The Foreign Investors Council in Romania says in a press release that the local business environment needs urgent measures to help Romania’s economy remain functional, advancing 100 urgent actions that the Government should take to overcome the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
“With every man staying at home, with every reservation canceled, with every stock market opening, the pandemic is transformed from a global human health emergency into an economic crisis. Our first concern was to protect people. So we have taken measures regarding their safety, both on our own initiative and in response to the authorities’ requests. We are together. But we need urgent measures to help Romania’s economy remain functional, even while it is slowing down: goods must circulate, stores and pharmacies must be supplied, and it is vital not to interrupt energy sources. A weak economy means a weak state. We must continue to stay together. The Concordia Employers’ Confederation and the Foreign Investors Council propose to the Government a set of over 100 urgent measures that will help the business environment to overcome this critical moment and to protect the consumers from the indirect effects of the coronavirus epidemic.”
FIC said that the authorities and the business environment must have a three-dimensional approach: “maintaining the socio-economic balances and the fiscal-budgetary ones, concrete actions on the most affected and important sectors and creating a risk matrix, so that they are prioritized depending on how the situation evolves in the economy.”
Foreign investors argued that “state support measures are needed to prevent blockages or bankruptcies of otherwise healthy sectors or companies, and the state itself needs resources”. According to FIC, the Concordia Employers’ Confederation and the Council of Foreign Investors consider that a constructive approach from the authorities is important. Companies are here to be consulted.
The most important proposals submitted to the Government:
- Postponing the payment term for CAS, CASS and CAM for a period of three months, with a 5% discount for companies that decide to pay it. It is by far the largest expense of companies, about 10 billion lei a month. The bonus is important because companies that have liquidity should be encouraged to transfer these amounts. Consideration may be given to delaying these payments as different sectors become affected. Postponing the payment of social contributions will allow affected sectors to lay off as few employees as possible.
- Fast loan schemes guaranteed by the state, to provide support to small and medium-sized companies for which deferral of payment of taxes is not enough. The Government may also consider temporarily transforming the Start-Up Nation program into a support scheme for SMEs.
- The government must quickly access the financing lines opened by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
- Specific measures for both the retail and transport sectors to ensure the continuous supply of food and medicines to citizens.
- A special medical procedure is required in order to prevent drivers coming from affected areas from quarantine for 14 days. This phenomenon can quickly lead to the depletion of the number of drivers available at the level of carriers in Romania.
- The need for urgent (but temporary) labor code flexibility to facilitate work from home or from a distance.
- Extension or adaptation of state-guaranteed programs so that banks can provide working capital loans to clients who are usually financially stable but are temporarily affected by the implications of the emergence of the new coronavirus.
- The tourism sector is highly exposed to the risk of bankruptcy and needs rapid intervention by the authorities.
- We understand the priority need of public authorities to store large quantities of protective and disinfection equipment, but a significant part is needed to be allowed to circulate on the market so that companies can ensure the health and safety of employees.
The full document with all the measures proposed by the Concordia Employers’ Confederation and the Council of Foreign Investors can be downloaded from the following link.