Tudor Ulianovschi: In the absence of institutional memory, everything seems like a premiere, but let’s transition from diplomacy to economics

“In the absence of institutional memory, everything seems like a first, but let’s shift from diplomacy to the economy.” This statement belongs to the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Tudor Ulianovschi, who recently presented various models of economic development and investment attraction in the Republic of Moldova on the TV shows “Puterea a Patra” on N4 and “Puncte de reflecție” on Vocea Basarabiei.

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tudor Ulianovschi, is currently the Vice President of a multinational company in the renewable energy sector based in Canada. He mentioned that “the lack of foreign investments, coupled with a substantial increase in production costs and interest rates at commercial banks, negatively impacts small and medium-sized businesses in Moldova, directly affecting domestic producers who suffer increasingly from the acute lack of labor.”

Referring to the increase in the budget deficit and public debt, Ulianovschi believes that “redirecting loans from international financial organizations to pay gas bills does not generate income for the state budget because these funds are not invested in production to generate profit but are transferred to Gazprom’s accounts, significantly increasing the public debt of the Republic of Moldova.

Asked by the show’s host “Why there are no direct investments attracted into the country’s economy?”, Ulianovschi spoke about the high level of unprofessionalism in the leadership of some ministries, stating that when some potential foreign investors finally reach Chisinau, the Government does not present them with any feasibility studies or business plans elaborated by state specialized agencies because it does not possess them. The former minister cited the lack of a governmental follow-up as an example, following the visit to Chisinau of a delegation of business people from the United States in September 2022, initiated by the Association for Business for Central and Eastern Europe in Washington. According to him, they intended to invest in areas such as infrastructure, IT, renewable energy, health, etc.

“Unfortunately, none of the 12 companies managed to invest in Moldova, including the company where I have been working for the last 5 years, which failed to enter the Moldovan market for various reasons,” concluded the former head of diplomacy in Chisinau.

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Another topic Tudor Ulianovschi spoke about in the mentioned shows was the rehabilitation of the nuclear reactors at Cernavodă, Romania. The former official explained that global nuclear technologies are now a safe, clean, and viable solution for the energy crisis in the region.

As a member of the American Solar Energy Association and the Canadian Nuclear Association, Ulianovschi mentioned that he is in constant discussions with representatives of Canadian companies OPG and Bruce Power, which, based on CANDU technology, will participate in the modernization of the 4 reactors at Cernavodă and the construction of two smaller reactors (Small Modular Reactors) in Romania.

“The discussions on this topic are advanced in Bucharest, and their implementation will contribute substantially to solving the energy crisis in the Republic of Moldova if Chisinau corrects the mistake of contracting an Indian company, to the detriment of the Romanian one, for the development of the Chisinau-Vulcanești energy line,” Ulianovschi believes.

In the context of international commitments regarding the reduction of hydrocarbons, the former diplomat supports the feasible solution of diversifying energy resources in the Republic of Moldova and increasing the share of solar energy from the current 6% to national coverage of at least 30%. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Renewable Energy Association, Ulianovschi emphasized the importance of launching large-volume tenders for renewable energy generation projects as soon as possible, a process that has been stagnating in Moldova because “Parliament has not yet voted on that long-awaited bill for various reasons and interests, delaying approval for several years.”

The former minister also believes that the national regulator should verify the network’s capacity, along with the availability of connection points, considering that in the past, excess connection permits were issued to companies that did not have the real capacity to build “greenfield” projects.

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