Minister Laufer: “Romania is becoming more and more influential”. EIB economist: ”Focus on investment is needed”

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Romania is becoming more and more visible and influential in the region and in the economic area it aims to be predictable for the business environment, Minister for the Business Environment Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Ilan Laufer, said in 6th edition of the Bucharest Forum, organized by the Aspen Institute of Romania.

”Romania has made huge efforts since the 1989 Revolution to become part of Europe and part of the European Union. We need to understand this process,” Laufer also stated.

According to the Minister for the Business Environment, the Government wants to create a predictable business environment and recalled the Prevention Law and the Public-Private Partnership Law in this context.

”The business environment is improving in Romania very much, and, together with the embassies, we aim to improve the strategic partnership and bring it to the area of economic and business partnership,” Ilan Laufer pointed out.

In turn, attending the event, Patricia Wruuck, economist at the European Investment Bank (EIB), appreciated the strong economic growth recorded by Romania, due to consumption, but the attention has to be moved to the investment segment.

”There is an impressive economic growth of Romania, by over 5 percent (5.8 percent – editor note), which allows an economy of scale. (…) However, there are also weaknesses and I am referring here to fiscal instability and to the current level of investment which is not encouraging,” EIB official notes.

According to her, an EIB survey shows that Romania is the country where only 68 percent of companies invest. ”Somehow the companies’ priorities are different here. There are also many companies working on capacity or over capacity,” Wruuck stated adding that there is a need to strengthen infrastructure, health, education, transport.

EIB economist also concluded that the private sector in Romania does not make much investment, due to the uncertainty caused by domestic policies.

”Uncertainty is always a problem for companies, but there is one thing that distinguishes Romania: over 60 percent of companies say that the lack of transport infrastructure makes difficult the emergence of investments compared to the EU average, of almost 40 percent. Companies complain about the lack of qualified staff with the necessary skills. This reflects several factors: external migration, low birth rate, wage growth that is a problem. In the medium term, this is an issue that needs to be tackled seriously because competitiveness should not be undermined and the companies need people with the necessary training and skills,” Patricia Wruuck said.

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