quarterly report - USAID

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QUARTERLY REPORT OCTOBER 1 – DECEMBER 31, 2016

Moldova Competitiveness Project

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QUARTERLY REPORT YEAR 2 QUARTER 1 (FY2017 Q1) OCTOBER 1 – DECEMBER 31, 2016

JANUARY 16, 2017

Prime Contractor: Chemonics International Inc. www.chemonics.com/ Partners: J. E. Austin Associates, Inc. www.jeaustin.com Bhavana World Project www.bhavanaworldproject.com Contract No.: AID-117-C-15-00001

DISCLAIMER The report was prepared by the Moldova Competitiveness Project. The contents are the responsibility of creator and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United States Government or Sida and the Government of Sweden

PHOTO CAPTION: USAID and Sweden Cooperation Agreement signing event, December 19, 2016 PHOTO CREDIT: MCP

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TABLE OF CONTENTS ACRONYM LIST ................................................................................................................................................ 5 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ..................................................................................................................................... 7 SECTION I ....................................................................................................................................................... 11 PROJECT TECHNICAL INTERVENTIONS DURING FY17 Q1 ............................................................. 11 A. ACCOMPLISHMENTS, SCHEDULES, AND PROBLEMS ............................................................................... 11 A1. Wine and Tourism ................................................................................................................................. 11 Objective 1: Increased Productivity and Quality (Better Workforce and Adopted Innovation) ................... 11 Activity 1: Support Development of the Stauceni Viticulture and Winemaking Excellence Center (WEC) .. 11 Activity 2: Design Wine of Moldova (WoM) Academy ................................................................................ 11 Activity 3: Assist upgrade of wine quality ................................................................................................... 11 Activity 4: Support Moldovan Tourism Product Development .................................................................... 14 Activity 5. Better Trained Workforce and Modern Skills in the Tourism Industry ....................................... 18 Objective 2: Expanded Market Linkages ..................................................................................................... 19 Activity 1: Build Wine of Moldova Brand Equity and Increase Awareness about Moldovan Wines ........... 19 Activity 2: Foster Business Linkages and Expand Wine of Moldova Exports ............................................... 20 Activity 3: Export Support Program (ESP): increased wine sales on target markets ................................... 24 Activity 4: Develop domestic wine market and enhance wine culture ........................................................ 27 Activity 5: Enhance awareness about Moldova as a Tourism Destination .................................................. 29 Objective 3: Improved Sector-Enabling Environment and Increased Capacity ............................................ 33 Activity 1: Support continued policy upgrading and legal regulatory reforms in the wine industry ........... 33 Activity 2: Strengthen the role of ONVV as the main professional organization of the wine industry ........ 34 Activity 3: Develop and strengthen the PGI wine associations ................................................................... 36 Activity 4: Upgrade Tourism Sector Policies and Reform Regulatory Framework ....................................... 36 Activity 5: Strengthen ANTRIM’s Role in the Tourism Sector ...................................................................... 37 A2. Light Industry ........................................................................................................................................ 39 Objective 1: Increased Productivity and Quality (Better Workforce and Adopted Innovation) ................... 39 Activity 1: Develop the ZIPhouse Accelerator and Raise Skills through Education ...................................... 39 Activity 2: Align VET to fashion industry needs ........................................................................................... 44 Activity 3: SMART (Streamline Manufacturing, Accountability, Resource efficiency, and Transparency) Factory program ......................................................................................................................................... 44 Objective 2: Expanded Market Linkages ..................................................................................................... 48 Activity 1. Reposition Moldova as a Full Product Manufacturing Partner and Support Internationalization of Moldovan Fashion Brands on Regional Markets .................................................................................... 48 Activity 2: Consolidate the Din Inima Umbrella Brand and Expand Domestic Market ................................ 50 Objective 3: Improved Sector-Enabling Environment and Increased Capacity ............................................ 52 Activity 1. Assist APIUS to Develop an Industry White Paper and Advocate for Policy or Regulatory Changes ....................................................................................................................................................... 52 A3. Information and Communications TECHNOLOGY (ICT) and CREATIVE SERVICES INDUSTRY (CSI) ........ 53 Objective 1: Increased Productivity and Quality (Better Workforce and Adopted Innovation) ................... 53 Activity 1: Adapt University-Level ICT Education to Industry Needs............................................................ 53 Activity 2: Improve STEM Education and Promote Tech Careers at the Secondary Education Level .......... 53 Activity 3: Link ICT VET with Labor Market ................................................................................................. 58 Activity 4: Develop an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for the IT Sector ........................................................... 58 Objective 2: Expanded Market Linkages ..................................................................................................... 61 Activity 1: Accelerate Adoption and Use of Technology by SMEs and Other Non-IT Sectors ...................... 61 Activity 2: Implement marketing coaching programs ................................................................................. 62 Activity 3: Enhance global positioning of Moldova as IT Destination ......................................................... 64 Activity 4: Profile the creative services industry and define export marketing opportunities ..................... 64 Objective 3: Improved Sector-Enabling Environment and Increased Capacity ............................................ 64 Activity 1: Improved public policies for technology ecosystem ................................................................... 64 Activity 2: Capacity building for ATIC .......................................................................................................... 65 Activity 3: Facilitate business support organizations that represent the creative industry ........................ 65 A4. PRECISION ENGINEERING...................................................................................................................... 65

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Objective 1: Increased Productivity and Quality (Better Workforce and Adopted Innovation) ................... 65 Activity 1: Increase productivity and efficiency for manufacturing companies........................................... 65 Activity 2: Development of Makers Space to foster product design, prototyping and startup for creative industries, engineering, and technology ..................................................................................................... 67 Objective 2: Expanded Market Linkages ..................................................................................................... 70 Activity 1: Improve marketing skills and export capacity for more developed and higher value markets .. 70 .................................................................................................................................................................... 71 Objective 3: Improved Sector-Enabling Environment and Increased Capacity ............................................ 71 Activity 1: Map high precision engineering cluster ..................................................................................... 71 A5. OTHER TECHNICAL Activities to Support Implementation .................................................................... 71 Access to finance through special channels/USAID Development Credit Authority (DCA) .......................... 71 B. DELIVERABLES ......................................................................................................................................... 72 SECTION II ...................................................................................................................................................... 73 PROJECT-LEVEL OUTCOMES AND RESULTS ..................................................................................... 73 Sector Engagement, Enhancement, and Development (SEED) Fund ........................................................... 73 Inclusive Development ................................................................................................................................ 74 Monitoring & Evaluation ............................................................................................................................. 75 A. Progress towards quantitative indicators targets ................................................................................... 75 B. Qualitative results ................................................................................................................................... 78 SECTION III ..................................................................................................................................................... 83 HIGHLIGHTS OF ACTIVITIES PLANNED FOR FY17 Q2 (JANUARY– MARCH 2017) ..................... 83 Wine and Tourism Industry ......................................................................................................................... 83 Light Industry .............................................................................................................................................. 83 Information and Communications Industry and Creative Services Industry ............................................... 84 Other Technical Activities ............................................................................................................................ 84 SECTION IV..................................................................................................................................................... 85 PROJECT ADMINISTRATION .................................................................................................................... 85 Level of Effort Report .................................................................................................................................. 85 Administration and Finance ........................................................................................................................ 85 Project Communications ............................................................................................................................. 85

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ACRONYM LIST AA ANTRIM ANAT APIUS ASEM ASW ATIC B2B B2C BSP C&M CEE CEED I & II CIS COP CRM DCFTA DCOP DMC DO ECP EIB EU ICT IR ISSPA ICT ICTCE KPI JAA LOP MAFI MCCI M&E MICE MIEPO MODART MOE MOU NTA ONVV PDO PGI PIRS PMP PMU PPP PR RFP SEED SME STTA

Association Agreement National Association for Inbound Tourism National Association of Travel Agencies of Moldova Employers Association of Light Industry Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova Association of Small Wineries Moldovan Association of Private ICT Companies Business to Business Business to Company Business Service Provider Cut & Manufacture Central-Eastern European Competitiveness Enhancement and Enterprise Development I & II Commonwealth of Independent States Chief of Party Customer Relationship Management Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement Deputy Chief of Party Destination Management Company Development Objective Expert Coaching Program European Investment Bank European Union Information Communication Technology Intermediate Result State Inspectorate for Controls over the Wine and Alcoholic Products Information and Communications Technology ICT Center of Excellence (Tekwill) Key Performance Indicators J.E. Austin Associates Life of Project Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry Moldovan Chamber of Commerce Industries Monitoring and Evaluation Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events Tourism Moldova Investment and Export Promotion Organization Modular Arrangements of Predetermined Time Standards Ministry of Economy Memorandum of Understanding National Tourism Agency National Office of Vine and Wine Protected Designation of Origin Protected Geographical Indication Performance Indicator Reference Sheet Performance Monitoring Plan Project Management Unit Public Private Partnership Public Relations Request for Proposal Sector, Engagement, Enhancement, and Development Fund Small and Medium Enterprise Short-term Technical Assistance

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SWM TCB TOR TOT TR ULIM USP TUM USAID USD USG VET WFD WoM

Startup Weekend Moldova Tourism Country Brand Terms of Reference Training of Trainers Technical Regulation Free International University of Moldova Unique Selling Point Technical University of Moldova United States Agency for International Development United States Dollar United States Government Vocational Education Training Work Force Development Wine of Moldova

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Wine & Tourism The Wine Vernissage event series continued with the Magic 11th edition, and the Wine Friendly restaurants campaign, positively impacting domestic sales and tourism. Wine Vernissage has proven to be an efficient event that contributes to growth of the wine culture in Moldova and serves as a platform for new product launches. The 2016 winter edition broke numerous records: number of visitors – over 1,200 people (a 20% increase); number of participating wineries – 37 companies; over 200 wines offered for tasting, from which over 50 new products launched. Wine of Moldova represented by 11 leading wineries showcased at Magazyn Wino Grand Prix Gala in Warsaw, the most important wine trade event in Poland, bringing together top Polish wine importers and traders. In result, two leading Polish retail chains, Carrefour and Selgros, agreed to hold trade marketing campaigns in 2017 for Wine of Moldova. Poland is primary Moldovan wine importer from EU, with large growth potential. The private sector, ONVV and MCP, will invest up to $200K in 2017 to expand Moldovan wine sales to quality and premium segments, aiming to reposition Moldova in top five wine exporters to Poland. Wine of Moldova keeps expanding on distant markets with the participation of eight wineries at Vinexpo Japan, the most renowned trade event for Japan, an emerging market for high quality premium Moldovan wines (110% growth rate in 2016 vs 2014). The Moldovan stand was one of the most visible and visited stands, enabling participants to hold dozens of business meetings and present their wines to thousands of visitors. Also, a selection of the top participating wines was endorsed by the President of the Secretariat Association of Japan Wine Importers, Makoto Endo, who led a wine masterclass for Japanese traders with Moldovan wine. For 2017, wineries forecast a 20% exports’ increase. Japan is growing niche source market for Moldova’s wine and cultural tourism. Tailored MCP export coaching led to increased sales on strategic export markets for six wineries. Following trade marketing activities, Gitana winery keeps its strong growth on Romanian market (by 18 times in 2016), and forecast to double it in 2017. Migdal-P will be able to sustain its exponential sales growth on the Chinese market, due to communication campaign implemented with MCP support. Chateau Vartely implemented a large awareness campaign in Polish restaurants, that will lead to an expected 40% growth of its premium wine sales and increased wine tourism. Cricova dry quality wines have penetrated in premiere the Polish market, sustained by strategic promotion events in retail to convince consumers to test out these new wines. 15 wine exporters were presented by reputed Master of Wine Caroline Gilby to press and trade during the International Wine Show Prague. Moldova was presented next to leading world wine countries, such as Italy and Chile, reinforcing its image as a quality wine producer, damaged by a quality “scandal” in 2015 on Czech market. This tradeshow is critical since Moldova struggles to preserve Czech as its number three wine market in Europe. Several wineries, including Cimislia Wineries and Bostavan Group, are making efforts to expand sales of premium quality wines to Czech supermarkets. For the first time, Moldova was promoted as a tourism destination at the TT Warsaw Show in Poland, the number one target market. Moldova exhibited under Tree of Life, led by ANTRIM, with a strategic awareness campaign to 30 media representatives preceding the tradeshow. This tradeshow facilitates linkages between tourism agencies and operators. As such, Tatrabis succeeded to secure a contract from a Polish agency for additional 200 travelers in 2017. Also, a new product that includes attractions on both sides of the Nistru River was promoted. The itineraries were created by ANTRIM and the Regional Development Agency in Tiraspol, a program financed by the EU and implemented by UNDP.

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Moldova showcased as the wine tourism destination at biggest worldwide tourism exhibition WTM London, the leading global B2B event for the travel industry. This exhibition was organized under the leadership of the Tourism Agency of Moldova with ANTRIM, MCP, and MIEPO for a strong impact on UK market, which is the third target market for Moldovan tourism. Seven companies (Amadeus Travel, Ways Travel, Winetours, Solei Turism, AirMoldova, Best Travel and Asconi Winery) showcased their offers, including wine and gastronomy, and soft adventure. Moldova was promoted for the first time as a new MICE tourism destination at IBTM World exhibition in Barcelona, Spain, the leading global event for the meeting, incentive, conference, event, and business travel industries. Funds were leveraged from MIEPO. The event gathered meeting industry professionals and focused on business opportunities. Moldovan companies AQA Logistics, TatraBis, and Solei Turism participated in premiere under the Tree of Life country brand. This is part of implementing MICE roadmap for Moldova and preceding creation of MICE Convention Bureau for Moldova. It contributed to position Moldova’s MICE offer among leading European MICE operators. Creative online media campaign raises Moldova’s visibility as tourism destination. Over 8,000 potential travelers viewed the new attractive travel photos exhibited on MoldovaHoliday national tourism website, and 15,000 people voted for their favorite pictures. This is successfully closing an integrated campaign promoting Moldova through travel photography, including local photo exhibitions, digital marketing and social media, that was launched in August 2016. As a result, Moldova enriched its travel photography database with over 3,000 high quality images to be used by tourism service provides for marketing. Light Industry Moldovan apparel companies source more and more European quality fabrics. MCP helped designers and acquisition specialists from nine apparel companies visit stocks of raw materials and accessories in Italy, a leading world supplier of quality fabrics. For the first time the delegation included a start-up designer. Designers visited ten specialized stocks of raw materials and bought fabrics and accessories for their future collections totaling more than $108,000. Access to quality textiles strengthens sourcing skills and supports factory upgrade to higher segments of value chain. The largest “Din Inima” store opened its doors to consumers. With USAID assistance and APIUS coordination, 40 local brands have joined their efforts and opened the third “Din Inima” store, one of the largest multi-brand stores on the 2,000sq.m. at the 3rd floor in the Commercial Center UNIC. The “Din Inima” open space shopping area presents womens, mens, and kids wear, fall/winter collections shoes, and fashion accessories from renowned local market brands. For the first time, four Moldovan brand start-ups were integrated into the “Din Inima” umbrella brand with USAID support. The modern design of the store together with professional spotlights and unique clothing items and accessories are a great attraction for consumers and tourists. On opening day, they sold over $30,000 worth of goods. The Fashion Leadership education program abroad was launched. The first seven Moldovan fashion design students from Technical University started a year of study (2016-2017) at the Fine Art Academy of Como, Italy. MCP supported the establishment of a partnership between TUM and leading fashion education universities in Italy. Design was recognized among the critical missing skills for Moldova to upgrade light industry to value added. These graduates will engage global skills in fashion design, and will contribute to quality workforce for Moldova fashion manufacturing industry. Moldovan own brand apparel companies tested the demand for their products on the Romanian market, one of the target markets to promote fashion exports to the EU. MCP supported nineteen Moldovan apparel designers to participate at Made in Moldova exhibition in Iasi with the joint stand under DIN INIMA, which gained high interest of Romanian consumers.

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Annette company’s evening dresses collection was purchased in full. This was the start of a larger campaign for assisting Moldovan designers to penetrate Romania, an emerging market for Moldova fashion. In addition, MCP assisted Georgette and Artizana to open a common shop in Iasi Palace Mal in fall 2016. Knowledge sharing, community building, and partnership development at the international level achieved at “Moldova in Fashion” Conference. The Fashion Industry Conference connected four international leaders in the field, five local moderators, and 100+ participants. The Conference was organized in premiere by ZIPhouse, in partnership with APIUS and Milan Fashion Accelerator. The event targeted professionals in the field and future entrepreneurs, as well as young designers and academics who aspire to broaden their understanding of entrepreneurship in fashion and are interested in discovering the latest trends and best practices within the industry. ICT and Creative Services Industry Expanded Robotics program is serving as a demonstration of effective ways to increase interest in STEM. By endowing additional 58 educational institutions and seven libraries, the program officially has 83 robotics clubs. The new institutions started using robotics sets for teaching immediately, thus over 3,000 youth are participating in robotics clubs or taking robotics classes. With MCP support, robotics teachers improved their capacity, 22 experienced teachers received advanced level training, allowing them to move to higher level programming concepts and use new sensors. Also, 70 robotics teachers attended the FIRST LEGO League coaches training. The Robotics training camp attracted 27 participants to program robots for theSumo Bot Challenge, while Robotics Demo Day trained 67 students to gain hands-on experience in programming the robotic sets. Coder Dojo Chisinau program extended to three new locations. As a result, 80 students, age 8 to 16, joined the free-of-charge, volunteer-based coding clubs and started learning IT. Also, Coder Dojo Open Days, organized under EU Code Week, attracted 90 people, including parents with children and mentors. The event aimed to promote IT carriers and boost interest in learning IT. In total, 15 new students were registered for Coder Dojo. The first Israel-Moldova business mission brought new opportunities for connecting the two entrepreneurial ecosystems. Eighteen local IT companies attended match making sessions with five members of an Israeli delegation, representing different organizations, IT companies, and startups. As a result, six IT companies are discussing potential collaboration, one has signed a cooperation agreement, one Israeli company hired a local developer, and one local IT outsourcing company received a proposal to establish a joint venture/Israeli branch. Startup Visa legislation for streamlining the process for issuing work and residency permits received positive Government review and is on the agenda of the Parliament for approval. With MCP support, the Ministry of ICT developed a legislation package to simplify the regulations and procedures for issuing work and stay permits for foreign IT professionals, tech investors, and tech entrepreneurs. The legislation package was presented as a parliamentary initiative by the President of the Parliament and had to receive government review before submitting for final approval. MCP worked closely with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Migration and Asylum, and State Chancellery to adjust the legislation proposal and obtained final positive review from the Government. The Makerspace community has been gathered around entrepreneurs and inventors to inspire the local makers and young enthusiasts. A series of workshops and community meetups were organized during the reporting period, such as: Repair Café, Geek Talks, and a Makers Moldova Meetup. The project supported the promotion of Atelier 99 image on social media and thus increased the awareness around the makers’ community.

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SECTION I PROJECT TECHNICAL INTERVENTIONS DURING FY17 Q1 Chemonics International Inc. (Chemonics) and its partners, J. E. Austin Associates, Inc. and Bhavana World Project, are pleased to submit to the United States Agency for International Development in Moldova (USAID/Moldova) and and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), this Quarterly Report that covers the period from October 1 through December 31, 2016. In Section I we describe the progress to-date by target industries, including project accomplishments, problems (if encountered), and solutions. We also list all deliverables submitted during the period. In Section II, we present project-level outcomes and results and report progress against Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP) targets. Section III contains a summary of our planned activities for the next quarter. Section IV contains Project administration information.

A. ACCOMPLISHMENTS, SCHEDULES, AND PROBLEMS A1. WINE AND TOURISM Objective 1: Increased Productivity and Quality (Better Workforce and Adopted Innovation) Activity 1: Support Development of the Stauceni Viticulture and Winemaking Excellence Center (WEC) This activity will be implemented in the next quarter as agreed with MAFi. Activity 2: Design Wine of Moldova (WoM) Academy Develop WoM Academy operational framework. The Wine of Moldova Academy aims to address the continuous education needs in the wine industry. During the reporting period, MCP developed the list of activities required for designing and implementing the WoM Academy framework. Based on a skills gap assessment and in consultation with the private sector, MCP, in close cooperation with ONVV, also created an annual calendar of training and seminars. Activity 3: Assist upgrade of wine quality Identify new small wine producers and support their successful startup (ASW Mentorship Program). Within the ASW Mentorship Program, implemented in collaboration with Association of Small Winemakers, MCP assists the development of newly launched small wineries (first intake) and seeks to identify another small wine producers to enter the program. In addition, to create a sustainable ecosystem for the emergence and development of small wine producers, the Project offers ongoing support for ASW’s development and promotion, which shall lead to increased trust from existing members and generate interest for peasant wine producers to institutionalize and adhere to ASW. During the reporting quarter, MCP offered continued support to the ASW Mentorship Program, SEED grant beneficiaries, and emerging new small wine producers Fragolino, East Euro Vitis, Mihai Sava, Nicolae Iurco, and GCL-Prim. The project contracted two dedicated winemaking consultants during the 2016 production season who assisted the wineries during

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critical production stages. This assistance has had a direct impact on product quality, including: inspection of vineyards, yields monitoring and advising on proper harvesting period; advising on grapes purchasing; advising and monitoring of procurement of additional winemaking equipment; procurement of necessary biomaterials; preparation for receipt of grapes and supervising the primary processing; monitoring of fermentation and adjusting the fermentation conditions. As such, under MCP’s expert monitoring, the new small winemakers are able to produce boutique wines, which are compatible with Wine of Moldova and are compliant to ASW quality standards. All companies that were assisted have highly appreciated the professionalism of the experts and the level of skills and knowledge received. They have also noted that the quality of the raw materials received after initial processing has increased. Furthermore, based on the product quality results that have been achieved, MCP has decided to initiate marketing and branding support to East Euro Vitis and GCL Prim. For this project, two marketing consultants were assigned to develop a marketing vision, product launch and communication campaigns, and assist the beneficiaries with the development of their corporate identity and product branding that would compliment to their general marketing strategy and positioning. that the project plans to provide similar marketing and branding support to other new small wine producers in the upcoming period depending on the results and appreciation of achieved product quality. On the association level, MCP continued support implementation of the in-king grant awarded to ASW in Year One. MCP completed Photo credit: Dumitru Railean the purchase of the agreed equipment which Photo caption: French oak barrels after can be jointly used by ASW members, unloading at GCL-Prim winery premises, procured under SEED Grant, December 2016 specifically: two semi-automatic bottle labeling machines; one bottle closing machine for screw caps; one bottling machine; one mechanic cork closing machine; one installation for closing with aluminum and polylaminate capsules; and one installation for bottle washing. The purchased equipment was immediately rented out by ASW members, underlining the need for this equipment and increasing the trust of members in the association. Additionally, it serves as an income source for ASW to to create promotion campaigns and increase institutional development, as the equipment is offered for a fair rent price. Also, the equipment increased the economic efficiency of the ASW members, as before, alternative, small winemakers had to subcontract these services from large wineries. Additionally, the Project continues to offer support to the reorganization of ASW into an association of legal entities, which scheduled to be completed by the end of January. MCP has also offered continuous consultations on building the institutional capacity of ASW. Product Quality Upgrading Program (PQUP) and Flying Winemakers’ Program (FWP). The goal of this activity is to support ‘transition wineries’ in adopting the ‘quality over quantity’ paradigm by enabling program beneficiaries to convert their business models from bulk wine to production of bottled wines with higher added value.

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The assistance packages were designed for each PQUP program participating winery in Year One, when the Project provided ongoing support through three local and two international consultants. The consultants acted as chief oenologists providing winemaking consultancy during the 2016 production season. They were primarily responsible for production of several lots of selected premium quality wines. In addition, the consultants have supervised the inclusion of upgraded equipment that was procured under SEED grant agreements. During the reporting period, the Project conducted evaluation meetings with several PQUP program wineries: Vinaria Hincesti, Vinia Traian, Tartcomvin, Basarabia Lwin Invest and Vinaria Milestii Mici in order to assess current results and to tailor further assistance. 

Vinaria Hincesti has positively endorsed the winemaking assistance received from MCP international expert, Lorena Deaconu, mentioning that her assistance led to a considerable increase in quality. In addition, the winery expressed their openness to continue collaboration with this expert underlining their intention to continue quality enhancement. The winery also approved the marketing strategy developed by MCP consultant, Vitalie Panuta. Per this strategy, the winery will launch three brands in value, medium, and premium segments on local market. The medium price segment will continue as the main source of business on international markets. Following the strategy, the winery, under expert supervision selected a branding agency and initiated the development of its corporate identity, brands and labels for above mentioned price segment as well as the development of an integrated launch communication campaign. The project decided to monitor closely further achievements in product development and progress of the marketing component to align its resources according to the winery’s needs and other projects that will contribute to the creation of value added.



Vinia Traian received Project support, following the PQUP assistance plan and in accordance with the simplified grant agreement, in selecting a supplier of French oak barrels, which will enable the winery to produce premium quality wines. Upon the organized assessment meeting, the project will decide the further support on marketing component, continuous education for winery staff as well on proving additional STTA expertise on the reengineering of the technological flows through re-planning the placement of critical production units.



For Basarabia Lwin Invest, the Project contracted the technological consultant, Nyikolaj Panov, who was responsible for completing the production line and commissioning the ‘cold botting’ unit. This unit has completed the list of technological upgrades, which has enabled the winery to produce and bottle wines compatible with Wine of Moldova and PGI quality standards, by reducing the risks of oxidation during preparation for bottling and hot bottling. Both the consultant and the assisted winery management highly appreciated the achieved results, mentioning that it will increase their competitiveness on the local and international markets.

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Text Box 1. Quote from evaluation meeting with Basarabia LWin invest “The Competitiveness Project has determined us to act in the direction of quality improvement. Although, it has been a part of our long-term development plan, the received support has acted as a catalyst, motivating us to perfom more equipment purchases which have a direct impact on product quality. The results were also fast, having less risk and better quality from our new bottling equipment allowed us to be listed in the largest and most sales generating chains from Moldova – Nr. 1 supermaket chain “ Veaceslav Dragnev, Director of Basarabia Lwin Invest



With assistance form MCP, Vinaria Milestii Mici has been negotiating with an importer from Sweden who has positively appreciated the quality of wines produced on new equipment and under supervision of MCP winemaking expert, Vera Danu. Thus, the Project decided to support the development of a marketing strategy and brand development for the winery as well. In addition, the winery has decided to develop its tourism capacities and the Project is hoping to support with this endevor as. The final decision will be made after further analysis of the the detailed plan provided by the winery.



MCP supported Tatrcomvin by contracting Constantin Sevciuc, a marketing expert, to help launch the winery’s bottled wines on the local and export markets. For this purpose, the Project conducted a briefing meeting with the winery. During this meeting the winery manager Andrei Novac highly praised the results that have been achieved as a result of the equipment purchased with SEED grand funds. He also lauded continuous consultations of the assigned winemaking expert under PQUP program. In the upcoming period, the marketing expert will conduct an audit of the available resources, involve winery executive staff in creating a marketing and launch strategy, and guide and supervise the winery in the process of creating a visual identity.

Activity 4: Support Moldovan Tourism Product Development Develop regional tourism hubs around main wine attractions. The Project is supporting the development of tourism products such as wine tours, rural activities, gastronomic activities, and handicrafts. This will help raise the socio-economic development in rural areas, increase the time tourists spend on vacations, and minimize seasonality. With MCP support for emergence of rural pensionsseveral grants beneficiaries – Vila Roz rural pension, Casa de Sub Stinca rural pension, Rustic Art Craft Center – following the work with the designer and architect, have continued renovations of their facilities. Moreover, MCP provided a grant to Casa Verde, another rural pension from the same hub in Orheiul Vechi, to increase their tourism facilities and create new cultural experiences focusing on Orheiul Vechi tradition and specialties. All these pensions intend to launch their new products and offers starting in the 2017 tourism season. At the same time, aiming to increase visibility and accessibility of the assisted rural pensions,

Photo credit: USAID MCP Photo caption: Vila Roz, before and after renovation, outside view

MCP created a program to support them through diverse marketing tools - from the development of new visual identities to reflect their specialty, the creation or upgrade of websites, and the elaboration of promotional materials, to providing support for selling

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services thought specialized international platforms such us booking.com, TripAdvisor, and Airbnb. Through this activity, MCP aims to increase diversity and innovation of rural experiences in wine regions. Develop cultural and traditional tourism events. Traditional tourism events are increasingly contributing to local and inbound tourism. The events become promotion platforms for local traditions, culture, crafting, traditional products, and tourism attractions. Building on the success of Year 1, MCP has continued to support the development and promotion of local cultural-tourism events under the TCB “Tree of Life” by outlining the first calendar of events. As such, in November, by subcontracting the local TV producer and event organizer, Nata Albot, the Events Calendar was finalized. The Calendar includes 20 of the most popular events and festivals which are take place year-round in Moldova. In collaboration with the Inbound Tourism Association ANTRIM, the Project is also working to increase awareness and promotion of these events. In November, the Project subcontracted RT Design to integrate the Calendar of Events in the online national tourism platform Moldova.travel and print dedicated materials for participation at specialized events.

Text Box 2. First 20 Calendar of Moldova’s Cultural - Tourism Events under the” Tree of Life” includes following events and festivals 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

Cricova WineRun, Martisor, Mai Dulce, Wine Vernisaj, Spring Edititon Velohora, IProsop, Cronograf, Cucuteni Festival Descopera, Carpet Festival, Lavander Fest, IA Mania, Pottery Festival, Gustar, Maria Biesu, Ethno Jazz Festival, National Wine Day, Animest, Wine Vernisage, Winter Edition 20. Christmas Tree Ball

At the same time, to increase the event management and organizational capacity of small festival organizers such as iProsop, Carpet Festival, and Pottery Festival, the Project developed the first Event Organizer Handbook to be presented to the tourism event’s organizers and the tourism industry. Develop tourism infrastructure at ‘Orhei Vechi’. Being the most visited tourism destination in Moldova, ‘Orheiul Vechi’ has become the flagship of rural and cultural tourism, serving also as a catalyst for wine tourism in the Codru region. ‘Orheiul Vechi’ is currently under assessment by UNESCO to become a world heritage site, proving the national and international significance of the site. In order to develop this area, the Project supported the Ministry of Culture and National Tourism Agency (NTA) in establishing a set of actions for the region’s development. One of these is to create a Territorial Development Plan which will lead to the optimization of Orheiul Vechi resources. The organization UrbanProiect has started work on the Plan and has presented the development program of the Intercommunal Terittorial Development Plan of the Natural-Cultural Reserve Orheiul Vechi and its protection area. The Territorial Development Plan will be finalized in February 2017 and will be adopted as a governmental decision by the Ministry of Culture. The next required action is to develop a Destination Management Plan (DMP) for the site. The DMP will provide a vision and outline the priorities and direction for the next four years, including recommended activities to implement (in respect to better management, development, and promotion) for achieving the target of doubling the income of the Orhei Vechi natural reservation from increased visitors’ expenditures by 2020. The Project, together with the Ministry of Culture, contracted the international expert Robert Travers to develop the DMP. This document is an essential part of the acceptance of

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OrheiVechi as a UNESCO world heritage siteand will be revised by ICOMOS. The DMP will be managed and implemented by the Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with the Tourism Agency and private sector stakeholders. From November 27 - December 7, 2016, Robert Travers visited Moldova, and participated in numerous meetings with private and public sector counterparts to assess the current situation in the reservation of Orhei Vechi and find the best solutions to manage this site in a sustainable manner. The first draft of the plan was presented and submitted for review to the Ministry of Culture and MCP. Moreover, as part of the tourism infrastructure development in the Orhei Vechi region, in November, MCP partnered with the Ministry of Culture and private companies and initiated a green activity planting 170 trees that are specific to the area on the hill on the way to the most visited attraction in the region, the Cave Monastery near the village Butuceni. The alley and the park will help the visitors to feel more comfortable during the summer. Text Box 3. Testimonial on trees planting in Orheiul Vechi

Text Box 4. Testimonial on trees planting in Orheiul Vechi

“Natural- Cutural Reservation Orheiul Vechi is unique for the Republic of Moldova. This place is the most attractive tourism spot in the country, given that here we have a very special cultural landscape that we need to preserve and improve"

“I represent the US Government and it is important to support this project. We want to improve the life of families in Moldova, we wish to contribute to the development of the hotel industry because they contribute to the development of the tourism sector which has great potential."

Gheorghe Postică, Deputy Minister of Culture

Lynn Vega, Deputy Director of USAID Moldova

Photo credit: USAID MCP Photo caption: Participants at the Tree Planting Activity in Orhei Vechi reservation on November 11, 2016

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In December 2016, MCP also contracted the international expert Jack Delf to work with the local communities and private tour operators in Butuceni and Trebujeni to develop and revive the existing or new hiking and biking trails in the region as well as to include new destinations such as Vila Roz and Casa din Lunca, sheep farms that were supported by MCP. Support diversification of the tour operators’ products. Ecotourism is a growing segment of the global tourism industry that is making significant positive contributions to the environmental, social, cultural, and economic well-being of destinations and local communities around the world. Offering market-linked long-term solutions, ecotourism provides effective economic incentives for conserving and enhancing bio-cultural diversity and helps protect the natural and cultural heritage of the planet. By increasing capacity building opportunities, ecotourism is also an effective vehicle for empowering local communities to fight against poverty and to achieve sustainable development. Furthermore, ecotourism has provided an impetus to assist in greening the tourism industry on many fronts. Moldova had many natural areas that could be used in tourism for recreation purposes. In order to diversify the tourism offer and include the natural areas of Moldova on the international tourism offers, the US Forest Service together with MCP, Moldsilva, and ANTRIM agreed to implement the first eco-tourism project in Moldova. Plaiul Fagului Reserve was identified to be the most appropriate area for the pilot project, as it has the potential to demonstrate multiple benefits of ecotourism development, and to encourage similar projects in other locations. This public-private platform is a collaboration between natural area Moldsilva, the public partner, ANTRIM, and other tour operators. To start the pilot project, recreation specialists from the US Forest Service traveled to Moldova in October 2016 and worked with government agencies and the tourism industry private representatives to develop opportunities for attracting visitors to Moldova’s natural areas. On October 26, a workshop for 16 local authorities, guides, and tour operators set the objectives of the ecotourism project and contributors’ responsibilities.

Photo credit: ANTRIM Photo caption: The workshop participants visiting the Plaiul Fagului together with the US Forest Services recreation specialists on October 26.

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  

 

Natural Area Managers – will allow access to the Reserve, provide visitors facilities and oversee construction of new facilities, supply information about natural and cultural resources of interest to visitors, generate revenue to support the Reserve, and (most importantly!) conserve the environment for future use and enjoyment for generations to come. Travel/tourism Operators – will market the ecotourism opportunity, bring visitors to participate, provide onsite services to visitors, work to improve the visitor experience, and generate revenue to support the project. Surrounding Communities – will provide the tourist services such as food, lodging, and local culture to complete and enrich the visitor experience, Local Communities and People – will better utilize existing tourism infrastructure and help expansion into new services, audiences for local events and festivals and other attractions, improved relationship with local natural resource managers, economic growth. The Visitors – will enrich their experience – fun, fellowship and learning – of visiting the Reserve. The lasting memories of enjoying Moldova’s natural beauty. The Environment – its conservation will be improved through public understanding and support. Improved habitat for fauna and flora through sustainable stewardship.

As a result, the US Forest Service has presented to Moldsilva and Plaiul Fagului the description of the first tours and prices. Startup Tourism Moldova Program. In Year 1, the Project launched the Startup Tourism Moldova Program to help companies create local tourism products and identified three companies, Winetours Moldova, Amadeus Travel, and Voyages Pourquoi Pas, for international consultancy support As a result, Amadeus Travel developed a “Cultural activity bike tour of Moldova,” which includes highlights such as Domulgeni village, Socora Fortress, and Branesti Winery. Winetours Moldova developed the “Wine and Gastronomy Journey to Moldova,” which includes highlights such as Carahasani village, a cooking masterclass with Lo Chef in Chisinau, Palanca Village, and the Rustic Art Craft Center. Voyages Pourquoi Pas developed “Explore the Nature,” which includes highlights such as Plaiul Fagului Nature Reserve, Bahmut Country Club, and Bahmut Village Hiking. During the reporting period, Jack Delf, assisted the companies in extending the tours up to five days. Additionally, MCP decided to support Winetours to participate at the matchmaking program for professionals in the frameworks of the International Wine Tourism Conference IWINETC, in March 2017. This is a great opportunity for the start-up to get in touch with touroperators in wine, gastronomy, and culture from all around the world. At the same time, also, as a part of this program, MCP decided to help Voyages Pourquoi Pasto organize an info-tour to Moldova for Selectour AFAT to present their “Explore the Nature” product. Voyages Pourquoi Pasto signed a cooperation agreement for an initial period of two years starting in January 2017 with Selectour AFAT which has 850 branch agencies all across France. This is an important step for the company as Voyages Pourquoi Pas is the only company working with the French market to determine the French tourists desire to discover Moldova’s culture, traditions, gastronomy, and wine. Activity 5. Better Trained Workforce and Modern Skills in the Tourism Industry This activity will start to be implemented in the next quarter.

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Objective 2: Expanded Market Linkages Activity 1: Build Wine of Moldova Brand Equity and Increase Awareness about Moldovan Wines Increase Wine of Moldova brand awareness through strategic international communication activities. In addition to activities on targeted export markets, Wine of Moldova needs to develop international awareness contributing to continuous markets diversification and minimizing risks related to dependence on certain market. Furthermore, the WoM international communication strategy underway shall support continuous promotion efforts to raise country’s recognition and communicate the recent qualitative improvements in the Moldova wine sector. In this respect, MCP contracted Robert Joseph, the internationally renowned wine marketing expert, who during the reporting period developed and proposed an outline of the international PR and Communication masterplan. It contains a list of detailed activities that, if properly implemented will contribute to the increase of the international awareness of the national country brand and will position Moldova among the leading wine producing countries. This plan includes organization of dedicated Moldova hosted events which will highlight the WoM product advantages and bring attention of international press: Blending Conference and Rose Seminar; associated wine events to generate public interest and touristic inflow such as cellars marathon organization; and initiatives to generate interest among connoisseurs: scholarship programs and ambassadors program; as well as a series of guerilla marketing activities that shall generate virality of generated content and messaging. In addition, the consultant has provided a list of media vehicles and relevant contacts that can ensure the implementation of the suggested activities. The Project thoroughly analyzed the proposed outline of the PR and communication plan and conducted a consultation meeting with ONVV. As a result, short-list of the activities was selected which, considering the available resources and established priorities, can be realized in the following 12-18 months, having a positive effect on Wine of Moldova awareness in target markets on an international scale. Based on the developed short list as well as on the ONVV marketing plan, the expert will work out, in details, each approved activity providing key steps and actions to be implemented and critical success factors to be considered during implementation. Improve Wine of Moldova online presence and social media communication. Considering the importance of the internet and the need to have a reliable and continuously updatable information source, MCP supports ONVV in developing a new Wine of Moldova website and ensures its optimization for search engine’s enquiries. To capitalize on previous efforts to promote Wine of Moldova on the US and other key export markets, MCP plans to employ foreign expertise to develop a social media

Photo credit: Euronews.com Photo caption: Printscreen of the article published on Euronews.com news portal. October 28, 2016

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strategy for WoM accounts. As such, during the reporting period, MCP conducted several coordination meetings with ONVV senior management to synchronize the approach to the sector’s expectations. In the upcoming period the project will develop a detailed concept paper for the enhancement of social media communication and improving the online presence as well as identify appropriate local and international consultants. Upgrade WoM Brandbook and brand guidelines. The national wine country brand has been used as the main umbrella for Moldova’s marketing efforts for the last three years and numerous visual materials have been developed and produced. Per best practices, the WoM brandook needs to be upgraded to ensure continuity and a streamlined image. As MCP has been actively involved in the development of a set of visual materials for internal and external communication campaigns (National Wine Day campaign, Wine Friendly, Wine Club communication platform, Crafted for you to enjoy communication campaign for export markets, etc.), the project seeks to accumulate a critical mass of developed materials in order to assign a specialized branding company or consultant to analyze the developed materials and systemize them into comprehensive brand guidelines. Activity 2: Foster Business Linkages and Expand Wine of Moldova Exports Support generic participation under the Wine of Moldova country brand at wine exhibitions and trade events. Participation at international wine exhibitions and businessto-business (B2B) trade events remains the main and most efficient tool for building wine sales. MCP will continue to support ONVV in organizing a country booth at regional and international exhibitions, and trade events on target export markets. Czech Republic is one of the most reliable wine trading partners of Republic of Moldova, being ranked number #2 out of EU export markets in 2016. Wine of Moldova participated at the one of the most important specialized event – International Wine Show Prague, organized on October 12, 2016 in the Hilton Hotel Prague attended by key market professionals, over 600 visitors, and showcasing 70 exhibitors. For 2016 edition, with MCP support, Wine of Moldova brought its presentation to a higher level with 15 exporting companies showcasing in two dedicated halls and a specialized Master Class hosted by Master of Wine – Caroline Gilby. Participating wineries presented to highly targeted public (mostly wine buyers, and wine professionals) over 60 wine SKUs and conducting over 30 business meetings with new and existing partners, thus expanding their market linkages. Photo credit: Wine of Moldova, Adrian Digolean Photo caption: Master of Wine Caroline Gilby, hosting a master class for Wine of Moldova, During International Wine Show Prague, 2015

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In November, with MCP support, Wine of Moldova, represented by 11 wineries, participated at Magazyn Wino “Grand Prix Gala” – one of the most important industry events on the Polish market, which brought together top wine producers and top Polish wine importers. The attainment of the national wine country brand was on the same level as international industry leaders such as France, Spain, and New World countries as Moldova showcased with a separate stand, featured a sparkling wine at a dedicated “bubble breakfast event,” and hosted a specialized master class moderated by Tomasz Kolecki, one of the leading Polish sommeliers.

Photo credit: Vlad Grosu Photo caption: Elena Davidescu (Vinaria din Vale) presenting wine to Platinum Wines (Polish importer) representative during Magazyn Wino Wine Gala, November 5, 2016

In addition to the main scope, MCP expert Witold Franczak facilitated several important meetings for ONVV, represented by the Deputy Director Vlad Grossu with key stakeholders of the wine distribution on the Polish market, such as Carrefour and Selgros, which will host the anticipated trade campaign of Wine of Moldova in Spring 2017. It is important to mention that in 2016, Poland became the number one trading partner of Moldova on bottled wine, importing over 3M liters or 17% of the total bottled wine exports in first 9 months of 2016. Thus, this activity represents the starting point of a complex campaign which will involve PR, consumer communication and trade activities aimed to promote Moldova as a premium wine producing country and as a tourist destination. With MCP support, eight Moldovan wine producers presented their wines at a Tokyo edition of the most renowned international exhibitions franchise, Vinexpo. Japan is the second largest wine market in Asia, importing wines valued at aprox.1.4 billion EUR and steadily increasing by 3-4% annually. For Moldovan wines, Japan is a continuous source of growth, exports of bottled wines from Moldova to Japan have doubled in the last three years, reaching 230,000 bottles in 2015. Participating wineries (Albastrele Wines, Asconi, Castel Mimi, Château Vartely, Migdal-P, Purcari, Suvorov-Vin, and Vinaria din Vale) carried out dozens of discussions and established contacts with wine importers in Japan, also providing tastings to thousands of fair visitors. Additionally, to emphasize high quality and the particularities of Moldovan terroir, several activities were organized for journalists and importers. The activities included a dinner with Japanese journalists in a Moldovan restaurant and a professional master class dedicated to Wine Moldova, guided by Makoto Endo, President Secretariat of the Association of wine importers in Japan and one of the most illustrious wine specialists in the country. More than

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50 professionals tasted Moldovan wines during the mentioned events, and it is anticipated that this activity will result in several publications in specialized magazines in Japan. Text Box 5. Quotation on Wine of Moldova stand at Vinexpo Tokio “The stand of Wine of Moldova was one of the most attractive, impressing the visitors and making us proud. Our winemakers were taken by storm, thanks to high quality wines and their particular style. Journalists were impressed to discover that Moldova produces wine for thousands of years and that these wines are perfect pairing with Japanese outstanding gastronomy, symbiotically representing the Japanese ideogram for wine: "what is missing in a dish" Photo credit: Wine of Moldova Photo caption: H.E. Vasile Bumacov, Ambassador of Republic of Moldova in Japan presenting Wine of Moldova at the national country booth during Vinexpo Tokio, November 15-16, 2016

Vasile Bumacov Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova in Japan

Participation of Wine of Moldova at this exhibition was one of the most anticipated by one of the most authoritative international wine magazines: The Drinks Business which featured Moldova among the largest exhibitors mainly due wines from the wine regions of Stefan Voda, Valul lui Traian and Codru. Another success of the Moldova Wine exhibition was reported by the Purcari/Bostavan sales manager. There has beensignificant expansion in the number of business contacts, forecasting an increase of at least 20% of wine exports in the premium segment because of the exhibition. November 25-27, 2016 the Photo credit: Screenshot from The Drink Business Project supported the Photo caption: The prestigious specialized magazine “The Drink Business” refers to Wine of Moldova participation at Vinexo Tokyo as one of the “big participation of 12 leading names”, 2015 Moldovan wineries and four small producers – representatives of the Association of the Small Wine Makers – at the 18th edition of the most important specialized exhibition, Good Wine Bucharest. Romania is a growing market for Moldovan Wines and is ranked ranked number three among top export destinations in 2016. The country has registerec a quadruple increase in the quantity of imported wine from

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Moldova since the Russian embargo in 2013. The participation of Wine of Moldova at this exhibition was enhanced by a dedicated master class, hosted by Catalin Paduraru, a renowned wine expert and the president of the International Wine Contest Bucharest. Most of the participating wineries have used this event to strengthen their distribution and partnership with existing trade partners and to introduce new wine stock keeping units (SKUs). Most of the visitors that attended the Wine of Moldova stand were already acquainted with Moldovan wines and approached the participating wineries on purpose. Many visitors were representatives of specialized retail outlets or HoReCa channel professionals. This fact demonstrates that the ongoing communication and continuous participation have brought the expected effects. In addition, the Project in close cooperation with ONVV started preparation for the 2017 edition of the Photo credit: Viorel Garaz Photo caption: Wine of Moldova national booth at 18th most renowned international wine edition of Good Wine, Bucharest, November 25-27, 2016 exhibition “Prowein”. MCP subcontracted Robert Joseph to develop the general concept of participation, the messaging towards media, intra- and extra-booth activities, and events in order to present Wine of Moldova USPs and showcase the recent quality leaps. Improve the image of Moldova’s wine quality by supporting participation at international wine contests. Participation in renowned international wine contests is an excellent tool to raise awareness of the improved quality of Moldova’s wine. During activity Year 1, the project has developed and implemented a program that motivated the wineries to submit more samples to the most reputed international wine contest, which generated outstanding results. Two-thirds of submitted wines received medals or special mentioning. Within the reporting period, the Project concluded the ongoing program by collecting the results from Mundus Vini, which topped the list of received medals with 4 gold and 2 silver. In addition, the Project collected applications for the last contest from the list under the wave of the program designed and implemented in Year 1 of activity: “Challenge International du Vin.” As such 3 companies (Cricova, Bostavan/Purcari, and Vinaria din Vale) presented their applications and registered the wines committing to submit one SKU on top of each subsidized sample. Support trade marketing activities to expand WoM portfolio on target markets. Moldovan wineries are striving for more sales of quality dry wines on the EU markets, focusing mostly on up-trading to new product segments to ensure higher added value. MCP supports ONVV in the development and implementation of country-level trade marketing campaigns. These campaigns are aimed at increasing the demand at the wholesaler,

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retailer, and distributor levels and shall be coupled with the WoM generic campaign to create awareness and sustain the need at the consumer end. To initiate such a program on the Polish market, again contracted Witold Franczak, a Polish wine trade expert, to assist ONVV in designing, planning, and implementing a trade promotion in one or several major retail chains from modern trade segment. During the reporting period, with MCP support, the detailed timeline of the project was developed as well as detailed concept presentation to be ascertained by the envisaged retail chains. In addition, during the reporting period, Mr. Franczak organized two trade trips featuring the main importers and wine buyers from major Polish supermarket chains and wine importers. The first trip was organized October 20-23, 2016. During an intensive program the trade representatives from Platinum Wines and TIM (leading wine importers), Carrefour, IBES and Archelan (retail chains), were acquainted to the results of sectorial reform and to the upgraded quality of Moldovan wines and alsohad the chance to discuss with ONVV future promotional activity. The second trade trip for representatives of different levels of Polish trade (importers, distributors, representatives of modern trade channels such as: TIM, Eurocash, Stokrotka) was organized December 1-4, 2016 and included numerous wine tastings and working sessions with pools of wineries from Export Champions and New Generation Wineries tiers. Both organized trips have positively influenced the perception of Wine of Moldova among Polish wine trade professionals, spreading positive messages about the anticipated marketing activities. In addition, the visits helped convince executives from Carrefour and Selgros to accept to host the anticipated trade and shopper marketing promotion, remaining to receive ‘formal’ acceptance of the senior management. Another positive outcome of the trade visits is the increased interest from other Polish retail chains in Moldovan wines. As such, during the reporting period, the project received a request to support the organization of an im-out promo for a selected pool of Exporting Champions wineries in 2,500 outlets of the biggest Polish retailer, Biedronka. Activity 3: Export Support Program (ESP): increased wine sales on target markets Assist ASW to increase marketing capacity and wine exports. MCP assists ASW in the implementation of a long-term promotional plan based on a common marketing framework. Per this framework, small wineries identified the domestic market as a priority, along with foreign markets represented by Romania, Germany, and Poland. During the reporting period and within the grant activity plan, MCP facilitated the participation of six ASW members at the Heilbronn “Wine Professionals Conference” organized by one of the most renowned wine magazines in Germany “Wein-Plus” (Wein Markt), where ASW was featured as one of the organizing partners. The two-day conference which took place October 9-10, 2016 was dedicated to specialized outlet (wine shop) owners that gather to discuss the latest wine trends and means to avoid risks to which small specialized shop formats are exposed. This event represented a great opportunity for ASW as it concentrated their intermediary target audience that were given the opportunity to taste showcased wines during the conference breaks and after the main agenda completion. As a result, ASW managed to leave a very good impression on the conference participants and established over 150 market linkages and over 25 serious contacts. It also served as a platform for collecting orders by local distributors (2 importers and distributers have been presented T the stand) which led immediately to increased shipping lots: Carpe Diem has received an order for one pallet (approximately 660 bottles), a 150% increase over the entire quantity supplied in the

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first 9 months of 2016; whereas Equinox has received an order for two pallets (approximately 1320 bottles), representing a triple increase for the same period. As outlined above, MCP supported ASW in the implementation of the annual promotion plan. One of the planned and implemented activities is participation of four small wine producers under a common ASW stand at the 18th edition of the specialized wine fair, Good Wine, Bucharest. The presence of ASW was emphasized by a dedicated master class hosted by the acting ASW President – Gheorghe Arpentin. The master class has managed to attract over 30 representatives of media and wine trade professionals, who have highly appreciated the wines originating from the “Hills of Nistru River,” this being the main subject of the organized master class.

Photo credit: Ion Luca Photo caption: ASW wines presented at Heilbronn “Wine Professionals” conference, October 9-10, 2016

Considering the achieved results, the Project decided to offer additional support by contracting a dedicated advertorial article in the most reputed Romanian wine magazine, Vinul.ro.

Photo credit: Cezar Ioan, Vinul.ro Photo caption: Small Wine Producers - Gheorghe Arpentin, Igor Luchianov, Constantin Stratan, Dan Prisacaru, conducing master class: “Wines form the Nistru Hills: Traditions. Diversity. Excellence”, November 25-27, 2016

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Like the big wineries, small winemakers have noted that the visitors have visited the ASW stand, most of them already being aware of the ASW brand and having tasted some of the wines available on the market. The visitors were interested to find out more about product ranges offered by the small producers and taste new vintages and stock keeping units. Most of them were representatives of the specialized retail outlets. The presence of the distributor at the ASW stand facilitated immediate business contacts, which is anticipated to result in increased orders. Support new generation wineries in developing market penetration strategies. MCP identified five new generation wineries (NGW) that have clear visions and will invest in developing new markets for their wines or build on existing ones. Through holistic assistance, MCP supports the beneficiaries from development to execution of their marketing strategy for the selected markets. Within the reporting period, Polish wine trade expert Mr. Franczak worked closely with selected wineries to define their export offer and collected data on SKU, labels, quantities, and prices as well as wineries’ aspirations and goals for the Polish market. This information is necessary to help wineries establish marketing objectives and for guiding them in drafting penetration plans. It is anticipated that the expert will also assist the NGW and MCP to organize common promotional activities for this pool of wine exporters. One of the first such activities was organized during the above-mentioned trade trips. On October 22, 2016 and December 4, 2016, the expert Mr. Franczak organized a presentation followed by a walk around tasting for representatives of three wine importers (Platinum Wines, Partner Center and TIM) and representatives of four retail chains (Carrefour, IBES, Archelan, and Stokrotka) featuring 8 new generation wineries. The results were immediate. One of the participating companies, F’autor, has reported advanced contract negotiation with Platinum Wines with an expected annual quantity of 20,000 bottles of middle and premium segment wines. Support wine champions in developing export markets. Another module of MCP export support program is oriented towards “export Champions”. These companies have already entered targeted EU markets and have constant importers and sufficient distribution. These “export champions” benefit from MCP support to implement “pull” strategies to increase their sales in these markets. As such, within the reporting period, the Project monitored the implementation of programs by the export champions deployed in the first intake, mainly: Daos brand (Bostavan Winery) promotion in Baltics, Chateau Vartely generic promotion in Poland, Cricova trade campaign on the Polish market, and Gitana promotional activities on Romanian market. Within the reporting period, Wine-Service, a Polish specialized wine promotion agency, organized a press trip to Chateau Vartely for three journalists and wine bloggers. The trip was followed by a guided wine tastings on November 17, 2016 in Krakow and one food and wine

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Photo credit: Amber distribution Photo caption: Dedicated product display and floor sticker promoting Daos wines in Elvi retail chain, Lithuania, October 2016

pairing master class on December 14, 2016 in Sierakow. The communication campaign will continue through all 2017, and the Project will closely monitor the achieved results. Additionally, with Project support, Bostavan implemented an integrated communication campaign for promotion of Daos trademark in Baltic countries. The campaign included, social media promotion, a web banner campaign, magazine advertising, and POSM. The beneficiary winery Bostavan reported the achievement of impressive results. Distributors’ wine depletions to retail chains having registered a 285% increased compared to the same period during 2016.

Photo credit: Quarz Media Photo caption: H.E. Ambassador of Italy in Romania, Diego Brasioli, examining a bottle of Gitana wine during the charity event “Hope and Homes for Children Romania”, November 15th, 2016

Also, based on the presented marketing plans and considering the achieved results, the Project decided to support the growth momentum of Gitana Winery (Vinaria Tiganca) on the Romanian market by cost sharing a part of the planned activities for 2016. This mainly covers the “sponsorship package” for participation in charity events that are a focal point of gathering of opinion leaders positioning Gitana wines in the “quality segment”. Notably, due to targeted communication efforts and a clever distribution strategy, Vinaria Tiganca has managed to increase exports to Romania in one year by 18 times - from 3,000 bottles in 2015 to 54,000 bottles in 2016. Activity 4: Develop domestic wine market and enhance wine culture Promote wine culture and upgrade the quality of the wine services in local hospitality facilities. The domestic wine market research and consumers’ survey revealed poor knowledge about bottled wines and low awareness of the wine brands and varieties. MCP is keen to organize communication campaigns aiming to raise pride and trust for locallyproduced wines as well as contribute to increased service levels and variety in hospitality facilities. Table 1. Wine Friendly Magic Edition stats

As such, MCP assisted ONVV in the organization of an integrated communication campaign promoting wine culture and incentivizing the consumption of bottled wine. The campaign was organized in the high season and included communications around “Wine Vernissage” and the “Wine Friendly campaign”. The current communication wave of “Wine Friendly” was deployed in December 2016 and included 10 specialized master classes, eight of which were in new restaurants that strive to receive program accreditation. The master classes were enhanced by contest and quizzes,

Performance indicator New venues applicants for accreditation Number of participating wineries Number of Master Classes Master classes attendance Wines tasted Facebook reach

Campaign cost per visitor

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Values +8 new venues 22 +6 in comparison to previous wave 10 master classes 160 persons 38 SKU 130 bottles 60k +202 new fans 157 event responses $26 20% decrease in comparison to previous wave

awarding participants with gift baskets and tickets to Wine Vernissage, thus promoting this event among participants. The achieved results in terms of attendance, interest from restaurant owners, generated social media buzz as well as the increased number of participating wineries demonstrate the viability of the concept which yields a positive impact on enhanced wine culture via a ‘win-win’ approach. As such, one of the participating restaurants and a reliable partner of Picture: Photo collage of social media postings on Wine of Moldova, Downtown Codru, Instagram and Facebook under “Wine Friendly, Magic reported a 50% increase in wine sales Edition” program, November 15, 2016 after the launch of the first wave of the “Wine Friendly” campaign in December 2015. Increase awareness about wines and boost domestic sales. In partnership with ONVV and wine producers, the Project aims to contribute to the increase of domestic sales by organizing PR and communication campaigns focused around high sales seasons and other popular wine events. Wine Vernissage has proven to be an efficient event that promotes wine culture and serves as a platform for new product launches. The Project supported ONVV in the organization of the eleventh edition of the Wine Vernissage and deployment of a communication campaign.

Photo credit: Wine of Moldova Photo caption: Group photo during the 11th edition of Wine Vernissage, December 15, 2016. From right to left: Gheorghe Arpentin, ONVV Director, Jeanette E. Tyson, US Embassy, Diana Lazar, MCP DCOP, Vasile Luca MAFI Deputy Minister, Doina Nistor, MCP COP, Karen Hilliard USAID Mission Director, Eugen Pislaru, Vice President of the Association of Wine Producers and Exporters, Sergiu Botezatu USAID COR

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The 2016 winter edition registered numerous records including a record number of visitors (over 1,200 people or more 20% than in other editions) among which were state officials, mass media and diplomatic representatives; over 500 tickets sold generating over $6,000 towards the event budget (almost 40% of the event budget); record breaking number of participating wineries (37 companies, of which 27 were large winemakers and 10 small); over 200 SKUs offered for tasting from which 50 new products were launched; over 50 hits of free media coverage; 75,0000 people reached on social media, and more than125 new fans of the Facebook page. Support wine tourism facilities and wine culture hubs. The WoM marketing and the evolving wine culture encouraged the emergence of several specialty gastronomic and wine shops. These are an important element of tourism. MCP supports making these places more tourist friendly, ensuring high service, authentic cuisine, and quality wine listings. Consequently, the project launched a call for grant applications for facilities interested in contributing to the development of wine culture on the domestic market. Considering the amount of e-mail and telephone inquires on the application procedure, the domestic market may soon witness the launch of several specialized venues. Furthermore, based on the results achieved both on local and international markets by the small winemaker Ilie Gogu, and based on the strategy to develop clustered touristic facilities in the Stefan Voda area, the project decided to offer ‘soft’ support in reorganizing his household production facility in order to enable the winery to receive guests, develop touristic products, and conduct on-site tastings. As such, the project conducted preliminary meetings with the beneficiary to assess the plans and expectation and has assigned an expert in order design the development of the anticipated tourism facility. Activity 5: Enhance awareness about Moldova as a Tourism Destination Enhance Moldovan tourism and products’ online presence. Under the planned activities for the development of the Moldovan tourism industry, the Project aims to improve website activity on moldovaholiday.travel, the largest information platform for local and foreign tourists about Moldova as a tourist destination. The Project also plans to promote it at the institutional level. Currently, the platform is available in five languages: Romanian, Russian, English, French, and German. To be sustainable, this project requires solutions to update, monetize, and market the website. In order to improve the site, MCP contracted RT Design to redesign the website using responsive design, migrate moldovaholiday.travel to Moldova.travel, implement mobile version responsive support, carry out an SEO update, develop commercial offers for customers B2B, work to improve the technical content of the web page, train people on web page administration, promote the mobile app within the site, and create local and online content database themed photos. In the reporting month, RT Design presented the first versions of the proposed redesign. The redesign is now under review and will be approved if they meet the requirements and visions of MCP and ANTRIM. Enhance Moldovan tourism and products’ online presence. Continuing the activities started in Year 1 and aiming to increase local interest in inbound tourism, the Discover Moldova complex online promotional campaign was finalized on November 1. The campaign includes the development of the platform www.vernisaj.moldovaholiday.travel. The promotion on social media of “Moldova Discover the routes of life, was also finalized on November 1. The online campaign is promoting Moldova as a tourism destination through pictures. The website was accessed by more than 8,200 users, garnering more than 2 million impressions. On the same platform, 15,000 people voted for their favorite pictures according the the themes of taste, explore, feel, and people.

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Photo credit: locals.md Photo caption: Locals.md platform developed and posted 10 articles about the Descopera Moldova Campaign

At the same time, to improve the quality of online promotional materials, in November 2016, MCP initiated a new project to present the top 10 tourism destinations in a 360-degree project. This is a unique project that will allow travelers from all around the world to discover Moldova’s tourism attractions and experience them from their computers. These videos will be integrated in an online platform and on the moldova.travel website, being later promoted through dedicated campaigns in target markets.

Text box 6. Ten top tourism destinations in Moldova          

Casa Parinteasca Cetatea Soroca Curchi Monastery Orheiul Vechi EtCetera Asconi Cricova Milestii Mici Purcari Castel Mimi

Moreover, to celebrate the Holiday Season and continually inspire local and international travelers on discovering Moldova, MCP launched a new “Happy Holiday” social media promotional campaign. For this campaign, 5 holiday themed graphics interchange format (GIFs) were developed. 3 for the local market, 1 for Italy, and 1 for Poland. The promotional campaign was launched in December and will last until the end of January. During this campaign, the launched video graphics were developed with the support of MCP to present the TCB Tree of Life making and values. This was done to highlight the cultural connotation, and Moldovan traditions in the context of the Holiday Season. Activity 6: Foster Business Linkages and Increase Demand for Moldovan Tourism Products on Target Markets Support generic country presentation at international tourism exhibitions. To promote Moldova as a tourism destination on two target markets, Poland and the UK, the Project, in collaboration with ANTRIM, supported local tourism operators, agencies, and wineries to participate at the following exhibitions in November 2016: 

TT Warsaw Show, organized on November 24-26, 2016, annually gathers more than 450 exhibitors from over 50 countries. The participation of Moldova at this exhibition is part of the marketing and promotion plan on the Polish market. It was implemented by ANTRIM in collaboration with the private sector and with MCP strategic support. Professionals and visitors could communicate and learn more about Moldova’s tourism offer from the incoming tour operators (Solei, Tatrabis, Visit Moldova, Slavion Travel and Ways Travel).

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To promote wine tourism, participating wineries Text Box 7. Testimonial on (Asconi, Castel Mimi, Purcari and Chateau Vartely) participation at TT Warsaw showcased their products. A new product that include attractions on both sides of the Nistru River “Poland is one of the target markets for the tourism industry in was promoted at this exhibition. The itineraries 2017, particularly for ANTRIM, and were created by ANTRIM in partnership with the our participation in this fair is part Regional Development Agency in Tiraspol, a of a comprehensive program to program financed by the EU and implemented by promote the country as a wine UNDP. As part of the promotional campaign on this tourism destination. We also plan market, a dedicated press conference was for the next period B2B activities organized on November 23, 2016 to present and familiarization tours for media Moldova and its touristic offer to over 30 journalists from Poland " from local media, business magazines, Treveller Poland, Slow Tourism, SlowLife, and others. The Emilian Dzugas, ANTRIM President attendee number confirmed the increased interest for discovering Moldova. This was also confirmed by Moldovan statistics (www.statistica.md) that shows increased number of Polish tourists in the last three years. In 2014, Polish tourists represented 3% from total tourists. In 2015, this rose to 4% and rose further to 4.6% in 9 months of the current year.

Photo credit: ANTRIM Photo caption: Picture 1. Natalia Turcanu, ANTRIM Executive Director, greeting Lech Jerzy Pilecki the Honorary Consul of Moldova in Bialystok, together with Iurie Bodrug, Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova in Poland; Pictures 2 and 3. Moldovan stands and Customers at the Moldovan stand during the TT Warsaw exhibition in Poland, November 22-25, 2016.

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WTM London, the leading global B2B event for the travel industry, was organized on November 7-9, 2016. This exhibition was organized under the leadership of the Tourism Agency of Moldova with ANTRIM, MCP and MIEPO for a strong impact on the UK market, which is the third target market for Moldovan tourism offer support. Seven companies (Amadeus Travel, Ways Travel, Winetours, Solei Turism, AirMoldova, Best Travel and Asconi Winery) presented their offers of tourism attractions including wineries, gastronomy, monasteries, medieval fortresses, rural life and authentic culture.

Photo credit: Tourism Agency of Moldova Photo caption: Moldova showcased as a tourism destination during the WTM London Tourism Exhibition during November 7-9, 2016.

Additionally, MCP supported local companies in participating at IBTM World international specialized exhibitions in Barcelona, Spain during November 29 - December 1, 2016 for developing MICE tourism in Moldova - the most rewarding type of tourism for the development of a certain destination. This was organized under ANTRIM leadership with MIEPO support. IBTM World is the leading global event for the meetings, incentives, conferences, events and business travel industry, taking place in Barcelona. The event gathers industry professionals for three days of focused business opportunities, thoughtprovoking professional education, and networking to drive your business into the future. This was the first time that Moldovan companies AQA Logistics, TatraBis, and Solei Turism participated at this event under the TCB Tree of Life.

Photo credit: Rodica Tataru Photo caption: Rodica Tataru, AQA Logistics Director, Eugen Scortescu, TatraBis Director, Victoria Rusu, Solei Turism Incoming tourism manager, participating at IBTM World exhibition on November 29 December 1, 2016

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Increase awareness on target markets through the organization of press tours. MCP designed a series of activities to support the positioning and promotion of Moldova as a tourism destination on the international marketplace. Moldova has a unique potential that can be harnessed properly by organizing various press trips to promote local tourism segments including wine tourism, gastronomic, rural, and cultural. Such press trips often result in editorials about Moldova and raise awareness of our country in target markets. As such, during September 28-October 2, 2016 the fall press tour in Moldova was organized and lead by the National Inbound Tourism Association in partnership with the ONVV. The familiarization tour is a part of the project’s support to ANTRIM capacity building through the MCP grant. The press group was formed by Mrs. Ingrid Zalneva from Slovakia and Mr. Per Karlsson, from the United Kingdom, and the ONVV press group, and followed the same tours. Mrs. Ingrid Zalneva is the chief editor of the specialized journal for Slovaks living in Austria and also writes for a life-style magazine which belongs to the most popular and successful in Slovakia (almost every year they receive the award "THE BEST MAGAZINE": http://www.miaumagazin.sk/. In addition, since December 2016, she publishes on our own blog which is progressing improving: www.travelpotpourri.net. Mrs. Ingrid Zalneva is a member of the Slovak F.I.J.E.T. and the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists. She already posted four articles on her personal blog. Mr. Per Karlsson is a specialist in wine and in wine photography. The wife and husband team run the BKWine Magazine site and BKWine’s wine tour activity. They have published in specialized magazines and are authors of several wine books (one named Best Wine Book in the World for Professionals) http://www.bkwine.com/contact/. During their visit to Moldova, Mrs. Zalneva and Mr. Karlsson, together with another six journalists’ invitees of ONVV, participated in a 5 days’ trip though Moldova to discover wines, tourist sites, and unique activities and experiences. The itinerary included: the Chisinau city tour, Orheiul Vechi, Chateau Vartely Winery, Et Cetera Winery, Cricova, and one of the main autumn events, National Wine Day.

Objective 3: Improved Sector-Enabling Environment and Increased Capacity Activity 1: Support continued policy upgrading and legal regulatory reforms in the wine industry Sustain continuous improvements to legal and regulatory framework reform. The project supports MAFI, ONVV, and private sector associations to implement new technical regulations into subordinated normative acts. Also, MCP supports the upgrading of wine products’ controlling procedures and organization in a more efficient and less redundant manner aiming to increase the quality of wines on the market and diminish unfair competition. As such, the project supports ONVV participation in the discussion of amendments and improvements in current legislation within dedicated workgroups organized by MAFI. The project considers this platform a public-private partnership as ONVV is the ‘microphone’ of the private sector and represents its interests. On the other hand, the project considers it an achievement that ONVV is invited to participate in all working sessions on legal and regulatory issues, proving that ONVV has gained trust among authorities and the private sector as the leading expert organization. Consequently, during the reporting period, ONVV contributed to amendments and improvements of legislative and normative acts by participating in the following workgroup sessions:  MAFI workgroup on Agro-food sector subsidies for 2017;

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   

Workgroup on the amendment to Law 57_2006 “On Vine and Wine”; MAFI workgroup on assessing the “Stauceni Winemaking Centre of Excellence” feasibility study; Session within MAFI workgroup on proposing remedies regarding objections to Government decree draft on “Regulation on keeping the Vine and Wine Register”; Sessions of Horticulture Commission within Technical and Scientific Committee of MAFI on ISPHTA viticulture genofond, the impact on global climate change, and the naturalness of the vine and wine produce of Moldova.

Developing a national strategy for the wine industry (2017-2040). Over the past four years the wine industry implemented, with USAID support, the white paper “Rethink Wine Industry” (2010). A sector-wide opinion was developed regarding the future of the industry. To secure and streamline its sustainable development, the wine sector needs to develop a comprehensive wine industry development strategy for the next 20 years. The project is dedicated to provide support to MAFI, ONVV, and the private sector in developing a sectoral strategy by using international expertise and managing a participatory consultation process. As such, during the reporting quarter, consultations have been initiated for sectoral strategy development by presenting ONVV with the outlined approach, action plan, strategy structure, and offered support. Activity 2: Strengthen the role of ONVV as the main professional organization of the wine industry Support the development of ONVV institutional capacity. The project continues supporting ONVV in the implementation of appropriate business processes, including planning, reporting, monitoring and evaluation, PR and communication, transparency of decision making, and public-private dialogue platforms. In particular, MCP encouraged the implementation of ‘Reload ONVV’ white paper’s recommendations regarding budgeting issues and institutional performance monitoring. ONVV is also being supported in defining its lobby and advocacy role in representing the wine industry’s interests and streamlining MAFI’s supervisory role. As such, MCP supported ONVV in the organization of the annual sector reunion. During the event, industry stakeholders, private sector representatives, and academia received the 2016 intermediate report, outlined the 2017 activity plan and long term strategy, and reviewed the prerogatives and objectives of the new management team. As a result, ONVV received positive endorsements for 2016 activities, a year considered as a transitional one. ONVV also received sector-wide approval for upcoming activity plans and respective budget distribution. Among ONVV’s speakers, the presentation featured a supporting speech from USAID Moldova Competitiveness Project’s Deputy Chief of Party, Diana Lazar, who highlighted the role and the importance of this institution in ensuring continuity of sector reforms and underlined that MCP’s supported activities can be implemented only in cooperation with ONVV. In addition, one of the project’s short term experts, Marco Tiggelman, presented an outline of the ‘Reload ONVV’ action plan and mobilized the sector to be more responsive, proactive, and responsible in participating in ONVV’s activities. During the celebration of National Wine Day, MCP initiated a meeting for strategic planning between private sector representatives of the ONVV Coordination Committee and USAID Mission Director Karen Hilliard, USAID COR Sergiu Botezatu, and MCP representatives to discuss sectoral issues and challenges including relationships with governmental bodies.

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Photo credit: Anatolie Tomsa Photo caption: Group photo of strategic meeting representatives from USAID, MCP, and representatives of the private sector of the ONVV Board. November 1st, 2016

During the meeting, the private sector expressed its full support to ONVV and its current management team and used this opportunity to express gratitude to USAID for making it all possible. In addition, the top managers of the winemaking companies raised several critical issues concerning access to finance, interaction with government officials, and insufficient international awareness of Moldova as a wine producing country. In result, USAID committed to continuing its support to the wine sector and to mediate issues raised, especially those concerning compliance with state obligations. Additionally, MCP supported ONVV in execution of the Agricultural Informational System (SIA) “Wine and Vine Register” - a USAID program implemented by ACSA. During the reporting period, the project contracted an IT expert who examined all project documentation providing an objective overview of the project state and developed the missing terms of reference for ‘reporting’ and ‘risk management’ components. Assist ONVV in developing and providing wine sector intelligence services. ONVV is positioned as the main professional organization of the wine industry and is expected to provide expertise and consultancy to the private sector. However, the institution has not yet fully deployed such intelligence services to the industry. To this end, during the reporting quarter, MCP was engaged in relaunching the provision of market and business intelligence services to the sector by ONVV which discontinued due to managerial changes. For this purpose, project experts Stanilsav Madan and Vladislav Furdui started preparing sectoral reports for 2015 and the first half of 2016, eight export market summaries, and a specialized press overview. These experts act in dual role; as aggregators of sectoral data that comes from the National Bureau of Statistics, Customs, MAFI, UN Comtrade, OIV, and Euromonitor data as well as coaches for ONVV designated experts in order to institutionalize internal processes and ensure continuity of providing the wine sector with such data after their exit. During the reporting period, the experts presented the Q1 industry overview, and are preparing a sectorial study for 2015. It is anticipated that they will finalize all of the above-mentioned deliverables during Q2 of year 2, and will assist ONVV in the public presentation on marketing platform.

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In addition, on November 18, the Project has supported ONVV in presenting to wine professionals the results of the “Domestic market research”. After the presentation by the research company representatives, a few methodological questions arose from participants. Thus, it was agreed to further detail the research results as well as debate the key findings within the “Wine club” involving key marketing expertise from and outside the wine sector, specialized press representatives, retail and HoReCa representatives, and other opinion leaders. Moreover, discussion gave rise questions on the most problematic issues, such as low volume of per capita bottled wine consumption and enormous volumes of homemade wine, lack of awareness on wine varieties, brand names and insufficient level of wine culture, as well as addressing structural problems regarding barriers of entrance in HoReCa outlets and listings of the modern trade channel.

Photo credit: MCP Photo caption: Cover of the domestic market research

Activity 3: Develop and strengthen the PGI wine associations Upgrade PGI Technical Specifications and develop extension services within PGI Associations. The PGI associations are operating accordingly to PGI technical specifications developed before the wine technical regulation was approved by the government. Consequently, these need to be upgraded to define the specifics of each wine region. Aiming to assist the producers in respecting the PGI requirements, extension services need to be put in place by the associations with an aim to develop specific viticulture and winemaking techniques that adjust to the terroir of the wine regions. PGI associations together with the EIB Filiere du Vin project conducted initial work and MCP seeks to build further activities based on these findings. In addition, the PGI associations and ONVV are supported in developing and registering new Protected Designation Origin (PDO), which are the most superior quality standards in EU regulation. Increased awareness about the PGI concept and promotion of PGI wines. Local consumers are not acquainted with PGI’s new quality standard; therefore, the producers need to promote its values and particularities. To this end, the project works with ONVV in developing a common promotion and communications plan, and supports the associations in developing necessary marketing materials. The first step in implementation of this activity was considering the need to promote PGI wines during the “Wine Friendly” campaign. Subsequently, MCP and ONVV has given priority to wines with PGI that were presented and tasted in the master classes during December. In addition, the project has initiated the development of a ‘product promotion’ campaign focused on PGI wines in HoReCa segment which will also constitute an integral part of the “Wine Friendly” campaign. The campaign is slated to be deployed in January-February 2016. Activity 4: Upgrade Tourism Sector Policies and Reform Regulatory Framework Moldova’s Tourism Strategy 2020, approved in 2014, has proven to be an unproductive policy. It does not follow the international trends nor respond to the private sector’s vision and Moldova’s selling proposition. Therefore, MCP considers it important to support the

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industry in formulating a long-term development framework for tourism (10-20 years) and providing foreign experts support to developing an efficient and ready-to-be-implemented marketing and promotion strategic plan for Moldova’s inbound tourism. As such, during November 28-30, 2016, the international expert Augusto Huescar and MCP presented stakeholders the draft of the Marketing Strategy and action plan for 2017-2018 that defines Poland and Italy as top target markets for Moldovan tourism. Moldova’s tourism marketing strategy was structured following international standardized methodologies for marketing planning. Following the presentation, all the stakeholders have agreed to the approach by focusing on main target markets, Poland and Italy, while penetrating these two markets with comprehensive and complex campaigns. The Polish market being more for B2B while the Italian market for self-travelers. Augusto Huescar will finalize the strategy, which later will be approved by the Tourism Agency of Moldova. Activity 5: Strengthen ANTRIM’s Role in the Tourism Sector Legal regulatory improvements of the tourism. Since 2013, USAID, through its competitiveness projects, is supporting the private sector mainly through the National Inbound Tourism Association of Moldova (ANTRIM), which presents the main stakeholders from the inbound tourism sector such us tour operators, hotels, wineries, pensions and others. In 2016, MCP granted ANTRIM a grant in order to increase its capacity and promote Moldova as a tourism destination on the international marketplace. Most of the activities were implemented successfully and the few remaining are in the implementation process. During the reporting period, MCP worked with ANTRIM in order to extend the current grant and identify the activities to be implemented under the same objectives as the previous grant. Also, as a part of the communication activities included in the same program with guidance from the MCP communication expert, in November ANTRIM launched its first newsletter. The first newsletter was sent to the entire industry, to external partners, and ANTRIM members to increase Figure: Visual of ANTRIM newsletter awareness about ANTRIM activities.

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A2. LIGHT INDUSTRY Objective 1: Increased Productivity and Quality (Better Workforce and Adopted Innovation) Activity 1: Develop the ZIPhouse Accelerator and Raise Skills through Education Launched in late 2015, ZIPhouse was created to address challenges in industry education, promote fashion startups, and foster academia-industry collaboration. MCP considers ZIPhouse a flagship institution in workforce development, as ZIPhouse will support industry transition to higher value added by developing critical skills in fashion technology, design, marketing, and business. It offers training courses and acts as an accelerator for startups and the community. Since its launch, ZIPhouse organized workshops and trainings attended by more than 400 beneficiaries. ZIPhouse’s community on Facebook reached 2,200 followers in total. MCP supports ZIPhouse in becoming a viable institution, focusing on increasing its capacity building and content development.

Text Box 8. ZIPhouse Results during October - December 2016 -

More than 480 beneficiaries in total 45 private companies participating at trainings, seminars and workshops 27 access cards sold 6 workshops and seminars, with more than 90 participants More than 100 hours of technical training 20 participants from private companies 30 teachers from 3 educational institutions, participating at technical trainings 100+ participants at industry key event “Moldova in Fashion” Conference 8 community building events with more than 220+ participants 70,000 mdl in revenues 2,200 followers on Facebook

Enhance ZIPhouse institutional capacity. Based on the findings of the Organizational Capacity Assessments (OCA), MCP will support the consolidation of ZIPhouse’s executive team, internal processes, robust activity plans, and improved member services. MCP continued to strengthen ZIPhouse and APIUS collaboration by organizing joint events and engaging private companies. Special focus is placed on enhancing ZIPhouse communications. In this respect, in November, the first ZIPhouse newsletter was released. This instrument is used for gaining ZIPhouse members’ and partners’ loyalty; for promoting its services, organized events, and trainings to a wider audience; and for increasing the number of potential beneficiaries Significant progress has been made by ZIPhouse in terms of raising its revenues by increasing the share of provided trainings for a fee and by diversifying the sources of center’s revenues (revenues from membership fees, space rent, consultancy and educational activities).

Boost fashion creativity, startup and community building. MCP provided support to ZIPhouse in putting together a community building plan for 2017 with nearly 50 events -from community meet-ups to complex events like contests and conferences or the startup acceleration program. The objective is to build the currently weak fashion community and promote fashion entrepreneurship. During the reporting period ZIPhouse launched several branded events, to be organized on a regular basis: - “Light UP” - meet-up for startups, young designers and students; - “Pro Fashion” - meet-up for professionals from the light industry; - “Fashion Huddle” - networking event for professionals focusing on experience exchange; - “Fashion on AIR” - an innovative way of sharing knowledge through online seminars, interviews with speakers, webinar watching, etc. “Moldova in Fashion” conference bringing international expertise to the local fashion community.

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It is the first time in Moldova that a fashion industry conference, bringing international expertise to the local fashion community, was organized by ZIPhouse in collaboration with APIUS, and with the support of the USAID Moldova Competitiveness Project. The two-day “Moldova in Fashion” Conference aimed to develop skills, build attitudes, and boost entrepreneurs’ aspirations in the fashion industry through interaction with local entrepreneurs and international experts on a diversity of topics and their applicability (on creativity and design; branding and marketing; and merchandising and sales). Aiming to become the key event of the industry, the first edition connected four international leaders in the field, five local moderators and more than 100 participants to be part of a unique experience, enrich connections, and discover the secrets of excellence in fashion entrepreneurship. The event targeted professionals in the field and future entrepreneurs, as well as young designers and academics who aspire to broaden their understanding of entrepreneurship in fashion and are interested in discovering the latest trends and best practices within the industry. Participants left with a more profound understanding of this vibrant industry that stands at the intersection of design, technology, and business. Ziphouse succeeded in securing Milan Fashion Accelerator as a partner for this event, which served as a foundation for international collaboration with peers, mentors, and coaches from other countries, and to further stimulate Moldova fashion community connection with global fashion world and also accelerate fashion startup development. “Fashion Huddle” experience exchange talks was also launched during the “Moldova in Fashion” conference. More than 25 participants attended the event, all of whom were very excited about launching the idea of regular community meetups.

Photo credit: Nata Eftene Photo captions: Moldova in Fashion Conference speakers and participants, October 22-23, 2016

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Also, in the context of Global Entrepreneurship Week, ZIPhouse jointly with the Light Industry Manufacturers Association (APIUS) and with MCP support, organized the “Inspiring Women in Fashion Business” event on November 17, 2016. The goal of the event was to celebrate Women in Business international day, and to inspire and encourage women in the fashion industry to create startups and to plan a career in the fashion world. Four successful women in fashion business had motivating success stories to tell representing the brands Ana Popova jewelry, Move, Cristina and Vasconi. The inspirational talks were addressed to more than 85 participants including students, young designers, other women from fashion business, fashion bloggers etc. Supportive organizations such as Global Entrepreneurship Network and Women’s’ Association have participated with speeches to present other supportive opportunities. The event was also used as an opportunity to award successful women Certificates of Recognition of the valuable contribution to the entrepreneurship development in fashion industry. At the event, Sergiu Botezatu, Senior Project Manager for USAID Moldova highlighted the valuable USG support for enhancing Moldova’s Light industry competitiveness for workforce development in the sector, but also inspired young designers, students and startups to be entrepreneurial in Moldova.

Photo credit: Nata Eftene Photo captions: Inspiring Women in Fashion Business speakers and participants, November 17, 2016

During the reporting period, four community-building and knowledge-sharing events were organized under “Fashion Cappuccino”:  “Fashion Photography” - with Jesper Bang Thortzen, a professional photographer from Denmark, for 25 participants who enriched their knowledge on look books and image campaigns creation;  “Jewellery Business” - with Ana Popova and Olga Nedbailo, designer and business developers at Ana Popova brand, for 15 participants;  “Change their passion into a full-time job” - with Oxana Munteanu, the creator of local Kasandruta brand;  “From Concept to Brand Launch" - with Viorica Carausthe founder of "Luna" brand, and ZIPhouse resident presenting “Luna” brand to more than 45 visitors.

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ZIPhouse also hosted cross-cutting events, in collaboration with “Atelier99” makers’ community, gathering more than 50 participants and organized 2 workshops targeting 30 kids up to 13 years who learned about textiles, accessories, and toys using eco-friendly and recycled materials. Within the support for the development of Tex box 10. Testimonial on the participation young entrepreneurship and innovative at international platforms of development business models in the light industry, ZIPhouse identified BabyMoon, a startup “The line-up of researchers and medical professionals I got to get in touch with at with a high potential that develops Congress is priceless for scientific validation of production of fabric baby carriers, BabyMoon. It gave me access to the most especially designed for premature recent research concerning Kangaroo Care, newborns, with integrated sensors for which is a key part of the BabyMoon infant tracking vital information on the baby’s biomonitoring system. I got very good lead on health in a web application. This is a collaborating with the Colombian Kangaroo Care complex project, involving specialists from Foundation, who showed great interest in different fields and applying innovation and developing and implementing BabyMoon as a technology for transforming a textile tool for implementing Kangaroo Care in neonatal product into a specialized medical units in Colombian Hospitals, as well as from lead neonatologists from the Karolinska Institute “device”. MCP supported BabyMoon in Stockholm, Sweden. startup to participate in the 11th Workshop and Congress on Kangaroo Mother Care At Creative Business Cup, we had valuable (KMC) 2016, which took place on learning and networking sessions during the November 14-17, 2016 in Trieste, Italy. event, valuable discussion on wearables, textile KMC is a four-day long event that will sensing technologies and the future of fashion, gather the global scientific and medical also had valuable input on protecting the community of professionals, but also intellectual property for BabyMoon.” startups, specializing in Kangaroo Care, to exchange ideas and seek progress Georgeta Rasciuc, founder of “BabyMoon” startup, through networking and knowledge ZIPhouse resident sharing. Additionally, being a national finalist from Moldova at the 2016 Creative Business Cup (CBC) Health Challenge, BabyMoon participated at the international level CBC Health Challenge that took place on November 20-21, 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Develop industry skills through quality advanced technical education and training. Better education and training is required to support the industry’s transition to higher value added. ZIPhouse addresses skills gaps in qualified labor, such as supervisors, management, marketing, and sales. ZIPhouse also provides quality practical technical education for industry professionals through trainings and workshops. Responding to requests from industry professionals, during the reporting period, ZIPhouse organized several specialized technical trainings: - forty-hour training on “Computer Added Design (AutoCAD) for footwear and leather accessories pattern making”, with TUM lecturer, Nicolae Ischimji, where seven participants learned to use the specialized soft in pattern making; - twenty-hour training on pattern making of womens’ dresses, with Larisa Cristian, where five companies’ representatives learned pattern making and generated three patterns ready to use in everyday production; - seven-hour training on developments in designing personalized shoes, with Dr. Liviu Mărcuș, from Romania, where 46 participants improved their knowledge in design aspects, features on the design of the heeled shoe for women, and specifications and principles in modeling difficult parts for women footwear.

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Additionally, two trainings to boost creativity and innovation were organized at ZIPhouse. “Implementarium” and “Idea Generation and Management,” gathered 24 participants who learned idea generation techniques and were trained on creative idea management by applying the “prioritization” matrix. Also, ZIPhouse organized Industry English courses for teachers with a focus on technical language used for garments articles, fashion history, and textiles and their properties. MCP assisted ZIPhouse and Technical University in continuing their partnership that was established during Year 1 with five leading Italian universities. This fact led to a successful start of academic mobility for students from the Light Industry Faculty of the Technical University of Moldova (TUM). As a result of established collaboration of TUM with several leading Italian universities (Fine Art Academy of Como, Polimoda, Secoli, European Institute of Design, Polytechnic University of Milano), seven students from the Fashion Design specialty of TUM started the one-year study program at Fine Art Academy of Como, Italy as academic mobility students. The expected impact of academic mobility relates to quality changes in the education process at TUM and development of a highly-qualified workforce for fashion industry in Moldova.

Photo credit: Postolachi Cristina Photo caption: The director of Accademia di Belle Arti di Como "Aldo Galli", Raffaella Porta, with students enrolled at Fashion Design specialty, November, 2016. From left to the right: students from TUM, Moldova enrolled in academic mobility: Ababii Lilia, Bosca Victoria, Botnari Mihaela, Caraman Ecaterina, Glinca Cristina, Harea Natalia

Moldovan students are studying Project Design, Textile Culture, Type of Materials, and Graphic Design. The exciting process of learning is determined using theoretical knowledge at workshop activities, where a lot of theory becomes relevant and applicable. The wellequipped premises and the well-balanced study agenda combined with project-based learning approach make the study process very interesting and dynamic. Students are competing in the matter of creativity and originality. Through collaboration with Polimoda University from Italy for short-term courses aiming to enhance the skills or to develop new skills in supported industry, ZIPHouse locally launched the Fashion Leadership Program to which companies’ representatives as well as representatives of teaching staff from Light Industry faculty of TUM applied. The main goal of the Fashion Leadership Program is the development of better professional skills of key personnel from companies and teaching staff from university that could influence the quality of the workforce and bring added value to the production process. The 20 applicants requested courses in the following areas: Fashion Marketing and Merchandising, Fashion

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Design, Fashion Brand Management, and Fashion Business Administration. Per these requests, MCP negotiated 40 hours of training with free access to university facilities (museum, workshop premises, and the library) and discounts of 10-30% for Moldovan groups. These trainings will take place during February 27- March 12, 2017. Activity 2: Align VET to fashion industry needs The need for aligning the Vocational Education Training (VET) system to the fashion manufacturing industry was determined as a result of MCP’s Skills Gap Analysis which highlighted low skills and lack of seamstresses as a major bottleneck for industry competitiveness. During Year 2, MCP aims to institute a support program for aligning VET to the fashion industry needs. This is a multi-year effort and will continue through the end of the project. MCP will consider supporting, reinforcing, and expanding the “dual system” approach with selected VET schools. The MCP initiated the collaboration between VET schools and the Higher Education system, connecting ZIPhouse management with the VET center, the Center of Excellence in the Light Industry. As a result, eight teachers from the Center of Excellence in Light Industry have been trained on “Computer Added Design for Pattern Making,” during a 40-hour Training of Trainers delivered by ZIPhouse specialists during September and October 2016. The impact of this activity is broad, as the trained teachers will apply the gained skills and knowledge to their curricula, and will disseminate it to students. Activity 3: SMART (Streamline Manufacturing, Accountability, Resource efficiency, and Transparency) Factory program Create brands and products aligned with fashion trends. Exceptional product design, kept current by regular updates, is critical to the success of apparel companies that sell original designs and brandsToday. More Moldovan manufacturers are deciding to create original designs, though many lack the sophistication and finishing that distinguish a professional and high quality design. MCP launched a “flying designers” program, in which international design consultants in women’s wear provide multiple, intermittent consultancies with Moldovan factories with the goal of improving designers’ skills and helping firms develop better collections. With support of subcontractor Bhavana World Project in Year 1, five apparel companies created capsule collections for the Spring-Summer 2017, showcased in domestic shops and in premieres overseas (Kazakhstan). To achieve sustainability and durability in this activity, in the Year 2 MCP decided to keep improving designers’ skills and help apparel firms developing better collections. To do so, an assistance program was developed with subcontractor Bhavana World Project according to which the international designer Kelly Denoour will provide assistance to six apparel brands (Alina Bradu, Move, Katea Gri, Secana, Tricon and My Revival). Thus, during the reporting period the consultant started the assignment and developed the Whole Sale Production Calendar for assisted companies. This calendar clearly shows the overlapping of the production side of the previous season with the sourcing and creation of the new season’s sample collection. It shows month by month steps that should be taken to accomplish sample and production timing. Also, the consultant evaluated the Spring-Summer collections for 2017 season developed by companies and added necessary corrections. For example, for Secana Brand the following recommendations were provided: to introduce additional variety day pieces among their occasional dresses; shape variety, more commercial “Easy” dresses; apply design thinking in 3’s, to introduce design range planning for balancing capsules’ number.

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She helped the companies’ designers to start properly the planning process for the development of their Fall collections for 2017/2018 season including composition, choice of silhouettes, design elements and style, and fabrics and accessories in line with the current market position of the given company. For example, for the recently launched Move brand, the consultant proposed the painting inspiration. While for Lina Bradu brand, the use of embroidery. Also, the international designer assisted Alina Bradu Company in selection of Indigo design company which will develop the logo and logo symbol for the new brand LOCONIC.

Picture: inspiration for Fall 2017/2018 season for Move brand developed by Kelly Denooer international consultant

MCP continued technical assistance in pattern making and grading in partnership with Senior Expert Service (SES) Germany. SES pattern maker, Eva Hillers, returned back to Moldova for an on-site consultancy with 7 apparel companies that engage original design and brand manufacturing. Over the course of 3 weeks, the international consultant worked with 13 pattern designers from 7 apparel companies (Secana, Mobile, Tricon, Alina Bradu, Sram, Arti Macarale, Premiera Dona). The international consultant delivered a very useful training on the job for Moldovan pattern designers that gained very necessary knowledge and abilities in pattern design techniques and formed required skills in pattern design. The international

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Text Box 11. Testimonial on Pattern Design assistance provided by the international consultant Eva Hillers “We are very grateful for the support we received from the international consultant Eva Hillers. This training allowed us to improve patterns, perform the correct grading and exclude certain mistakes. Thanks to improved patterns the fit will be the best, which means the best quality of finished goods. Natalia Melnic, Designer of Secana factory

consultant taught local pattern designers on how to correctly perform grading, both manual and in CAD system. The presence of a domestic or regional textile industry becomes critical for Moldova to upgrade to higher segments of the value chain. Since Moldova does not manufacture textiles nor has significant domestic warehouses, MCP continue its assistance to strengthen sourcing skills for apparel Companies. For apparel manufacturers, this includes visits to several textile stock warehouses in Italy. Textile stocks are suitable to Moldova’s small and emerging designers because of small quantities of fabric sold at reasonable prices. With USAID assistance, Moldovan owned brand apparel companies source more and more European quality fabrics. Taking into consideration that the quality of raw materials and accessories is one of the most key success factors for the quality of fashion finished goods, USAID assisted designers and acquisition specialists from 9 apparel companies to visit stocks of raw materials and accessories in Italy, one of the largest providers of the highest quality of fabrics for the fashion Photo credit: Vadim Sirghi industry. For the first time in the delegation, Photo caption: The designer of Vistline Company the designer of start-up Milimia brand was selected necessary fabrics for future collection included. Designers visited 10 specialized stocks of raw materials selected according to the needs of Moldovan companies. During the visit the delegation of Moldovan apparel designers and acquisition specialists selected and bought fabrics and accessories for their future collections in the total amount more than $108,000. It is gratifying that this activity has already achieved sustainability. In December 2016, three companies (Ponti, Portavita and Mobile) visited by them self the stocks of raw materials and ordered additional row materials in the total amount of $34,000. Implement complex innovative methods for productivity growth. Productivity improvement and efficiency remain a top priority for Moldova’s apparel industry’s competitiveness since ineffective processes and workflow management used in many local companies lead to poor overall performance and excess costs. Therefore, MCP’s approach for Year 2 is to assist apparel companies to increase productivity based on implementation of high-end production engineering for apparel industry efficiency by providing deep assistance with selected SME champions committed to improve factory efficiency by engaging productivity experts, both international and local experts. To do so, MCP identified the Consulting Alliance, a Swiss-based firm operating since 2001 lead by Martin Bücher that engages consultants and engineers for apparel industry efficiency. To obtain tangible results in productivity enhancement, it is necessary to provide complex assistance over several months, which may include planning of production process, work place engineering, work flow engineering, incentives system, production cost cutting, investment plan etc. The assistance program depends on each company' capabilities and should be designed for each company separately. Before entering a long-term engagement with Martin Bucher and his consulting company, he conducted an initial pro-bono visit. In October, Mr. Martin H. Bücher visited a group of five apparel companies (Maicom, Ionel, Mobile, Infinitytextil and Premiera Dona) and conducted an initial assessment of their production floors, practices,

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and efficiency and productivity levels to understand the potential Moldovan manufacturers requiring productivity/efficiency assistance and nature of assistance required. Based on this visit the international consultant designed a comprehensive program of assistance for this first group of assited companies, which includes analysis and restructuring activities (restructuring of layout planning, transportation system, bundle system, payment and incentive system, process engineering, quality control), and intensive trainings. MCP decided the structure of the assistance program for each company the implementation process being ready to be started in January. Assist companies to implement innovative technological solutions. The implementation of innovative technological solutions can result in increased productivity and quality. In Year 2, MCP will continue to support light industry companies through its grants program to implement new technologies, such as special machines for complex manufacturing operations, embroidery, and special finishes, leading to improved product quality and manufacturing efficiency. This complements and strengthens the technical assistance in knowledge and know-how, contributing to factory growth and better paid jobs. During the reporting period, the Year 2 call for applications for a grant was published on the civic.md web page. The Application process has two phases: (i) will concept and budget submission by the applicants and its review by a selection committee; (ii) complete application submission by the Applicants Selected in the first phase. Thus, the SEED Fund Team with the support of the Light Industry Team organized a meeting with about 25 companies’ representatives and explained the Application process conditions and what should be reflected in the concept and haw should be developed the budget. As a result, MCP received applications from 12 light industry companies. Support factories implement international social compliance and production standards. Moldova needs to adhere to responsible and sustainable manufacturing principles. MCP aims to help local factories learn about and implement international social compliance and production standards, ensuring improved safety, working conditions, and efficiency. Responsible business practices are a necessary investment in future factory and industry success, and is becoming increasingly important for international customers, sometimes even required by European clients. Ionel Apparel Company is one of the biggest exporters in Moldova of light industry. To continue to grow exports by attracting new customers, the company needs to be evaluated according to the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) Code of Conduct. MCP selected and contracted the Intertek Ati consultancy firm, which conducted a Social Audit of the Ionel Apparel Company. Based on the conducted social audit in relation to a range of

The overall rating of Ionel company. The extract from the Social Audit Report made by Intertec Ati in relation to a range of BSCI code of Conduct

BSCI code of Conduct and authorized by BSCI members, the consultancy firm in November

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prepared a Social Audit Report, made an evaluation according BSCI code of Conduct and register the results of Ionel Apparel Company Social Audit on the BSCI platform. Per the findings, the Ionel Apparel Company obtain the overall rating “C Acceptable”. The development and implementation of the Integrated Quality System in Artizana Apparel Company focusing on ISO 9001:2015 and Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSAS 18001:2007) and quality assurance finished in October with the support of MCP. In November, the company sent requests for quotes to three international bodies for certification of the Integrated Quality System. Based on received offers, Artizana company selected a CERTIND certification body from Romania which made the evaluation of the Management System.

Objective 2: Expanded Market Linkages Activity 1. Reposition Moldova as a Full Product Manufacturing Partner and Support Internationalization of Moldovan Fashion Brands on Regional Markets Grow EU exports through showcasing at major tradeshows. Tradeshows are an enormously important part of marketing activities of most companies. During Year 1, MCP supported participation of Moldovan fashion SMEs in leading international exhibitions in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine. Building on the first-year success, the Project is continuing to support Moldovan manufacturers in increasing exports and entering new markets, through promotion at trade shows, B2B events, fashion shows, and other specialized events. As such, MCP supported the participation of Rotan JSC, the most successful Moldovan manufacturer of special and work footwear, at the NSC - Congress & Expoin Anaheim, USA, in October 2016. NCS Expo is the perfect platform for Rotan JSC, it represents the largest annual event dedicated to safety. The participation allowed the local manufacture to build up a strong international network, gain knowledge on product diversification and consumer needs. Rotan made more than ten contacts, gained positive feedback from potential clients, and is now working on testing orders from three buyers in the USA, Canada, and Ireland. The manufacturer also looked for sourcing materials, and found one potential partner. MCP also supported the participation of two eveningwear brands, “EHO by Evghenii Hudorojcov” and “Divero” at the Romanian Fashion Philosophy international fashion show organized in Bucuresti, October 12 -14, 2016. Participation at this fashion show among 25 other European designers helped Moldovan designers build brand recognition on the regional market, which is a necessary step for preparing to enter new markets. Find new key customers through apparel supplier performance evaluation. To assist companies to find new key customers and generate business, MCP decided to include Moldova apparel industry in the Trigon Select Performance Evaluations and Promotion Program. Trigon Select teamed up with the International Apparel Federation (IAF), the global federation of the apparel industry, and with the German apparel industry association to offer a new evaluation and promotion program to help suitable clothing manufacturers promote their services to international garment buyers. MCP identified and involved MIEPO as a partner for this activity. In addition, 20 apparel companies were evaluated for being promoted on the major target (export) markets (with Germany, UK, France, Italy, and the Netherlands from EU countries). 12 companies -for MCP support and 8 companies -for MIEPO support.The evaluation rates Moldovan manufacturers based on industrial and business criteria (such as companies’ investments in machinery, the skill levels of the staff, type of production management systems, as well as

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from a sales and marketing abilities point of view realized by MCP subcontractor Trigon Select company). After evaluation, Moldovan apparel manufacturers were introduced in Trigon Select’s Evaluation and Promotion Program, being linked to key brands and retailers in Europe, thus having a strong opportunity to attract new clients and to grow their exports. Support companies to penetrate new markets through company-level efforts. During the reporting period, MCP worked individually with companies in their export marketing efforts. As such, in October, with MCP support, two Moldovan Apparel Companies (Mobile and Artizana) opened a boutique in Romania (atIulius Mall Iasi) with the support of MCP. These are the first apparel companies that started to penetrate European markets where Oldcom shoe company is also present. Following this, MCP supported the participation in November at the exhibition “Made in Moldova” from Palas Mall Iasi of 19 Moldovan owned brand apparel companies (Artizan, Mobile, Ionel, Vistline, Velitextil Plus, Cocshinell, Artizana Factory, Milabrega, Vasilini, Oldcom, Bit Program, Arilux, Tenwood, Maalex, Portavita, Alina Bradu, Move, Annite). This was a partnership between MCP, APIUS, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Moldova, and MIEPO. The aim of this exhibition was to test the demand for Moldovan products on the Romanian market. Romania is one of the target markets to which domestic enterprises to promote exports to the EU under their own brand products with the highest added value are oriented. Light industry enterprises participated at a joint stand under the Din Inima umbrella brand. Appealing collections by style and quality, and an attractive joint stand struck the eyes of Romanian consumers. Moreover, there were many willing to buy goods produced in Moldova. For example, the evening dresses collection presented by the Annet company was purchased in full. This exhibition was a test successfully passed, motivating local firms to penetrate the Romanian market. Additionally, MCP assisted three Moldovan companies (Artizana, Artizana Factory and Valenty), specialized in production of fur garments to promote their products on the Romanian market. The promotion event with sale of fur garments “Pallas Winter Fashion”, took place in Iasi, Palas Iulius Mall, Photo caption: APIUS Romania and generated the Photo credit: Participation of Moldovan companies at “Made in establishement of five market Moldova” Exhibition in Iasi under Din Inima Common Stand in linkages for Moldovan companies. Pala Mall Iasi The Project also supported MARA Women Fashion NGO of Moldova, which implements social projects impacting incresed living standards for women and youth in rural areas, to participate at the international exhibition Hush Warsaw. This meeting platform of designers, customers, and local manufactures’ representatives gives to customers twice a year the

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opportunity to buy things created on a small scale, which is an interesting alternative for mass production. Hush Warsaw promotes the brands and designers who care for materials’ quality and reliable performance. Participating at this exhibition, MARA Women managed to establish four marketing linkages and to sign contracts with two Polish shops. Activity 2: Consolidate the Din Inima Umbrella Brand and Expand Domestic Market Assist growth on the domestic market through common multi-brand stores under the Din Inima umbrella identity. Fashion manufacturers must learn to achieve success in the local market by promoting their original designs and labeled products. Assuming a manufacturer has a good product and a brand, the retail site is the next fundamental element that influences sales. Moldovan fashion brands typically develop and manage their own retail, which can lack critical success elements, e.g. merchandising, lighting, good design/layout, service. This results in untapped sales and consumers leaving empty handed. On the other hand, the domestic market may become a foothold for emerging designers and brands, preparing them for future exports. Finally, international trends show that consolidation is the name of the game in retail. Therefore, domestic fashion retail improvement is a priority for MCP assistance with a focus on joint retail under the Din Inima identity. In October, the largest “Din Inima” store opened its Text box 12. Testimonial on doors to consumers. With USAID assistance and launching the common store DIN APIUS coordination 40 local brands have joined their INIMA at UNIC commercial center efforts and opened the third “Din Inima” store, one of “Gathering 40 local manufacturers the largest multi-brand stores on the 2000sc.m.at the under one roof seemed unreal. But we 3rd floor in the Commercial Center UNIC. The “Din did it! If not the USAID Moldova Inima” open space shopping area presents womens, Competitiveness Project support, mens, and kids wear autumn/winter collections shoes consultancy and organizational help of and fashion accessories from renown on the local its team, today we wouldn’t have been cutting the ribbon of the largest multi market brands. For the first time four Moldovan brand brand store” start-ups are integrated in the “Din Inima” umbrella brand with USAID support. Modern design of the store Natalia Cosulean, together with professional spot lights and unique Commercial Director brand “Ponti” clothing items and accessorize is a great attraction for consumers. On opening day, goods worth over 600,000 MDL were sold. The official launching event took place on October 25, 2016 and gathered stakeholders and important guests, including representatives of USAID Moldova, the Moldovan Government, fashion designers and manufacturers, and media. Monica Babuc, Minister of Culture, Karen Hilliard, Country Representative, USAID Moldova, Alexandra Can, Chairwoman, APIUS, and others gave keynote remarks at the official opening of the Din Inima store in UNIC shopping center, underlining the remarkable cooperation of 40 Moldovan firms to jointly open this retail space; to remark the progress of Moldova’s fashion manufacturing industry towards higher value added production and to highlight the strategic support of USG to Moldova’s fashion industry. The event has an impressive media coverage, with more than 20 appearances on TV and online. Support APIUS in implementing Din Inima campaigns to raise industry profile and awareness. MCP continues to support raising the industry’s profile and boosting consumer pride in wearing clothing made in Moldova by enhancing the power of the umbrella brand Din Inima: Branduri de Moldova (From the Heart — Brands of Moldova). The Din Inima initiative has contributed to valuable gains for the industry, sales growth, and retail market expansion, serving as a credible, singular identity for the domestic fashion brands.

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An impactful PR, communications, and advertising campaign was launched to communicate to customers about the opening of the largest local multi-brand store Din Inima in UNIC commercial center. For better outreach, advertising billboards were combined with online and social media promo initiatives. A campaign tagged #despcoperadininima (#discover dininima) was launched, and attracted thousands of consumers on opening day. More than 700 discount cards were distributed to stimulate consumers’ loyalty to local brands. After the official launching of the largest “Din Inima” multi-brand stores in the Commercial Center UNIC store, MCP provided support in marketing the message of new Din Inima store opening. An advertising video was been placed on 5 LED screens in different regions of Chisinau, and broadcasted half a month. A strong PR, communications, and advertising campaign has been launched to communicate to customers about the BLACK FRIDAY sales event at three Din Inima stores, in UNIC and ZORILE commercial centers and MODA Din Inima fashion boutique. APIUS managed to initiate dialogues with the commercial centers and to negotiate promo budgets for Din Inima branded activities, which is a good step towards sustainability for the envisioned promo actions. Due to this initiative, the stream of customers has doubled on the sales day, the same for the total sales. As such, only at UNIC CC goods worth 480,000 MDL were sold.

Image: Olsa Shoes rebranded. Image from Olsa Shoes’ autum’16 collection lookbook,

Through the APIUS grant, MCP “Rebranding allowed us to expand on the local market with continued to support innovative a strong identity and a clear defined segment: shoes for women -natural, comfort, active. From the very launching of promotional activities, such as look the rebranded image, we receive vivid interest from books, video look books and fashion customers” listicles. In total, 28 brands benefited of this opportunity to produce product Ecaterina Pascenco, or campaign images and started Commercial Director Olsa Shoes promoting their fall/winter collections on social media. Video look books for 12 local brands, additionally branded Din Inima, have been produced with MCP support, and advertised on social media by each company, thus contributing to a Din Inima massive presence online. Additionally, a support campaign with Fashion listicles was launched in December, aimed first to stimulate the consumer to buy products of local brands, and second to enhance Din Inima position. Listicles have been created by the online platform local.md, involving professional stylist for generation of combined looks from 22 local brands and fashion content, and placed on a Din Inima branded landing page on Locals.md. The generated visual content is to be used during the online campaign tagged #despcoperadininima (#discover dininima) to be promoted during December 2016-February2017. The campaign aims to present to the customer the local brands that act jointly under the Din Inima umbrella brand, to raise the notoriety of the brand, but also to stimulate the sales by presenting and promoting the brands’ current collections and the sales points.

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Assist companies to strengthen their brand identity. While shifting the structure of the industry towards value-added, MCP assists companies from the fashion industry in building stronger own brands on local and export markets. A professional and attractive visual brand is one of the key pillars for successful sales. Therefore, MCP supported rebranding for the leather footwear manufacturer “Olsa Shoes”, family owned factory from Chisinau, with around 30 employees. The company began producing shoes in 1994 and currently sell footwear for women under Olsa Shoes brand name. On the domestic market, Olsa Shoes offers women a variety of models made only from natural materials. The company applied the rebranded and upscale image while opening a new store in Chisinau. With MCP support, Olsa Shoes became member of APIUS and adhered the Din Inima project, by joining other local brands in the new multi brand store at UNIC commercial center. The company now is focused on breaking the ice exporting to regional markets under own brand.

While supporting the appearance of new names in the Light Industry, MCP provided support in branding for the startup “Special Baby” producing kids bed linen. It is a small family owned business, with 5 employees in total, but with strong orientation towards quality and design. MCP support in branding, production of campaign and product images was decisive while deciding to make a step-in development, and opening a showroom, instead of selling only through the Facebook community. A strengthened image allowed the startup to succeed in Image: Special Baby logo becoming APIUS member and adhering the Din Inima project, by joining other local brands in the new multi brand store at UNIC commercial center, in the startup zone. MCP supported this initiative and contributed to the rent of the needed exhibiting space for half a year, in order to provide an opportunity for testing the market and the customer.

Objective 3: Improved Sector-Enabling Environment and Increased Capacity Activity 1. Assist APIUS to Develop an Industry White Paper and Advocate for Policy or Regulatory Changes One of the Project’s priorities is to assist APIUS in developing an industry whitepaper. In October 2016, MCP consultants finalized the development of the Light Industry White Paper which is based on main findings reflected in Moldova Light Industry Global Positioning Strategy and Roadmap. It demonstrates the place of Moldova’s fashion manufacturing industry in the global value chain and explains how it can build value added, increasing profitability, sales per employee, and wages. The White Paper contains the main direction for advocacy and regulatory changes which APIUS shall initiate. Among these directions, the White paper reflects required improvements to the labor code, value added tax and customs duties for raw materials and equipment, raising this industry higher on the Government’s economic agenda, getting Government support to tackle workforce development issues particularly at the VET and university levels.

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A3. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY (ICT) AND CREATIVE SERVICES INDUSTRY (CSI) Objective 1: Increased Productivity and Quality (Better Workforce and Adopted Innovation) Activity 1: Adapt University-Level ICT Education to Industry Needs Moldova Competitiveness Project (MCP) supports TUM in designing and endowing a cluster of tech labs, aimed at developing students’ practical skills, as these were found among the most critical in the ICT Skills Gap Assessment. During the reporting period, the draft list of necessary equipment was developed. The project plans to use PPP approach to this matter, attracting private vendors and public partners to join the initiative. Negotiations with the potential partners will continue during the next quarter and the list of equipment will be amended based on the vendor curricula and recommendations. Activity 2: Improve STEM Education and Promote Tech Careers at the Secondary Education Level STEM Education concept was presented to the public. During the reporting period, MCP consultants, John O’Sullivan and Dinu Turcanu developed the STEM Education concept. It contains a brief analysis of the situation of STEM Education in Moldova, several case studies from other countries, and a list of recommendations for our educational system.In summary, Moldova faces a combination of critical challenges:  Declining number of school pupils (and schools, teachers, and graduations);  Declining proportion of pupils selecting STEM options;  Declining number of pupils entering university to study STEM;  Poor school exam results in mathematics. The study conclusions are the following:  The decline in STEM education in Moldova over recent years is a national crisis, threatening the whole economy.  An urgent remedial program to be led by the Prime Minister and, involving Minister of Education is needed.  The use of digital education materials and associated teacher training is the way forward. All schools in Moldova have computers and Internet and are using these facilities to report to the Ministry. It is a natural next step to expand their use for STEM teaching, with digital labs, which would be cheaper and quicker to set up and maintain than physical laboratories.

Text box 13. Excerpt from the STEM Education Concept “As national economies move from basic agriculture and resource extraction into more advanced globally oriented manufacturing, distribution, and services, there is a corresponding need to improve the technological skills of the working population. In Moldova, the ICT sector leads the way in its requirement for such skills, but tourism, agriculture, wine, health, banking, retail, and many others are experiencing a similar and growing need.”

The consultants included in the STEM concept the following recommendations:  Implementing Effectively strategic programs;  Atracting international help;  Implementing teaching and teachers’ training;  Enhancing Publicity and Promotion of STEM Education.

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High level government officials attended the event and offered full political support for the next step – development of the National STEM Education improvement program. The project will support the GOM in the process of this policy document development. Expanded Robotics program officially counts 76 educational institutions and 7 libraries. The donation ceremony was organized with Project support in partnership with the Ministry of Education and ATIC. Novateca Project, with financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, joined forces with MCP to pilot Robotics in libraries. The new institutions were endowed with robotics sets and started using them for teaching immediately.

Photo credit: Anatol Tomsa Photo caption: Kids in Singera school programing robots to perform actions at the Robotic class, October 27, 2016

Preliminary data on monitoring the activity of the robotics clubs shows, that currently over 3,000 youth are participating in Roboclubs or taking robotics classes as optional in their schools. Robotics Teachers training level II. During Year 2, MCP is supporting the expansion of the educational robotics program and, in addition to the technical endowment with robotics kits, is building teachers' capacity to use the equipment effectively for educational activities. As robotics for two years and have been only trained at the basic level, the project decided to support an advanced level training for teachers through our activity partner NGO Robootika from Estonia. LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 level II is a two-day robotics training for teachers who have already been teaching robotics in afterschool or in a curriculum setting. The qualitative goal is to allow them to move to higher level programming concepts in graphical language and use a structured methodology for teaching with robots. This approach can be introduced to teachers only after having some teaching experience in robotics. The training follows constructivist methodology with a constructionist approach. The training was conducted on

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November 1-2, 2016 by two Estonian trainers: Heilo Altin - experienced LEGO Education robotics trainer who has been training teachers in Estonia for 6 years and is certified by the LEGO Education Academy; and Lauri Vilibert - experienced coach from Kristiine Gümnaasium, Tallinn. who has been running robotics clubs for more than 5 years and whose FIRST LEGO League teams have won Estonian finals three times and represented Estonia in Europe and Australia. The training was organized in cooperation with ATIC, the implementer of the robotics program and was attended by 22 teachers, including 12 women and 5 teachers being from outside of Chisinau. Robotics teachers’ community building. On November 3, 2016, the first community building event for Robotics teachers was organized, aimed to discuss teachers’ challenges and share experiences, as well as networking. A total of 70 robotics teachers from 150 schools attended the event, as well as representatives of 7 libraries added to the program by Novateca project.

Photo credit: Cristina Ceban Photo caption: Robotics teachers and trainers checking the completion of tasks within the advanced level training

Robocamp / Sumo bot Challenge. During the school vacation, in November 4-6, 2016, MCP supported the Roboclub from ARTICO Children and Youth Center in organizing a two and half day Robotics training camp for children aged 9 to 16. The 27 participants were trained on how to design, construct, and program a special model robot for a “sumo” competition. They formed teams of three and competed their robots during the last day, and were cheered by their parents, friends, and siblings. More than 150 supporters gathered at the competition.

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Photo credit: Florin Cazac, Anatolie Tomsa Photo caption: Robocamp participants designing, programming and competing the robots

Robotics Demo Day. Robotics Demo day was an event organized by USAID Moldova, Roboclub Artico, Technical University of Moldova, GirlsGoIT and Shopping MallDova. The event took place on November 19, 2016, and was part of the EU Robotics Week, a grassroots initiative aimed at inspiring technology education in students of all ages to pursue careers in STEM-related fields. Six hundred events in 26 countries took place under the umbrella of EU Robotics Week. A total of 67 children and teenagers took part in the workshops organized during the Robotics Demo Day in Chisinau. During the workshops,

Photo credit: Vladislav Culiomza Photo caption: Volunteers and participants at Robotics Demo Day building or interacting with robots

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they had hands-on experience constructing and programming the robotic sets for specific tasks. Twenty volunteers involved in Educational Robotics or other IT programs helped with the organization of the event. FIRST LEGO League coaches training. On December 10, 2016, in cooperation with ATIC, under the MCP grant, a group of 70 robotics teachers attended the training, aimed at preparation for the FIRST LEGO League 2016-2017 competition. At the training, all the competition elements, rules and philosophy were explained, including the Project and Robot Game. The topic of this season is Animal Allies. At the competition, teams must present a solution for improvement of human interaction with animals. Following the training, a call for expression of interest was launched to determine the number of teams/institutions expected at the competition and respectively the number of necessary mission sets for the Robot game. As a result, 35 institutions expressed their willingness to prepare at least 1 team (each) for the 3rd edition of FIRST LEGO League Moldova. The project, together with ATIC, started preparing the competition to take place on February 25-26, 2017. Three new locations were added to CoderDojo Chisinau program. CoderDojo Chisinau program, a free-of-charge volunteer-based coding club, was expanded to three new locations - Technical University of Moldova, Artico Center for Children and Youth, and FFW IT company. As a result, 80 children, ages eight to 16, started learning IT. Eight volunteers, young IT professionals and students, are mentoring these classes. Further expansion of Coder Dojo is largely dependent on the volunteer mentors ready to commit their time to work with the children. During the reporting period, Coder Dojo Open Days were organized, attracting 90 people (parents with children, mentors). The event aimed to promote IT careers and boost interest in learning IT. Fifteen new children were registered for Coder Dojo afterwards. The event was part of the EU Code Week, a grassroots movement that celebrates creating with code. The idea is to make programming more visible, to show young adults and the elderly how to bring ideas to life with code, to demystify these skills, and bring motivated people together to learn. Later, an informal meetup attended by 16 people was organized for the mentors of Coder Dojo and professionals considering to become such. The aim of the event was to network, share experience, practices and challenges, to summarize the program activities at the end of the year, but also to generate ideas on how to further extend the program and make it more effective.

Photo credit: Rodica Ciorba Photo caption: Participants and organizers of Coder Dojo Open Days

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Activity 3: Link ICT VET with Labor Market This activity is planned to start in the second quarter of Year Two. Activity 4: Develop an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for the IT Sector The first Mapping of the MD startup ecosystem was finalized. The mapping was conducted by the Project and developed in partnership with Civitta and with financial support from the development cooperation fund of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The methodology of the mapping provided an online survey for active or inactive Moldovan startups, support organizations (such as co-working spaces, accelerators, incubators), nonprofit organizations, media covering startups, etc. along with needs for development. The results of the mapping were presented during Chisinau Startup Week on November 10, 2016. Panelists from 4 countries shared experiences in building startup ecosystems and encouraged local community members to contribute. The first version of the central startup infodesk platform was created and published with project support on http://startupmoldova.tech/. Chisinau Startup Week was organized during November 6-11, 2016, for the first time in Moldova in collaboration with the USAID Tekwill Project and other partners. Startup Week is a five-day community celebration and a new type of conference that builds momentum and opportunity around entrepreneurship. It is led by entrepreneurs and hosted in popular entrepreneurial spaces. It is also a reflection of the community’s hard work and unique entrepreneurial identity.

Photo credit: AllMoldova Photo caption: anel discussion on the Moldovan Startup Ecosystem

More than 600 participants attended Chisinau Startup Week, including actual or aspiring entrepreneurs, managers, leaders, and potential investors. It was hosted by iHub, Generator hub and Dreamups Innovation Campus. The latest industry trends, programs and opportunities for tech entrepreneurs, methodologies used for product development, startup funding practices, and many other topics related to IT entrepreneurship were brought into the spotlight in 30 activities. Valuable insights and know-how was shared by 40 speakers from 9 countries, including USA, Israel, France, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria.

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Activity 5: Create IT infrastructure During Year 1, MCP assisted Starnet in defining the business model, strategy, and plan for developing the first IT Park in Moldova, called Starnet Digital City. Based on the business plan and needs assessment developed with MCP support, Starnet submitted the loan application for financing the first phase of the site building. In addition, Starnet is working on the marketing proposal for the future residents of the IT Park and is making the preparatory works for the construction that includes a detailed project design, identification of vendors, and service providers for construction works. In this regard, in order to build a clear understanding of the IT park facilities for the future residents, architects and designers, MCP provided support in developing the 3D design of the interiors spaces of the IT Park.

Figure: Extract from the 3D design of the Starnet Digital City

The 3D depiction of the IT park facilities will be used by Starnet for obtaining pre-lease agreements with IT Park residents. It will also serve as a basis for technical design of the project that will be developed by designers and architects, and built by the construction teams into a functional and quality physical IT Park infrastructure.

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Activity 6: Enable training and certification for professionals and executives During October 2016, the Project, in partnership with the USAID Regional Economic Growth Program (REG) (http://www.regproject.net), designed a program to support Moldovan IT companies and IT specialists to benefit from training and certification services at a subsidized price. The Project will cover 33% of the total cost, and USAID REG will cover 33% of the total cost for the training and certification. The implementation of the program will be carried out with the support of ATIC; this will also contribute to increasing ATIC capacity in supporting the IT industry in training and certification services. In this context, a workshop was organized by the Project and REG to explain the condition of the support program to the Moldovan IT Companies. Activity 7: Create an enabling ecosystem for creative industry development Creative services can be defined as services involving higher order functions of the mind that produce tangible economic value-added through conceptual, logical, communication, and creative and artistic skills. The Moldovan creative services industry is extensive and includes areas such as: information technology (aspects), industrial design, architecture, interior design, computer animation, in-studio video production (including commercials), full service advertising from strategy to production, marketing, advertising and strategic communications, cultural events and cultural productions, film-making, PR (research to implementation, based on data as well as creativity), graphic arts and design (including stills and visual), “app” design, website design, social media advising, conference planning and event management, corporate executive coaching and training of groups, visual artists, computer graphics, fashion and clothing design, entertainment, music (composing, arranging and performance), and landscaping and beautification of public spaces. Given that the creative services industry is being assisted by USAID for the first time, during the reporting period, MCP connected with companies, stakeholders, and educational institutions for a deeper comprehensive collaboration towards uplifting the creative ecosystem of the country. Given that that industry is extensive, with multiple areas of activity, MCP is moving towards identifying the verticals that have a greater potential for generating revenue streams. Moreover, identifying the champions for the first year of activities deployment is one of the priorities for the initial stage of the project. In this respect, a series of scoping meetings with sector representatives were initiated by MCP in order to generate ideas that encourage entrepreneurship in this area and will contribute to upgrading graphic design skills, critical for creative services. Also, a planning and brainstorming meeting with three companies was organized to discuss creative hub location. Representatives from Imago creative agency, Youbesc film studio, and former Tipografia 5, have joined the discussion and are eager to get involved in the organization of activities that will build a community around the hub.

Textbox 14. Creative Hub Brainstorming follow-up “As a followup of our discussion, I have discussed with the representatives from KAMA (Kyiv Academy of Media Arts). We will fruther start formulating a program and look forward to propose the content" Turcanu Mihai Former Urban Post Art Director and Tipografia 5

Three other individual meetings were organized with companies from the creative sector: Piko Creative – a company specializing in graphic design and advertising, Game Factory Conference – specialized in gaming activities, and the Heliograf company – active in graphic

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design and production activities. As a result of these meetings, the first actors willing to engage in project activities were identified. As a follow-up of the scoping meetings, a further strategic meeting with Mrs. Victoria Melnic, Principal of the Academy of Music, Theatre and Fine Arts, was organized to identify the needs of the Academy for workforce development, and determine if the Academy could be a potential location for the Creative Center/Hub creation. Following this meeting, MCP decided to contract an international consultant to develop a model of a Creative Center to be proposed for the Academy. Graphic design school concept initiation and graphic design skills for young women. Considering the assessment of the necessity to create a Graphic Design School managed and organized by the private sector to develop creative skills and elevate the industry products and services quality, MCP met with Simpals company represenattives to discuss the initiation of an animation school. The company was interested in this activity and engaged to draft the concept of the school which will be further analyzed by MCP in terms of required support for its implementation. Also, MCP met Leader She in Moldova non-profit organization representatives. The organization is focused on informal education for young women and aimsto conduct amplified graphic design courses for young women, ages 18 to 25. MCP is considering to provide support for the courses taking into consideration the effect of attracting young women to the industry. In this respect, the organization will develop the concept for the courses to be conducted in Spring 2017. Implement the creative industry startups support programs. Creativity is a central element for most Moldovan companies and is one of the most important elements that increases the value of any product and service. Therefore, MCP developed activities to support a startup ecosystem for CSI companies. During the reporting period MCP identified the need for skills upgrade among young creatives employed by companies within the creative services sector, as well as the necessity for the creation of an ecosystem that supports the emergence of new companies and talents within the sector. Therefore, MCP initiated the following activities for two of the creative services industry sub-sectors – graphic design and game development: 

Graphic design skills upgrade workshop focused on delivering in depth information for graphic designers employed by local creative companies. The concept and implementation of the activity is leaded by MCP together with Mihail Turcanu, former founder of Tipografia 5 creative space;



A practical workshop focused on the artistic side of game development targeting young artists and existing young game developers for artistic skills development.

Objective 2: Expanded Market Linkages Activity 1: Accelerate Adoption and Use of Technology by SMEs and Other Non-IT Sectors To increase SME productivity and growth of Moldovan companies, the Project, in partnership with the Moldovan office of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, designed a program for supporting Moldovan SMEs in adopting information technology solutions within their companies. Per program conditions, any domestic SME will benefit

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from a support of up to 75% for implementing information technology solutions within each company. Activity 2: Implement marketing coaching programs Facilitate access to foreign markets. As part of the support of the Project provided to the Moldovan IT companies to facilitate access to foreign markets, during October 2-4, 2016, five Moldovan IT companies (Pycoding, Daac System Integrator, Alfasoft, Esempla and Soft Tehnica) participated at the IT & BUSINESS 2016 fair that took place in Stuttgart, Germany. IT & BUSINESS 2016 specializes in market trends, advancement, and innovations in the field of e-business, e-commerce and, information technology.

Picture. The outline of the SME support program designed by MCP and EBRD.

In the same period, during October 6-7, 2016, three Moldovan IT companies (DQ Team, Daac System Integrator and Meta System) participated at the B2B event in Dublin, Ireland that was organized with the support of the USAID Regional Economic Growth Program in cooperation with the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and Consulting Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Invest Northern Ireland, and Startup Dublin. This was a cross-regional IT event, with the purpose of bringing together Irish, Northern Irish, Western Balkan, and Moldovan IT SMEs to open a dialogue for business cooperation. The participants at the event were Irish, Northern Irish, and IT SMEs from the Western Balkans and Caucasus countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, and others). Assist businesses to enhance their marketing and communication strategies. To achieve the objective of expanding market linkages of Moldovan IT companies, MCP supported the organization of the first inward Moldova-Israel B2B mission, to connect the Moldovan and Israeli tech ecosystems and explore partnership opportunities for Moldovan IT services providers. A delegation of 5 Israelis, including representatives of different organizations, IT companies and startups, met local tech entrepreneurs and IT outsourcing companies. During the visit, a tentative matchmaking session between Moldovan and Israeli companies was arranged. Eighteen Moldovan IT services companies delivered short presentations about their companies, profile, activities, technologies used, services, etc. followed by individual one-on-one meetings with Israeli representatives to establish contacts and explore cooperation opportunities. Additionally, the Ministry of ICT delivered a presentation to the Israeli delegation about the attractiveness of the Moldovan IT regulatory framework such as Law on IT Parks, tax incentives for IT employees, and ongoing initiatives such as Startup Visa. As a result of this activity, six IT companies are discussing potential collaboration, one has signed a cooperation agreement, one Israeli company hired a local developer, and one local IT outsourcing company received a proposal to establish a joint venture/Israeli branch.

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Photo credit: Anatolie Tomsa Photo caption: Tomas Navardauskas, representative of Aciety / Israel-Lithuania Technology hub, discussing with Mihail Muhin, CEO Meta-System, Moldova

Support domestic IT companies to visit international IT knowledge and B2B events. The project decided to support companies to participate in selected international tech industry events to gain knowledge, expand horizons, understand technology trends, and network with potential partners. MCP assisted Meta Systems, a Moldovan IT company, in participating in the third International Exhibition and Conference on Augmented and Virtual Reality Technologies, held in Moscow, Russia, on November 30, 2016. This is one of the largest international innovative conferences on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality solutions that brings together market leaders, leading foreign experts, the best AR/VR solutions, industry projects, and companies to discuss current issues, trends, and developments, as well as to acquaint consumers with innovative marketing and high-tech solutions for business development and brand promotion. During the conference, Meta Systems participated in various meetings with experts and investors. The objective of the event is to show new opportunities to young and established startups. The objective for Meta Systems was to establish partnerships with potential clients and partners such as international marketing and communication companies, designers, VR/AR organizations and to learn about the latest technologies and trends. The director and owner of Meta Systems launched a startup for producing 3D glasses for Virtual Reality applications called Magic Card Board (http://magiccardboard.md).

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Figure: 3D glasses produced by the tech startup owned by Mihai Muhin, owner and CEO of Meta System IT company. Photo credit: Website http://magiccardboard.md/

Activity 3: Enhance global positioning of Moldova as IT Destination During this quarter, MCP initiated activities for increasing the awareness about Moldova on international IT markets. Particularly, MCP initiated the communication with EmergingEurope, a British company specialized in profiling and promotion of countries from the Eastern Europe. The objective is to engage Emerging Europe to profile the country as an IT services destination. Because this will be a country level report, USAID MCP is currently seeking to involve other stakeholders and particularly MIEPO, EBRD and other donors. It is expected that the Emerging Europe will be engaged in this assignment during JulySeptember 2017. For developing the Global Positioning Strategy for Moldova as an IT destination, the project identified two consultants who will visit Moldova in the next quarter to work on developing the Strategy. The Strategy will serve as a roadmap for the Ministry of ICT, MCP, the private sector, and other donors in order to plan and implement their activities for developing the IT sector. Activity 4: Profile the creative services industry and define export marketing opportunities The creative services industry is very fragmented in Moldova and there is no single catalogue of CSI companies and their services from Moldova. Moreover, there is no information about the domestic CSI that can be shared internationally. To fill this gap, during the reporting period, MCP initiated the process of profiling Moldova’s creative services industry. An elaborated and detailed list of 85 local Moldovan companies active in the creative industry within the following sub-sectors is as follows: advertising, graphic design – 21 companies, digital services – 11 companies, PR and communication – 3 companies, app/web design – 13 companies, interior design and architecture – 19 companies, video and film production, sound editing, post-production, 3D and 2D animation – 13 companies, and game development - 5 companies. This information is the core document for MCP’s connection with companies.

Objective 3: Improved Sector-Enabling Environment and Increased Capacity Activity 1: Improved public policies for technology ecosystem The Ministry of ICT, with support from the Project, developed the concept of Startup Visa that was announced on August 2, 2016. After the development of the public policy proposal, the Project supported the Ministry of ICT in developing the legislation amendments to facilitate the attraction of foreign IT specialists, tech entrepreneurs, and investors. The legislation proposals were submitted for government approval. All the involved ministries, except the Ministry of Internal Affairs, gave positive feedback on the draft legislation proposals. During November 2016, the Project will support the Ministry of ICT in adjusting the legislation proposals according to the feedback received from the Ministry of Internal Affairs in order to have them approved by Parliament by December 31, 2016. Startup Visa legislation for streamlining the process of issuing work and residency permits received positive Government reviews and was put on the agenda of the Parliament for approval. With MCP support, the Ministry of ICT developed a legislation package to simplify the regulations and procedures for issuing work and stay permits for foreign IT professionals, tech investors and tech entrepreneurs. During November 2016, MCP worked closely with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Migration and Asylum and State Chancery in adjusting the legislation proposal and obtain the final review from the Government. These legislation proposals are part of a larger initiative called Startup Moldova and support the implementation of the Law on IT Parks that will become effective starting January 1, 2017.

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The facilitation of work and stay permits and provisions of the Law on IT Parks will allow the IT companies, investors, and entrepreneurs to establish operations in Moldova with minimum administrative costs and under a very propitious tax and regulatory regime. In parallel, MCP is working on defining the model and is engaging stakeholders in creating the venture capital ecosystem in Moldova that would allow easier access to capital for startups, especially in the tech sector, and would create the alternative mechanisms of SME finance which would attract local and foreign capital. Activity 2: Capacity building for ATIC For continuing the efforts in increasing ATIC's capacity, MCP supports ATIC in two areas training capacity and advocacy capacity. For increasing the training capacity, MCP in cooperation with USAID REG project designed a training and certification program where ATIC will provide training services to Moldovan IT companies whose costs will be partially reimbursed (up to two thirds) by USAID REG and MCP. MCP issued a request for applications to ATIC which, pending approval, will allow ATIC to start providing training and certification services. In the context of increasing ATIC's advocacy capacity, MCP engaged two strong associations from Moldova, AmCham and EBA, to provide coaching and support services to project supported associations, including ATIC. The first activities for increasing advocacy capacity will take place by the end of January 2017 and will cover workshops with ATIC's members to identify the industry constraints and advocacy initiatives for 2017. Activity 3: Facilitate business support organizations that represent the creative industry To gain a better understanding of the creative services industry potential, MCP developed a mapping document in the form of a comprehensive questionnaire. The questionnaire was shared with J.E. Austin Associates for identifying companies that are championing the industry and display potential for creative services exports. The document was designed to identify common issues across industry representatives that would require interventions. Based on this mapping, MCP will design and fine-tune the activities for assisting this industry. Moreover, the questionnaire identified common problems and restrains within the industry, and possible areas of interventions; assesed the export experience of companies; revealed the necessity of creating a sectoral association which will help promote and advocate sector initiatives. The results of the survey submitted by 27 companies will be further analyzed by an international consultant for designing the activities’ roadmap for the sector.

A4. PRECISION ENGINEERING Objective 1: Increased Productivity and Quality (Better Workforce and Adopted Innovation) Activity 1: Increase productivity and efficiency for manufacturing companies Designing technical assistance for sector beneficiaries. Moldova has a talent base and critical mass of capability in precision engineering. However, the industry has recently struggled to grow its exports indicating that technical assistance from the project could help the transition to more competitive products. During November, MCP organised face-to-face meetings with several companies, in order to asses their interest to cooperate and benefit

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from project assistance. During the meetings, important data has been gathered and used to design a plan for assistance. In this respect, the Project decided to support the CRIS Hermetic Pumps company on its attempt to enter the western European market. The company participated for the first time in the international trade fair “Hannover Messe” earlier this year to better understand the market. After the trade fair it received some requests for quotations, and the company decided to develop its marketing department and the full set of promotional materials: website, brochures, and flyers. Thus, MCP offered support to translate the website content to English and German to increase its chances to penetrate foreign target markets. Additionally, MCP established a joint framework with EBRD for providing access to financing for precision engineering Photo credit: USAID MCP companies. In this regard, MCP organized Photo caption: MCP study visit at CRIS company, an event with EBRD to present its November 18, 2016 assistance practices, as well as the ways these could facilitate the process of accessing EBRD’s financing programs. Since Precision Engineering is known for being a capital-intensive sector, and based on the assumption that Moldovan companies are mostly underequipped or are still using outdated technologies and machines, representatives of the sector were invited to the event and were informed about the opportunities which MCP is offering to the industry. Supporting technical and vocational education initiatives. To enhance workforce development of the selected sector, MCP developed a set of initiatives for technical and vocational education. MCP organized meetings with representatives of Chisinau Technical College which is part of TUM, the leading technical education institution preparing specialists for the sector. During the meetings, a plan for technical assistance was discussed And, based on further assessed needs, MCP will support the Chisinau Technical College by equipping several of its laboratories. Collaboration within Makers’ Space for 3D Printers building and development. Together with the established Makers Movement, MCP started involving young engineers and Technical University students in a pilot project for building 3D printersand other computer numerical control (CNC) machines for educational purposes and for the Makers Community needs. In November, a concept note of the entire initiative was set-up. The activity involves knowledge in mechatronics, cinematics, microelectronics, and programming. This will provide an opportunity for TUM students to gather practical skills. The Project also identified the space for this activity within TUM’s Research & Development (R&D) facility. The advantage of this location is that it is built on the existing manufacturing capacities of a soviet time factory. The existing manufacturing infrastructure and cutting

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machines base will ensure a better environment for the planned activities, as well as ensuring TUM support. Activity 2: Development of Makers Space to foster product design, prototyping and startup for creative industries, engineering, and technology MCP is supporting the launch of a Makers Space at the Technical University of Moldova that is expected to open its doors to students in the Spring of 2017. TUM assigned about 650 squared meters for the Makers Space next to Tekwill technology center of excellence, which is going to be adapted and equipped through a grant. Creative and innovative young people with backgrounds in engineering, electronics, design, and architecture will share the Makers Space, creating an atmosphere for boosting creativity, developing a new way of working and learning, fostering innovation, and accessing new technologies for startup entrepreneurs.

Photo credit: USAID MCP Photo caption: Makers Community leader, Victor Bujoreanu, discussing the project of 3D printer building with Vitalie Gladis, in charge of TUM R&D laboratories, November 28, 2016

Continue to support the development of the Makers Space infrastructure. This activity started during the first year of the project. ChisinauProiect is the company that develops the construction design of Makers Space. During November, the company developed the design for all engineering networks and estimated the costs. Additional technical expertise of the roof was carried out to exclude the corrosive damage. The preliminary construction plan was developed by the construction work supervisor, employed by MCP. At the end of November, the project partner - ATIC and the beneficiary -TUM, started the construction of the second level and consolidation of the foundation. MCP is going to plan for installation of engineering networks. Purchase of necessary equipment and tools for manufacturers. Planned equipment and tools for Makers Space will create three functioning general work zones: electronics, woodworking, and metalworking. The lists for three sets of equipment were compiled and estimated, being consulted with representatives of the Technical University of Moldova Industrial and Product Design Department, as well as with the makers’ community. At this stage, it is important to synchronize the equipment procurement process with the construction process and adjustment of infrastructure of the Makers Space. Because some equipment needs special installation, it will be procured during the final stage of Makers Space infrastructure renovation. For continuing current activities of the makers’ community, MCP has procured some small tools and consumables. Additional equipment will be obtained through fundraising or crowd-funding. Strengthen the capacity of the makers’ community. Strengthening the capacity of the makers’ community will be done in conjunction with Atelier 99, which is active in bringing together makers with different backgrounds, knowledge, and skill sets to inspire potential makers and provide guidance on improving skills and competencies.

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During the reporting period, MCP was involved in supporting Makers Space – Atelier 99 to conceptualize its legal status. MCP analyzed the draft Tekwill Statute which is the required document for its official establishment and specifies details on Makers Space (e.g. types of activities that will be carried out, and specifications on administration bodies and processes). The draft document was discussed with TUM and ATIC, and submitted for registration. In parallel, based on the Statute’s provisions, a draft Partnership Agreement between Tekwill and Makers Moldova was developed with MCP support. It stipulates Makers Moldova’s responsibilities for Makers Space activities’ implementation. The Partnership Agreement also sets the conditions for using the space and other goods, relationships between the Makers Administration and Tekwill Administration, reporting and monitoring procedures, and financing relationships. The document will be signed signed by three parties - TUM, Tekwill and NGO Makers Moldova - upon official registration. For continuous capacity enhancement of the makers’ community, in November 2016, the Makers Space core concept defining the goal, objectives, and stakeholders of the movement was elaborated jointly by Atelier 99 and MCP. As a result, Atelier 99 has a clear understanding of the Makers Space goals and objectives, governance model, stakeholders’ responsibilities, as well as the action plan for sustainability of the community. During the reporting period, Atelier 99 developed a program of activities titled Makers’ Fundamentals, which launched on October 12, 2016with four types of events: - Repair café – series of monthly events focused on repairing electrical, mechanical, or electronically non-functional devices. Guided by a team of professional repairmen, the participants will be involved in making repairs. It is planned that repairmen will be professionals with relevant expertise, thus being able to transfer knowledge to the younger generation and provide indirect support in job searching. - Geek Talks – monthly events involving discussions of specific topics related to techniques, technologies, and innovations. The discussions will involve students, young professionals, and senior professionals, as well as diaspora organizations to promote knowledge transfer. Discussions will be recorded and promoted as podcast episodes. - Meetup events – monthly meetings where the community is presented with the latest news in science and technology, followed by presentations from community members about the projects they are working or planning to work on, as well as networking. The event is open to the public and aims to promote makers and the makers’ movement. - „How it works – series of monthly events with the aim to learn about usual objects that surround us, how they work, and how they were made. These activities will involve young professionals. It is envisaged that these activities will be replicated in local libraries in small urban and rural areas. Within Repair café series, the following events were organized:  a workshop on sewing and upcycling giving nine participants a new view of materials they can reuse or repurpose instead of throwing them away.  a seminar on 3D printing gathering 17 participants and giving a glimpse into the technology, and demonstrating the use of existing online models and an ordinary 3D printer found at the university.  a workshop on paper modelling, a cheaper alternative to 3D printing, helping 14 participants build more sophisticated models, thus showing how complex structures – masks, helmets, accessories – could be made from thick paper, glue and, resin;

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an introductory seminar on working with LED lighting, showing nine participants the possibilities to integrate electrical circuits into accessories and clothes, thus enlarging participants’ knowledge on electrical principles and tools and giving the opportunity to wire the first electrical circuit and light an LED strip.

Photo credit: Victor Bujoreanu Photo caption: Workshop on integration of electrical circuits on October 22, 2016 organized by Alerier 99. From left to the right: Iurie Nuca, TUM graduator, Nastea Colesnicov, student of interior design

At the first Geek Talks edition, organized on October 25, 2016, seven young specialists and students in the fields of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and IT quality assurance, met for discussions on building a foundation for potential cooperation among young specialists. Among the Meetup events, the 7th edition of the Makers Moldova Meetup took place on November 26, 2016. A total of 32 participants met to discuss the latest updates in Makers Space, and in science, technology, and making. A strong image and communications structure are critical for building the community and raising awareness about Atelier 99’s activity and its partners. Therefore, the following guiding documents were elaborated in collaboration with Atelier 99: 



Communication Strategy of Atelier 99 – Makers Space – depicting the communications channels, brand positioning, brand archetype, communication style, etc. The document includes the basic rules for Makers Space communication helping differentiate the brand and target the correct audience; Fundraising Kit - depicting the main advantages and possibilities of collaboration attracting donors and partners for MakerFaire and Makers Space.

The Project supported Atelier 99 – Makers Space to promote organized makers’ activities via mass media, including social media. The main objective for social media is to present the

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Makers’ Movement and Atelier 99, the people behind it, future makers space, activities, technologies, and made products.

Photo credit: Victor Bujoreanu Photo caption: 7th edition of the Makers Moldova Meetup On 26th of November 2016, From left to right: Artem Krasnopeev, Vladimir Bujac (Bike Time), Constantin Sarcov, Anastasia Colesnicov, Anastasia Palii, Maria Dodon, and Mariana Stratulat

Objective 2: Expanded Market Linkages Activity 1: Improve marketing skills and export capacity for more developed and higher value markets Prepare manufacturers to enter more developed and higher value markets. Historically, the companies from the precision engineering sector have established markets in former Soviet Union countries. With the implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the European Union, there is an opportunity to enter more developed and higher value markets in the EU. During the reporting period, MCP is cooperating with the Moldova Investment and Export Promotion Organization (MIEPO) to support four companies to attend two international exhibitions: Hannover Messe 2017 in April for pump producers and Agritechnica Hannover in November 2017 for agrotechnical equipment and machinery manufacturers. The participation at these exhibitions will allow Moldovan companies to connect with new clients and markets.

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Photo credit: Victor Bujoreanu Photo caption: October’s Makers’ Fundamentals program that covers workshops on sewing & upcycling, seminars on 3D printing, workshops on pepakura (paper modelling), Workshop on integration of electrical circuits Facebook event - https://www.facebook.com/events/317231155309536/

Objective 3: Improved Sector-Enabling Environment and Increased Capacity Activity 1: Map high precision engineering cluster Given that precision engineering is a newly identified sector for USAID assistance, MCP elaborated a list of activities to support the industry’s growth and increased competitiveness. Ground work for cluster mustering began in November to set up the MCP’s strategic approach. To provide the necessary input data for cluster analysis and mapping of the sector, a database of the most relevant companies has been developed and a questionnaire to define the sector, and potential areas of MCP’s interventions has been set up and agreed with international consultantswho will perform the mustering exercise. The questionare will help monitor the sector’s progress. In December, MCP established a database of 54 companies and interviewed the most representative 10 companies gathering all the questionnaires’ results.

A5. OTHER TECHNICAL ACTIVITIES TO SUPPORT IMPLEMENTATION Access to finance through special channels/USAID Development Credit Authority (DCA) MCP continued its ongoing advice and support to financial institutions with DCA agreements for contracts implementation and monitoring of reports submission. For example, the Project intermediated between USAID and Rural Finance Corporation on reporting issues into the Credit Management System (CMS), and prepared and provided financial information on the DCA under implementation to the National Agency for Rural Development (ACSA) which is responsible for organizing trainings aimed to increase awareness on access to finance for energy efficiency purposes.

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Within the only ongoing DCA in energy efficiency aimed to induce companies’ growth in an environmentally sustainable manner and improve individuals’ living standards - loans under guarantee may be placed until 2027. This guarantee with Prime Capital to support lending to the energy sector, signed in 2013 with USAID and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) as a co-guarantor, is progressing well. As a coguarantor, Sida shares risk with USAID – thereby allowing both parties to guarantee larger lending facilities and promote mutual development goals. Prime Capital placed 42 loans under guarantee valued at of which were disbursed. The utilization is 13 percent with an average loan amount of . Seventy percent of loans were used to remodel and upgrade residences to make them more energy efficient, while 30 percent were for business development with energy efficiency impact. The Project monitors the DCA guarantee to support industry growth in Moldova and which enabled almost in lending. This DCA operated with three financial institutions (Comertbank, Rural Finance Corporation, and Prime Capital) issuing loans between September 2011 and March 2016. To date, USAID has received zero claim requests for defaulted borrowers. Institutions will continue to monitor these loans until maturity.

B. DELIVERABLES During the reporting quarter, the project submitted to USAID the following deliverables per contract requirements: 1. Monthly Report, October 2016 2. Monthly Report, November 2016 3. USAID MCP Annual Report for Year One FY16

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SECTION II PROJECT-LEVEL OUTCOMES AND RESULTS Sector Engagement, Enhancement, and Development (SEED) Fund During the quarter, MCP worked on several levels of implementing the SEED fund: - The Project has been making strides in grant disbursements with a total of US disbursed during Q1 FY 2017 and it included payments for 26 grants covering all supported industries. - To date, the SEED fund disbursed a total of or 64% of total grant awards and 20% of the total SEED Fund budget of . - With USAID approval, executed four funded modifications in line with Project objectives with Alinia-Art SRL, Arti Macarale SRL, Emilita Lux SRL, and Ionel S.A. in light industry, Good Season SRL in wine industry, and ATIC in ICT. - A grants annual program statement (APS) was launched publicly via www.civic.md in October 2016 covering most of Project-supported industries including wine, tourism, light industry, ICT, and creative services. The APS will remain open until October 2017 and will be the main mechanism for grant awards during Project Year 2. On November 16, 2016, the SEED Fund held a round table with interested applicants in light industry to explain the APS, highlight the eligibility criteria, grantee contribution thresholds, and respond to questions. The SEED Fund will start the application evaluation process and will coordinate selection committees starting with January 2017. - During the quarter, several requests for applications (RFAs) were launched including: o RFA-2016-006 to provide support to business associations that have the goal to enhance their capacity to provide services such as mentoring, training, guidance (coaching), and advocacy for both members and other industry associations in Moldova. Two Associations presented their applications – European Business Association (EBA) and American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) – and the selection committee held in December 2016 approved them with some recommendations. The SEED Fund will work on the awards during Q2 FY 2017. o RFA-2016-007 to enhance and strengthen the organizational capacity of ICT business associations to provide training and certification services which will result in a wider and more affordable access to such services for ICT companies in Moldova. This RFA is launched in collaboration with another

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USAID-funded project Regional Economic Growth Project (REG) that will finance one third of the costs.

Inclusive Development All the Moldova Competitiveness Project activities use a non-discriminatory approach and aim to increase inclusiveness. In this respect, the Project designed activities that include groups that have been historically excluded or disadvantaged, especially women and youth. The Project also collaborates with companies from all Moldovan regions. In the wine sector, several activities were organized involving companies from Transnistria and Gagauzia regions, as follows:  GCL Prim, a small wine producer from Vulcanesti has been equipped with 20 French oak barrels, resulting from implementation of the simplified grant agreement, which enables the winery to transition from production of peasant to ‘author’ boutique wine. In addition, the winery benefited of MCP’s marketing experts’ consultations for developing its marketing strategy, market positioning, and brand identity.  Vinuri de Comrat, one of the largest wine producers and exporters form Gaguzia region benefited from project assistance under a sectorial activity aimed to increase penetration of Wine of Moldova into the Polish market. As such, Vinuri de Comrat participated along with nine other Moldovan winemakers in Magazyn Wino ‘Grand Prix Gala’ receiving the chance to present their wines to top opinion formers and leading wine trade professionals from the Polish market. In addition, the winery was extensively showcased at tasting sessions and winery presentations during the two rounds of trade trips of Polish importers and retail chains representatives.  Tomai Vinex, a transitional winery from Gagauzia, participated in the National Wine Day with a dedicated booth, and benefited from an increased number of local and international visitors that resulted from the communications campaign around the 2016 edition of the event, organized with MCP support.  KVINT, the largest wine producer and distillery from Transnistria benefited from the participation at the National Wine Day being given the additional opportunity to receive groups of tourists in their Tiraspol factory under ‘Wine Road’ activity (wine tourism component of the celebration). In addition, KVINT received the invitation to participate in the winter edition of the Wine Vernissage and to present their wines to a highly-targeted audience of wine consumers, wine connoisseurs and trade professionals from the domestic market. Although this winery does not contribute to the Vine and Wine Fund, ONVV and MCP welcome its participation at all the organized events and activities in exchange of modest fee that is equal to average cost of the activity budget divided by the number of participating wineries. Four of the six rural pensions participating in MCP’s tourism product development and facility upgrade, are women owned (Vila Roz, Casa Verde, Casa de sub stinca, Casa din Lunca). Additionally, all three tourism products in the Start- up Tourism Moldova coaching program were developed by young professional women. In the light industry, more than 85 percent of employees from apparel companies that received support are women and 65 percent of them were 35 years old or younger. Support was provided in creation of brands and products aligned with fashion trends, pattern design, sourcing of raw materials, implementation of international social compliance and production standards, and penetration into new markets through company-level efforts. The Project also provided technical assistance and supported activities within ZIPhouse, a current platform for students, young designers, start-up companies, as well as professionals from the light industry. Out of the 480 ZIPhouse participants during this quarter, 418 are women (86%) and 405 are youth (84%). The activities aim to stimulate creativity and entrepreneurship in the

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fashion industry to develop the necessary technical skills and abilities to become a professional, succeed in this field, and create a favorable environment for collaboration between students, teachers, professionals, and employers. All the ICT activities target youth and women. Of the activities implemented during the quarter (trainings for teachers on Educational Robotics and FIRST LEGO League coaching, Startup Weekend Moldova and Chisinau Startup Week, etc.), 254 or 27 percent of the attendees were women and 641 or 67 percent were young. In the Creative Services Industry, activities aim at increased inclusiveness. During the quarter, an average of 152 or 20 percent of the event attendees were women and most participants were youth.

Monitoring & Evaluation General M&E activities. During the reporting period, MCP’s technical team worked extensively to prepare and submit its first Annual Report. The analysis and evaluation of achieved Year One results demonstrates high performance of the implemented activities: MCP met or exceeded targets for all indicators. October was dedicated to M&E data analysis for the Project’s annual report. Significant efforts were made to collect all monitoring data from 83 companies (sales, exports, investment, accessed finance, and jobs), enter it into the database, and conduct a rigorous verification of data accuracy. All implemented activities from September 2016 were gathered, analyzed, and added into the database. Finally, the reports for each indicator were generated and disaggregated (mainly by targeted industry, company size, and gender). In November, USAID had its Project Performance Review (PPP) for reporting on activities conducted in FY 2016. Since MCP is a new project, the Project selected with USAID four relevant key issues and two indicators for reporting. As key issues were selected: Trade Capacity Building; Gender Equality/Women's Empowerment-Secondary; Participation, Inclusion, Transparency and Accountability for Sustainable Development, Figure: Cover page of USAID MCP Year One and Clean Energy Key). As indicators for Report reporting were selected: Sales of firms receiving USG-funded assistance; Number of firms receiving USG-funded technical assistance for improving business performance. In December, monitoring data related the implemented activities within the quarter were included into the database and data accuracy was verified. A. Progress towards quantitative indicators targets The following table presents the project’s progress to-date against the targets set.

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Table. Performance Monitoring: Targets versus Results

Performance Monitoring: Target vs. Actual Indicator

YEAR 1 Y1 Target Established

YEAR 2 Y1 Target versus Result

Y1 Result Achieved

Cumulative Target Established (Y1+Y2)

Project Purpose: Grow and Expand Targeted Competitive Industries

Objective 1: Increased Productivity and Quality (Better Workforce and Adopted Innovation) IR 2.2: Improved Private Sector Competitiveness in Selected Industries Sub-IR 2.2.1: Increased Productivity

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Cumulative Result Achieved (Y1+Y2Q1)

Cumulative Target versus Result (Y1+Y2)

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Indicator

Actual Achieved Q1 - Y1

Target Established Y1

Objective 2. Expanded Market Linkages IR 2.2: Improved Private Sector Competitiveness in Selected Industries Sub-IR 2.2.2: Expended Market Linkages

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IR 2.1: Improved Private Sector Competitiveness in Selected Industries Sub-IR 2.1.2: Expended Market Linkages

10

Objective 3. . Improved Sector –Enabling Environment and Increased Local Capacity IR 2.1: Improved Economic Foundation for Growth Sub-IR 2.1.1: Improved Business and Trade Enabling Environment

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Actual Achieved Q2 - Y1

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B. Qualitative results Wine and Tourism Industries’ Results 









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Six new small winemakers transitioned from peasant to ‘author’ wine production. Resulting from implementation ASW Mentorship program and awarded SEED grants, Fragolino, Sava Mihai, Iurco Nicolae, GCL Prim, Est Euro Vitis and Teba Prim received critical equipment and winemaking consultancy to produce premium quality. Three small winemakers increased their production capacity. MCP ensured the execution of grant agreements with Unicorn Estate, Good Season, and Ilie Gogu facilitating the procurement of winemaking equipment to increase the productivity and product quality. Eight wineries from the PQUP program registered a significant increase in product quality. MCP finalized the assistance of the first intake of wineries from Product Quality Upgrading Program, within which companies received winemaking technical assistance and support in procurement of winemaking equipment impacting positively product quality. Fifteen wineries increased the number of market linkages on the Czech market. Resulting from the participation of Wine of Moldova in International Wine Show Prague organized with MCP support, more than 30 business meetings were held with event attendees, mostly wine buyers and wine professionals, increasing the chances to build volumes of exports to the Czech Republic. Eleven wine producers showcased during the most important Polish wine industry event Magazyn Wino Grand Prix Gala. Facilitated by MCP, the participating companies presented their premium wine portfolios to a highly-targeted audience of wine connoisseurs and wine trade professionals on the same level as producers from leading countries of origin. Twenty percent increase in forecasted export volumes to Asia resulting from participation of Wine of Moldova and eight wine producers at Vinexpo Tokyo. Four gold and two silver medals received by Moldovan Wineries at Mundus Vini. The Project, assisted wineries to submit more samples to internationally renowned wine contests which have been appreciated. Eighteen Polish traders entered in contact with 22 Moldovan wine producers during two trade trips. MCP supported ONVV in the organization of two trade trips of Polish wine trade professionals among which were representatives of the biggest importers (TIM, Platinum Wines, and Partner Center), and representatives of major retail chains (Carrefour, IBES, Archelan, and Stokrotka) which were acquainted to a selected pool of “New Generation” and “Export Champions” wineries. Resulting from this activity F’Autor has initiated the negotiation of an export contract with Platinum Wines for a volume of 20 thousand bottles of dry wines of middle and premium segments. Doubled exports to Germany from small wineries that participated in Heilbronn “Wine Professionals Conference”. MCP facilitated the participation of six ASW members at the

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Heilbronn “Wine Professionals Conference” organized by one of the most renowned wine magazines in Germany “Wein-Plus” (Wein Markt), where ASW was featured as one of the organizing partners. This activity immediately led to increased shipping lots: Carpe Diem has received an order for one pallet (approximately 660 bottles) which represents a 150% increase compared to the entire quantity supplied in the first nine months of 2016; and Equinox has received an order to two pallets (approximately 1,320 bottles) which represent threefold increase for the same period.

Daos (Bostavan trade mark) depletions to retail outlets increased by 285 percent compared to 2015. Within MCP’s Export Support program, Bostavan winery organized an integrated communications campaign which led to an impressive increase in orders from retail outlets. 

 







Wine Friendly program expanded. Eight new Wine Friendly venues, six new participating wineries and 202 new facebook fans are the results of the “Magic” edition of Wine Friendly program, organised with project support (that included communications campaign on social media and 10 specialized master classes). Twenty percent increased attendance at Wine Vernissage. The 2016 winter edition of Wine Vernissage registered record of attendance 1,200 people and 37 wineries, a record number. Twenty-three companies increased their knowledge of the domestic market. With MCP support, ONVV organized a public presentation of the domestic market research, which is the first baseline for further studies. The research determined the market size, market volume, per capita consumption, consumption patterns, and preferences of top varieties and brands. Five tour operators and four wineries expanded their business linkages at TT Warsaw Tourism Exhibition. With MCP assistance, five tour operators (Solei Turism, TatraBis, Infoturism Grup, Slavion Travel, and Ways Travel) and four wineries (Asconi, Castel MIMI, Purcari, and Chateau Vartely) promoted Moldova under the TCB as a wine tourism destination in the frameworks of the specialized tourism exhibition TT Warsaw, in Poland, on November 24-26, 2016. While Poland is the top target market, the companies had the opportunity to expand their business linkages and inform travelers about new products for the 2017 tourism season. Five tour operators, one airline, and one winery exhibited at WTM London Tourism Exhibition. With MCP support, four tour operators (Infoturism Grup, Solei Turism, Silenus, BT Travel, and Ways Travel), one airline (AirMoldova) and one winery (Asconi) promoted their products and Moldova under the TCB “Tree of Life” at WTM London, the leading global B2B event for the travel industry, on November 7-9, 2016. The companies presented their products including the most popular tourism attractions (wineries, gastronomy, numerous monasteries, medieval fortresses, rural life and authentic culture). Per the marketing strategy, the UK is the third largest target market for Moldovan tourism. One event planning company and two destination management companies promoted Moldova as a MICE destination at IBTM World MICE Tourism Exhibition. With MCP support, one event planning company (AQA Logistics) and two destination management companies (Solei Turism and TatraBis) promoted Moldova as a MICE destination at IBTM World MICE Tourism Exhibition, on November 29 - December 1, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. This was the first time when Moldovan companies participated at this event under the TCB Tree of Life.

Light Industry Results •

More than ten contacts and testing orders from three buyers in the USA, Canada, and Ireland and positive feedback from potential clients gained by Rotan JSC, the most successful Moldovan manufacturer of special and work footwear, because of

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• •

• •







participation at the NSC - Congress & Expoin Anaheim, USA, in October 2016, with MCP support. 50,000 EUR in sales for Zorile shoes manufacturer as a result of participation in July at ShoesStar international exhibition at Almaty, Kazakhstan. Additionally, the company found a reliable partner for international logistics for the Asia region. The largest “Din Inima” store opened its doors to consumers. With MCP assistance and APIUS coordination, 40 local brands joined their efforts and opened the third “Din Inima” store, one of the largest multi-brand stores on 2,000 squared meters in the UNIC shopping mall. Modern design of the store together with professional spotlights, covered by MCP, and unique clothing items and accessories is a great attraction for consumers. On theopening day, sales exceeded 600,000 MDL. Four Moldovan brand start-ups integrated in the “Din Inima” umbrella brand with USAID support, which allowed the startups to succeed in becoming APIUS member and becoming part of the Din Inima project, by joining other local brands in the new multi brand store at UNIC, in the startup zone. MCP contributed to the rent of the needed exhibiting space for half a year for MilyMia, Special Baby, BabyCo, and Daos startups, to provide an opportunity for testing the market and customers. Stronger and more recognizable fashion brands. With MCP assistance local shoe manufacturer Olsa Shoes built stronger and more recognizable fashion brands. The implementation of rebranded image will consolidate the brand values, market positioning, and fundamental principles of the company’s identity. The company used the new brand identity for opening a new show room in Chisinau and presence at the Din Inima common store at UNIC. Twelve local brands benefitted from innovative promotional products such as video look books produced with MCP support: Sekana, Georgette, Ionel, Floare, Cristina, Creme Brulee, Oldcom, Special Baby, Alina Bradu, Katea Gri, Move, Vasconi, Milabrega, MaxiKids, Brio, Mallena, Premiera Dona, and Ana Popov. Twenty-three local brands estableshed more than 28 market linkages due to participation at five international exhibitions and promotional events. Twenty apparel companies were evaluated in order to be linked to key brands and retailers in Europe thus having an opportunity to attract new clients and to grow their exports. The evaluation was based on industrial and business criteria, such as their investment in machinery, the skill levels of their staff, their production management systems, and their ability to communicate effectively. Twenty-eight local brands improved their image through more professional look books including product and campaign images, and started promoting their fall/winter collections on social media. Twenty-two brands attracted customer interest through Fashion Listicles, a supportive campaign aimed to stimulate the consumer to buy products of local brands and to enhance Din Inima position as fashion umbrella brand. Listicles were created by the online platform local.md, involving professional stylist for generation of fashion content and combined looks. Forty local brands increased visibility through common promotion campaigns. A solid PR, communications, and advertising campaign has been launched to communicate to customers about the opening of the largest local multi-brand store Din Inima in the UNIC shopping mall. Fifty local brands boosted sales through BLACK FRIDAY sales event. A strong PR, communications, and advertising campaign has been launched to communicate to customers about the three Din Inima stores. Thanks to this initiative, the stream of customers abd sales doubled on the sales day More than 480 beneficiaries participated in activities at ZIPhouse during the reporting period. The 27 new memberships build a stronger community of residents, benefitting the production facilities, and other resources of the center.

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More than 90 participants, 20 of which were private companies, improved technical skills and abilities, thanks to six workshops and seminars with more than 100 hours of technical training, organized by ZIPhouse in response to industry needs. Important topics such as computer design and pattern making has been approached. Thirty teachers from three educational institutions, participating in technical trainings. More than 100 participants were involved in the first industry key event “Moldova in Fashion” Conference, aimed to develop skills, build attitudes, and boost entrepreneurs’ aspirations in the fashion industry through interaction with local entrepreneurs and international experts. The first edition connected four international leaders in the field through a combination of two days of panel discussions, practical examples, talks, and workshops focused on the fashion industry. Fashion community built around ZIPhouse, includes more than 220 participants at eight community-building events organized during the reporting period. ZIPhouse succeeded in launching community branded events, to be held on a regular basis in the future.

ICT Industry and Creative Services Industry Results 

Educational Robotics Program expanded. A total of 58 educational institutions and seven libraries were added to the Educational Robotics program (which now includes 83 robotics clubs). More than 3,000 youth are participating in robotics clubs or taking robotics classes.



Robotics teachers improved their capacity. With MCP support, 22 experienced teachers got advanced level training, organized on November 1-2, 2016, allowing them to move to higher level programming concepts and use of new sensors.



Activities in robotics enhanced teachers’ skills and developed children and teenagers’ abilities in ICT. Seventy robotics teachers attended the FIRST LEGO League coaches training on December 10, 2016. Twenty-seven children and teenagers attended the Robotics training camp during the Fall school vacation, where they designed, built, and programmed robots for Sumo Bot Challenge on November 4-6, 2016. Sixty-seven children and teenagers took part in the workshops organized during the Robotics Demo Day on November 19, 2016, having hands-on experience constructing and programming the robotic sets for specific tasks.



CoderDojo Chisinau program was extended. Three new locations were added to the CoderDojo program. As a result, 80 children, ages 8 to 16, joined the free-of-charge, volunteer-based coding clubs and started learning IT. Eight volunteers, young IT professionals, and students are mentoring these classes.



The first Israel-Moldova business mission brought new opportunities for connecting the two entrepreneurial ecosystems. Eighteen local IT companies attended match making sessions with five members of the Israeli delegation, representing different organizations, IT companies, and startups. As a result, six IT companies are discussing potential collaboration, one has signed a cooperation agreement, one Israeli company hired a local developer, and one local IT outsourcing company received a proposal to establish a joint venture/Israeli branch.



Makers Space community activities are developing technical skills for local makers and youth enthusiasts. In this respect a series of workshops and community meetups were organized: Repair Café where 20 participants were trained to repair electronically nonfunctional devices; Geek Talks where six young specialists and students enhanced their knowledge in mechanical engineering, urbanism, interior design; Makers Moldova

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Meetup 7th edition where 32 participants networked with creative entrepreneurs and members of the makers’ community.

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SECTION III HIGHLIGHTS OF ACTIVITIES PLANNED FOR FY17 Q2 (JANUARY– MARCH 2017) Wine and Tourism Industry  

Support the upgrade of the National Wine Road program (International STTA- TBD); Support rural pensions in product development and promotion (local STTA- Maxim Calujac and Ludmila Ionel, associated budgetDevelop culinary routes in wine tourism hubs (associated budgetFinalize Urban Plan and Destination Management Plan for Orheiul Vechi reservation (International STTA- Robert Travers, associated budgetSupport participation of Winetours at IWINETC Wine Tourism Conference; Support institutionalization and launch of MICE Moldova Convention Bureau (Local STTA- Oleg Utica, associated budgetDevelop and start the implementation of the Roadmap for Guides Workforce Development (Local STTA- TBD, associated budgetSupport ANTRIM participation of at international exhibitions (Poznan Poland and ITB Berlin (associated budgetFinalize the Happy Holidays social media promotional campaign (associated budget-

        

Finalize the new tourism country video (associated budget); Finalize the Marketing and promotion Strategy (international STTA – Augusto Huescar); Finalize the Tourism legal and regulatory assessment (international STTA - John Downes); Develop legal pocket guide for tourism service providers (rural pensions, small wineries, kraftsmen, etc.) (local STTA- TBD); Extend the ANTRIM’s grant for promotion of Moldova as a tourism destination.

  

Light Industry  

Assist the Zorile common store restructuring (Local STTA - Dumitru Carbuni) Assist APIUS identify participating companies for international exhibitions - Premier Manufacturing expo, Premier Vision raw materials CPM, Fashion central Asia international, Textilegprom leather and shoes exhibitions in Kiev (associated budget -



Coordinate the Research for Din Inima umbrella brand and implementation of the #descoperadininima PR campaign; Coordinate the implementation of professional and community building activities at ZIPhouse; Launch the Acceleration Program at ZIPhouse; Implement the Design Couching Program for apparel companies (international STTAKelly Denooyer and Luisa Fazio); Start the productivity enhancement program for apparel companies (international STTA - Martin Bucher); Coordinate Irka shoes rebranding.

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Information and Communications Industry and Creative Services Industry 

Develop National Program for STEM Education improvement (International STTA – TBD and local STTA – TBD); Conduct a monitoring of Robotics Program implementation; Organize FIRST LEGO League Moldova 2016/2017 Animal Allies competition under grant with ATIC (associated budget Coordinate Moldovan champion team’s participation at FIRST LEGO League Estonia open finals (associated budget Organize the ToT for informatics teachers on the implementation of Arduino based Robotics workshop, under the ER4STEM project (subcontractor – ESI CEE, Bulgaria, associated budget – Improve the initial version of the Start-up Moldova tech platform with new functionalities (associated budget Promote Atelier 99 events (subcontractor - First Media); Film Atelier 99 video spot for donors (Subcontractor – Youbesc Creative Institute); Organize KAMA Workshops concept (associated costs-TBD); Support Youbesc Creative Institute attendance at Berlinale – (associated costs ); Organize Global Game Jam and narrative design workshop (associated budget ).

         

Other Technical Activities  

Provide ongoing support to Prime Capital for the energy efficiency DCA agreement; Organise monitoring visits and prepare monitoring report.

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SECTION IV PROJECT ADMINISTRATION Level of Effort Report The following table provides summary of the project LOE usage and expenditures during the quarter and year-to-date.

LABOR CATEGORY

CONTRACT TOTAL (work days)

Y2Q1 LOE (estimate)

Cumulative LOE (estimate)

Remaining LOE (estimate)

TOTAL

Administration and Finance The project’s administrative and financial systems are running smoothly. Project Communications The first quarter of Year 2 was marked by the signing ceremony between USAID and Swedish Government for the joint implementation of the Moldova Competitiveness Project. To correctly position and communicate the success of the donors’ cooperation, the project organized a press conference on December 19, 2016, at the Museum of Arts. H.E. Signe Burgstaller, Ambassador of Sweden, H.E. James D. Pettit, US Ambassador and USAID Representative Karen D. Hilliard hosted the press conference and signed the cooperation agreement. Media successfully covered the event, with 23 media materials generated. To celebrate the cooperation between USAID and Sweden, the Project organized a wine tasting event for key partners. Marked as Wine Friendly event, the tasting gathered 25 high level officials representing the US. Embassy, Embassy of Sweden, USAID, Sida, UNDP, GOM officials, and Private sector (business associations) representatives. The wine tasting was moderated by Gheorghe Arpentin, a well-known enologist and director of the ONVV. The communications activities carried out during the quarter focused on: developing PR and communications plans for several high level events; submission of scene setters to USAID; monitoring Proimagine and ongoing win-win partnerships established with media partners collaboration for choosing best tactics for communicating monthly events, planning, elaborating press releases and supporting pre-, during and post-event organization; 85

contributing to USAID’s facebook posts; ensuring that Project branding and marking guidelines were followed during numerous technical events and on deliverables, and submiting monthly events calendar to USAID.

Photo credit: Photo caption: USAID and Sweden cooperation agreement signing ceremony

Media coverage. Within 22 public campaigns promoting MCP’s activities during the quarter, 30 PR materials (press releases, media invitations and articles) were developed and sent out to the press. Sixty-three national media channels produced 400 press materials about MCP activities, and USAID assistance being mentioned in 327 of them. As a result of Proimagine’s interaction 29 pro-bono media articles were placed and 45 were paid. The following Project-implemented activities were largely present in mass media:  In the wine sector, the Magic Wine Vernissage generated 54 media materials. The visit of US Ambassador James Pettit and of USAID Representative Karen Hilliard to the Vinuri de Comrat winery was covered by the Gagauzian media. The last video talk show on Agora “People - the spirit of wine" was produced with the participation of the journalist and wine-painter Vasile Botnaru and enologist Sergiu Galusca. Another highly covered event was the participation of eight Moldovan wineries at the VinExpoTokyo a wine exhibition in Tokyo, Japan. The communications campaign to promote Moldovan wineries continued with video reports about 7 wineries (Etcetera, Milestii Mici, Poiana, Kara Gani, Fautor, Castel MIMI). The campaign generated 56 media materials. An interview with Robert Joseph was coordinated and published on Unimedia. MCP’s deputy chief of party, Diana Lazar, participated in a video talk show on Agora “People the spirit of wine" and on UNIMEDIA “Alb Negru”.

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Figure 5. Project wine related activities highlighted in press (jurnal.md, agora.md,)



In the light industry, the most reported event was the opening of the Din Inima store at UNIC shopping mall. A special interview of Karen Hilliard was arranged for Acasa TV, Ea.md, Agora, and Locals. MCP’s chief of party, Doina Nistor, participated along with Marina Lapusneanu, APIUS Executive Director at the “O seara perfecta” TV Show on Acasa TV to promote Moldovan brands the new opened Din Inima store. Another big event for fashion industry extensively covered by press was the Moldova in Fashion conference. Sergiu Botezatu, USAID senior manager, participated in a TV show on Moldova 1 along with APIUS and ZipHouse representatives to encourage women entrepreneurship in the light industry. The show was planned after the Inspiring Women in Fashion conference, organized by ZipHouse with MCP support.

Figure 6. Dininima store opening covered by media



In the ICT sector, MCP media coverage included: public presentation of the STEM education concept paper; the extension of the ROBOCLUB initiative, RoboCamp, and Startup Week. These events generated 67 publications, including news reports and talk shows on local TV channels, articles, and video reports on important online portals. A special interview with Karen Hilliard was arranged for Agora on STEM, Educational Robotics, and general USAID support for the IT sector. Ionela Tititrez, IT development manager, participated in several TV shows at Moldova 1, Agora and UNIMEDIA and CTC Moldova.

Social Media. MCP continued to promote it’s activitiy via the USAID Moldova Facebook page. Sharing upcoming events, links in media or posting statuses, photos or slideshows from events, MCP is one of the most active USAID-funded project on social media. MCP 87

invited students and teachers who are part of the RoboClub program to comment on the USAID facebook page with photos and videos from their activities. Thus, pupils and teachers from all over the country were active online, took pictures, made collages and short videos, and uploaded them to facebook. The album with pictures from robotics lessons in Singera was the most commented post of the USAID facebook page since its establishment and reached 39 comments. MCP’s progress in STEM and Educational Robotics was reflected on the Chemonics flickr page. Success Stories. A story about the impact of robotics on a 13-year-old Moldovan boy was produced and sent to be posted on the USAID webpage.

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Another cut-above story about robotics was developed in cooperation with Chemonics’ communications department and published on the Chemonics website and newsletter http://www.chemonics.com/OurImpact/SharingImpact/ImpactStories/Pages/The-Nuts-andBolts-of-STEM-in-Moldova.aspx

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