FIC President: Last year’s progress could increase Romania’s appeal for investors

Romania could become more attractive for investors, given the positive evolutions over the last year, Foreign Investors Council (FIC) President Mihai Bogza said in an interview to Agerpres; he mentioned the economic growth, the inflation in normal and predictable parameters, and balance of payments current account indicating some stability and standing at a quite acceptable level.
According to the FIC official, a direct impact of the recent Standard & Poor’s rating of Romania will be visible in the costs of the country’s foreign borrowing, since some funds that were under restriction of buying Romanian bonds, as long as the ratings of all three major rating agencies were not ‘investment grade.’ As regards the incoming investments, there are more criteria taken into account over longer terms.
‘For instance, I think that the decisions on investments to Romania would be rather stimulated by other positive elements seen lately, such as the relatively high economic growth both last year and over the first quarter of this year; the inflation reaching normal and predictable parameters; a current account of the balance of payments indicating some stability and standing at a quite acceptable level, around one percent of the GDP last year, and probably around the same figure this year. Such good news from the economy will make Romania more appealing for foreign investors,’ Bogza said.
Asked about the solution for settling issues of state-owned companies, Bogza answered that he personally sees privatization as the only solution. ‘Let us remember that Petrom, for instance, had huge losses before the privatization; not it is very profitable. There are many similar examples,’ he added.
As regards the merging of the 92 parafiscal taxes, Bogza commented that they were ‘minor taxes, which were more a headache for the companies. If these taxes were anyhow unjustified for the Government, it is a good thing that someone took this step of identifying and eliminating them.’
According to Bogza, the Government’s intention to adopt the euro on January 1, 2019 is ‘a goal worth mobilizing our efforts. Whether we succeed or not remains to be seen, but we should at least do what we can to set into place the necessary premises, and then take the decision based on the domestic or external context. However, this is a target that can muster the energies in Romania, like it happened with the accession to NATO or the EU, or like things went up to a point for the attempt of joining the Schengen Area; here, unfortunately, the failure has led to a certain demotivation. So adopting the euro is a goal worth following,’ he underlined.

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