Businessmen in the north of the country complain that they are treated as enemies of the people by the authorities

Businessmen in the northern region of the Republic of Moldova complain about the lack of communication with public authorities. Public procurement carried out with certain interests, laws that work only on paper, unfair competition or the fact that central authorities do not take into account business proposals. These are just some of the issues exposed on October 17 in Balti at the round table "Transparent and inclusive governance: the participation of the business environment in the dialogue with public authorities". The event is part of a series of round tables organized at national level, the aim of which is to facilitate the creation of a constructive dialogue between public authorities and the business environment.

"The biggest problem is the lack of civilized communication between the business environment and public authorities and between central and local authorities. There are no discussions in our country, and this lack of communication produces high costs. On the other hand, the business does not come with recommendations, they are not insistent enough and they do not really want to participate in the decision-making process because they can solve their problems through personal connections or gifts. However, certain things are starting to change, and business people are starting to voice their problems", says economist Veaceslav Ionita.

"Political instability messes all business ideas. In the law, everything is beautiful, but the reality is different. The local producer does not have the support of the state, and the proposals of the businessmen are not taken into account. We want a communication platform with the authorities", says Galina Codita, CCI director, Balți branch.

"Those reported by businessmen from all regions of the country indicate that the law on transparency in decision-making needs to be improved with legal instruments that would ensure a real and continuous dialogue between central public authorities, including local, and business, with information, involvement and the obligatory consultation of the private sector in the decision-making process that may affect them”, recommends Viorel Pirvan, lawyer at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Policies (CAPE).

According to the representatives of the business environment present, the electronic public procurement system pursues certain interests for large objects, entrepreneurs are seen as enemies of the people, and businessmen want to associate.

"The MTender service does not work. 15-20 minutes before the end of the auction, the documents are blocked, and if you call the people in charge of the service, you are reproached for not warning them. And this is especially true for large objects of more than 3 mln lei, where there are some interests", says Carolina Babii, the director of a company from Balți.

And Ana Hadirca, a construction contractor from Singerei district, relates: “We would have liked the amount of the acquisition not to be indicated in the construction procurement announcement, because the participating economic agents are trying to reduce the price by 30-40%. As a consequence, economic agents work almost without profit, and the quality of construction suffers. When we present this low offer, we are told that we can pay the construction workers the minimum wage, and when the Labor Inspectorate comes, they tell us that we cannot pay less than the average wage in the economy.”

At the above, Ion Gologan from CET Nord says that the price of public procurement carried out by the company is not displayed, because the quality of works and goods can be affected, requiring subsequent high costs.

"Only through consolidation and correct information will we succeed. We can't do anything alone. We come with initiative, but there is still this unfair competition between entrepreneurs. We are waiting for opening from the territory. Public authorities must support us to unite, and only when we are united will we all gain. Business people need to be encouraged and motivated. Let's strengthen ourselves. Let's unite!", urges Zinaida Cebanaș, economic agent in trade from Rișcani district.

"We seem to be enemies of the people. In Moldova there is no communication at any level and there is the impression that the laws are made by those who do not know the reality. The world must be honest and communicate with each other", says Radia Pogor, director of SRL from Falești.

In turn, local public authorities claim that they maintain dialogue with entrepreneurs and try to motivate them to associate. "We have identified entrepreneurs in the district who want to create associations, but anyway, there is no openness from others to cooperate", says Galina Zamurdac, vice president of Riscani district.

The issues and recommendations of the participants in the round table "Transparent and inclusive governance: participation of the business environment in the dialogue with public authorities" are to be examined and included in a position note from the business environment, subsequently submitted to the new Government.