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A highway to connect Moldavia and Transylvania is needed, World Bank representative says

Tatiana Proskuryakova, World Bank country manager for Romania and Hungary, has posted on her blog an analysis about her recent visits in our country. She mentions the main challenges Romania is facing on the way to complete reforms. Her visits included the cities of Iasi, Timisoara, Dej, Constanta, Caransebes, Alexandria and others.

Main ideas:

  • Romania has a diverse set of challenges and a unique pathway towards development – from better roads, to stronger institutions, and an improved business climate.
  • A highway that connects the region of Moldova to Transylvania and the rest of Europe; an education system producing a workforce with the right mix of skills to fully succeed in today’s competitive labor market; institutions capable of delivering policy predictability and continuity in implementing its development objectives.
  • Multinational companies who came to invest in Romania flagged an education system that is not producing graduates with the skillset that complements their needs. Therefore, companies are investing in reskilling their staff, building partnerships with Universities, and experimenting in innovative ways to offer young recruits on-the-job experience and training;
  • A set of three challenges that stuck with me everywhere I went. Romanians want better roads to facilitate mobility and attract investments. Romanians aspire for a better education system that can deliver the hope of a brighter future for all children. And Romanians desire stronger institutions that can provide better public services and consistency in political commitments that aim to move things forward.
  • My colleague, Donato de Rosa, argues that lagging education, poor infrastructure, and uncertain regulations are Romania’s top challenges to reducing poverty and promoting sustainable growth.
  • We will focus on addressing Romania’s education and health sector challenges. In education, for example, we will support the transition to tertiary education and help children from vulnerable and marginalized communities have a better chance of success in life.
  • The strategy will focus on helping Romanian companies do better. I have been inspired by the dynamism and the tremendous contribution to Romania’s economic transformation by the private sector. Romania’s GDP per capita rose from 30 percent of the European Union (EU) average in 1995 to 60 percent in 2017.
  • Today, over 70 percent of the country’s exports go to the EU and this impressive story is intrinsically linked with the success of Romania’s entrepreneurs. But private companies, especially small and medium ones, continue to face limited access to finance.
  • The strategy will strengthen Romania’s preparedness to face the risks of natural disasters and the impacts of climate change. While this may not be something that many people may routinely think about, building Romania’s resilience to natural disasters is fundamentally important to the country’s social and economic progress and for safeguarding livelihoods. Among all capital cities in the EU, Bucharest is the most exposed to earthquakes. Furthermore, potential, frequent floods in the country threaten losses in the billions of dollars.

 

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