Exclusive Interview with the President of the CCI of Moldova, Sergiu Harea: about the Moldovan Business Gala, international exhibitions, and promotion of local products

With a history of over 105 years, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova (CCI of the Republic of Moldova) is the largest business association in Moldova, with over 1100 members from all branches of the national economy, enjoying the support of its ten branches throughout the country, as well as the institution in Chisinau.

Many have heard of the National Exhibition “Made in Moldova,” the “Golden Polobocle” Contest, the “Moldovan Business Gala,” the “Exporters’ Academy,” the International Commercial Arbitration Court, or the Dual Education. Still, few know who is behind these beautiful events organized by the CCI of Moldova.

Thus, the President of the CCI of Moldova, Sergiu Harea, granted an exclusive interview to moldovalive.md on current topics, the promotion of local products on international markets, and the Moldovan Business Gala, an event that will take place this summer.

Moldovalive.md: To begin with, tell us, what does the CCI of Moldova do?

Sergiu Harea: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova: Represents the interests of the business environment both about the state and to international institutions; Facilitates strategic partnerships, oriented to attract investments; Promotes national and international trade relations; Contributes to the application of best practices in the economic and social development of the country.

The activity of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova is regulated by the Law on the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova, which confirms the status of the Chamber as a non-governmental, autonomous, and independent organization representing the interests of the entrepreneurs of the Republic of Moldova as a whole.


Currently, the CCI of the Republic of Moldova organizes training; promotes dual education; organizes local and international exhibitions/trade fairs; carries out expert appraisal and evaluation of goods; organizes competitions; economic missions abroad; offers Arbitration and Mediation services, as well as Certification of justifying impediment (force majeure), etc. The CCI of the Republic of Moldova also emphasizes the digitalization of its services, already having platforms for virtual exhibitions and training, as well as other services can be accessed on the digital services platform of the CCI of the Republic of Moldova – www.client.chamber.md.

The efficiency of the dialogue with state institutions to promote the interests of the business environment at the national and local levels is a priority for the CCI. Therefore, at the request of the members of the Chamber, public-private dialogues with representatives of Central and Local Public Authorities are regularly organized. Recently, the CCI has signed Cooperation Agreements with several District Councils and Municipalities in the country, and they have agreed to jointly organize events to promote the business environment in the region, such as an expo-fair of local producers, but also to ensure their participation in events organized at the national level.

At the same time, the CCI participates in drafting proposals and opinions on policy documents and regulatory frameworks with an impact on the business environment, including proposals for tax and customs policy, opinions on draft laws on the amendment of certain regulatory acts, etc.

Moldovalive.md: In June, the Moldovan Business Gala will be held in Chisinau, where winners of the “Trademark of the Year” and “Quality Award” competitions will be announced. Do entrepreneurs take part in such competitions?

Sergiu Harea: We are glad that entrepreneurs are increasingly interested in promoting their brands and trademarks and investing in the quality of their products and services year after year.

The Moldovan Business Gala aims to support and encourage companies that contribute to the prosperity of the local economy by implementing international quality management standards and offering the highest quality brands of products and services.

Last year’s edition of the Trademark of the Year competition saw 110 brands participate, of which 106 were awarded prizes. During the 20 editions of the competition, more than 1800 trademarks were registered. In the 2023 edition, we had 41 participants in the competition, of which 36 were designated as Laureates, awarded the grand prize Goddess of Quality, and five were awarded diplomas. A total of 450 companies participated in the nine editions.

More than 200 local companies participate annually in the Moldovan Business Gala. We have clear goals: to highlight investments in intellectual property and quality because once we are on the global market, it is important to persevere in quality. These markets are looking for quality. European consumers pay attention to what they consume. Then, it is the investment in quality that matters. That’s why the CCI also organizes these competitions to boost competitiveness. 

In 2024, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) will organize more than 40 fairs and exhibitions both in the Republic of Moldova and abroad. What other activities are planned to support the promotion of local products by our country’s economic agents this year?

Sergiu Harea: This autumn marks the 106th anniversary of the formation of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Chamber activity has a secular history, and during these years, we have tried to support and promote local companies developing business on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. The Chamber’s best-known activities relate to business promotion in the domestic and foreign markets. The exhibition field holds great importance for us. We have approved a plan of over 40 exhibition activities this year, not for nothing. The year 2024 began with the renowned national exhibition “Made in Moldova,” which was attended by 350 entrepreneurs and over 65,000 visitors. Each year, this large-scale event concludes with a Business Programme, which includes economic forums, conferences, B2B meetings between local and foreign entrepreneurs, round tables, and seminars. Additionally, there is a Cultural Programme. Five exhibitions were planned in neighboring Romania, specifically in Cluj, Brasov, Baia Mare, Sibiu, and Timisoara. The Bookfest exhibition will be held in Chisinau, followed by our preparation for the “Indagra Food” agro-food exhibition in Bucharest. The Chisinau Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) awards the best homemade wine producers in the “Polobocul de aur” contest during the annual Wine Day event. The CCI’s work encompasses various areas, such as promoting exports and attracting investments, organizing bilateral meetings and business forums, promoting companies, training specialists, and arranging promotional activities for foreign companies interested in investing in our country. The CCI supports and promotes local entrepreneurs daily.

Moldovalive.md: How does CIC contribute to training human resources for the economic sector?

Sergiu Harea: The Chamber of Commerce and Industry promotes and implements effective training and further training systems, as well as dual education. The Chamber Institution encourages entrepreneurs to participate in dual education, which will increase the number of students working in local companies and gaining practical experience and skills for the labor market. In recent years, more companies have joined this process. For the academic year 2024-2025, the CCI received 171 letters of intent from 118 existing and 59 new business units. These units aim to train 1950 students in the dual system. This demonstrates a growing interest and a real desire on the part of business to actively contribute to the training of the next generation of professionals.

For several years, the CCI has been inviting entrepreneurs to participate in the management qualification programs, including “Moldova-Austria,” “Moldova-Germany,” and, starting this year, “Moldova-Romania.”

Manager capacity-building programs consist of two stages:

1. This is an intensive online training program led by qualified experts from respective countries. The program covers topics related to EU market research, partner identification, distribution channels, and EU regulations.

2. Study visits to the respective countries to study the given market and identify potential business partners.

Beneficiaries will enhance their knowledge and practical business management skills as a result of participating in these training programs. They will also have the opportunity to learn from the experience and best practices of their counterparts in Romania, Austria, and Germany.

During this period, entrepreneurs in the country participate in the “Exporters’ Academy,” which offers a series of thematic training on international marketing, customs export regulations and procedures, drafting and negotiating export contracts, and accessing export financing sources.

In 2024, the CIC launched the ‘Digital Start-up Academy’ to support and develop the skills and capabilities of entrepreneurs in implementing digital products and services that contribute to productivity and new jobs.

Moldovalive.md: What is the CCI Register of Members of the Republic of Moldova and how can it benefit interested companies?

Sergiu Harea: At the end of 2022, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova launched a new electronic version of the CCI Register of Members of the Republic of Moldova. This online tool enables companies to discover potential partners for cooperation and profitable investments in the Republic of Moldova.

The CCI of the Republic of Moldova is the only legally authorized business association to publish the non-state business register of its members. Trade Registers of this kind are crucial for ensuring the transparency of trade data on economic operators and providing a foundation for accurate economic analysis at both national and regional levels. It is important to study the experiences of other countries in this area. The Republic of Moldova does not have a Trade Register, but it does have a Register of CCI members, which contains the profiles of over 1100 companies.

The Register compiles a list of the most active manufacturing enterprises in the Republic of Moldova, representing diverse sectors of the economy, various regions of the country, and different sizes and forms of ownership.

Entrepreneurs, whether from the Republic of Moldova or abroad, are invited to access the CCI Members’ Register at https://chamber.md/registrul-membrii-cci/ to find a business partner.

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