On the occasion of the new city status of the Moldovan village of Tvarditsa FOCUS News Agency spoke with Mayor Ivan Zhelyapov.
FOCUS: Mr. Zhelyapov, Taraklia’s village of Tvarditsa received city status. Why did local authorities have requested that the Parliament of Moldova?
Ivan Zhelyapov: The residents and councilors from the Town Hall wanted that. The District Council supported our initiative in the Parliament of Moldova and it adopted this decision. We have all the necessary conditions for a city. We have a large industrial zone, we have companies that are working, we have a Music College, a Lyceum, a high school, two kindergartens for 200 children, hospital and ambulance. Population in Tvarditsa is 6,000 people.
FOCUS: How the new statute will change the lives of residents in Tvarditsa?
Ivan Zhelyapov : This will attract new investments in Tvarditsa, we can construct roads. The city is more attractive that the village - everyone wants to be in the city. We have a large industrial zone with five plants, which employs about 600 people. We have a clothing company that employs 250 people, a factory for production of tobacco products, which provided 50 jobs. I think that once we became a city there will be more interested people who will want to come in Tvarditsa and to develop, to create new jobs, to build roads, to build power electricity network, sewage and water supply network.
FOCUS: What are the investors?
Ivan Zhelyapov : Investors are not only Moldovans. We have businessmen from other countries, for example - investors from Ukraine, Egypt. The investor from Egypt opened a tailoring enterprise in Tvarditsa. The investor from Ukraine has opened five plants in the country, which produces brandy, sausages, various meats, tobacco factory.
FOCUS: Is there interest by Bulgarian investors to develop their business in Tvarditsa?
Ivan Zhelyapov : There is currently no Bulgarian investors. We expected visit by former Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borisov, however it did not happen. Moldovan Prime Minister was visiting Bulgaria. We hope after the elections in Bulgaria, such a meeting to take place and business to be interested in us. But, in general, there is a foreign investment interest in Tvarditsa.
FOCUS: How do you attract investors?
Ivan Zhelyapov : First thing that attracts them is our hospitality, second - we attract them with people who love and want to work, and the third – we create conditions for them as local authorities ensure that they will create favorable conditions for their business: no continuous monitoring, no inspections. We create such conditions in which they can work to pay the salaries of the people and to report to the local budget funds.
FOCUS: What are the prospects for developing new business in Tvarditsa?
Ivan Zhelyapov : We want to develop agriculture because we have 5.5000 acres of land. We produce much grain and we want to deal with poultry, livestock. There is a meat processing factory in Tvarditsa. The meat factory in Tvarditsa obtained permission from the Russian Inspectorate on Quality of Products to offer meat products in Russia. Their representatives visited Tvarditsa and saw how we work here. Our cognac products are offered in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Israel, Europe and even the United States.
FOCUS: Do you take part in forums and exhibitions in Bulgaria?
Ivan Zhelyapov : No, we have not participated forums in Bulgaria. However we take part in such exhibitions in Russia and Moldova - every year on the Day of Wine.
FOCUS: What new problems will appear before the city?
Ivan Zhelyapov : We plan to open a notary office, a branch of the Moldovan Chamber of Commerce, a cadastre, which is engaged in real estate and construction companies.
FOCUS: Do you have qualified people for the positions that you plan to create?
Ivan Zhelyapov : Yes, of course we have. 50-60 people annually graduate the Lyceum, 95% of which later graduate higher education. We have great potential, people with different professions.