UNDP and Switzerland support economic specialization of three micro-regions in Moldova

Three micro-regions continue to reap the benefits of support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Switzerland aimed at fostering economic specialization. On December 18, certificates of grants were awarded to non-governmental organizations tasked with managing cluster entities.

The supported regions include Cosnita, Criuleni, Parata, Dorotcaia, and Slobozia-Dusca, each with a distinct economic specialization:

  1. The cluster named “The Heart of Dniester” focuses on rural tourism in settlements like Cosnita, Criuleni, Parata, Dorotcaia, and Slobozia-Dusca.
  2. The “Herbafruct cluster” centers around the cultivation and processing of medicinal and aromatic plants in Nisporeni, Valea Mare, Lozova, Dolna, Micleuseni, Cioara, Ciutesti, Balauresti, and Seliste.
  3. The “Cimislia-Basarabeasca cluster” is dedicated to breeding sheep and goats, along with the processing of dairy products and their derivatives in Cimislia, Sadaclia, Ciucur-Mingir, Cenac, Valea Perjei, Hartop, Ivanovca Noua, Gradiste, Abaclia, and Mihailovca.


Each beneficiary organization is set to receive $145,000 to implement initiatives that strengthen cluster capacities, develop value chains, and enhance competitiveness through innovation. This support will benefit over 50 local entrepreneurs and contribute to the creation or improvement of 400 jobs.

Guido Beltrani, the director of the Swiss Cooperation office in Moldova, emphasized, “The first step to local development is to discover the ‘hidden jewels’ of a region – sectors or clusters with visible potential for added value growth.” He highlighted the project’s focus on developing rural tourism, leveraging medicinal and aromatic plants, and promoting dairy products from sheep and goat’s milk.

Daniela Gasparikova, the UNDP Resident Representative in Moldova, emphasized the transformative impact of economic clusters: “The creation of an economic cluster implies the specialization of local economies, optimizing activities that local residents excel in, consolidating diverse expertise, local perspectives, and common goals. This allows for transformative results: decent jobs and the development of local businesses.”

The clusters, collectively receiving $435,000, demonstrate an increase from the initially announced support of $400,000 by the Resilient and Inclusive Markets in Moldova project. The selection of beneficiary clusters occurred through a public contest in April 2023.

The overarching goal of the Resilient and Inclusive Markets in Moldova project is to enhance local economic development and community resilience by supporting local entrepreneurship, increasing investments, and creating decent jobs for various segments of the population, including young people, women, disabled individuals, returning migrants, and refugees.

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