significance of the event’. In this way, the meeting helped to link up the Programme’s graduates and advance the association’s project in the economic region of the Republic of Moldova.

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