June 2nd, Italian Republic Day, what does the celebration here in Romania mean for you?
Today I made a reflection on the celebration of the Italian Republic Day and I realized that for me it’s the 34th celebration here in Romania. In such an important moment for my country, I had the perception of how much I gave and how much I received from Romania, not only in my work but also at the human level. I therefore see it as a second home. This personal long presence on this territory generates for me a double feeling, love and patriotic pride for Italy, affection and appreciation for Romania.
Giovanni Villabruna, President of Confindustria Romania, which is your associative “vision”?
Being the President of Confindustria Romania, just for a few months, allowed me to activate further virtuous actions, in this case also dutiful, towards my compatriots that are representing the Italian business presence in Romania. Must be paid the right attention to the large companies, but also and especially to the small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the most exposed even in structural terms, and it’s especially for them that we must reserve our primary activity, even more as an employer’s Association, in order to create a protective “halo” that leverages our ability of listening, information and concrete and continuous actions on the territory, to their benefit.
A special attention should be also paid to the relations with the banking system, which is indispensable for the growth of the companies, therefore we want, as an Association, to play our part in order to create a greater dialogue between business and credit.
Another topic to be developed will be the agriculture, also in virtue of the Protocol of Collaboration between Confagricoltura and Confindustria Romania, which places us as a special interlocutor for the most important Italian agricultural investments in Romania.
We also want to be able to provide support as a “Patronat” in the construction and infrastructure field, where our companies compete on a daily basis and where they are often penalized by bureaucratic issues. We also want to give the right emphasis to the social field by supporting the various organizations that are part of it: the Italian School, the NGOs, the religious and charitable institutions, the Accademia della Cucina Italiana and many others that are contributing to the good name of Italy abroad.
Which are the future actions of Confindustria Romania Patronat?
I still think that this country context is highly competitive, where our worst fear would be to remain static, or even passive: we cannot and should not take this risk. For this reason, as a “Patronat” we are dealing with difficult and at the same time strategic issues not only for our companies, but also for the whole country.
I believe that we must have clarity of mind, in order not to create illusions but rather decisive awareness of the problems that arise, even the small ones, but which can reach larger dimensions in a short time, which could not only limit future investments, but could also make it difficult for some of our companies in this country.
One of these is the growing lack of manpower in Romania. During our missions in the territory, in a permanent dialogue with our associates, we found this huge problem: lack of manpower and in this situation the businesses cannot develop, in some cases they cannot maintain a constant production for the strong turnover in order to meet the demands of the market; we are talking about regression, downsizing of production structures and investments.
The labour market in Romania is undergoing a clear and continuous decline in employment attractiveness, a process that is likely to contaminate the country even socially.
“Uomini e Lavoro” (People & Work) is the theme of our Economic Forum “Both Worlds 2018” which will be organized in June, the traditional annual event that brings together companies and authorities to discuss problems and opportunities, always in a proactive and collaborative approach.
As a Patronat, we will present to the audience, individuals and institutions, the best Italian practices adopted in our country to effectively combat this problem.
Solutions that individually can definitely bring a great help, but inside a unique project, may even become decisive.
A balanced mix between precise themes where the entrepreneur is always In the front line.
Take, for example, the investments in the Industry 4.0, where with the technological innovation and new processes, the productivity is increasing and at the same time new professional qualifications are being created. Welfare and Mutuality to lay the foundations for a new welfare approach, more security means more ‘attractiveness’ of employment.
Moreover, only with a subsidized tax and decontributions (even limited on time), the companies can be supported, by allowing them to carry out occupational actions that doesn’t affect the labour cost too much.
As I said before, all these are best practices currently applied in Italy that could be taken as an example and also adapted to the Romanian market.
On this planning, as a Patronat together with the trade unions, especially UGIR, we intend to activate a working table with the Romanian Government, in order to bring our contribution to a labour market in great difficulty.
Confindustria Romania is an important component of the “Sistema Italia”, which is your role in this structure?
We are talking for years about this “Sistema Italia” and perhaps many have not yet understood the importance of this initiative.
In fact, this project of operational cohesion took concrete shape with the arrival of our Ambassador, Marco Giungi, who was able to give a great impulse to all the components, stimulating concrete actions.
As Confindustria Romania, despite being a private and independent organization, we recognize, in the work of general coordination of the various organizations, made by the Ambassador, an absolute value for the entire Italian Community, whether entrepreneurial or not.
I believe that we must always be among the promoters and we must play our part in keeping together all the players of the Sistema Italia not only on paper, but with concrete actions, so that our companies have the right perception of the great value they can receive in terms of support and assistance, thanks to the indispensable synergy between public and private sectors.
The clarity on the various roles of every single component, the Italian Embassy, Confindustria Romania, the Italian Chamber of Commerce for Romania, the Foreign Trade Institute (ICE) and the Italian Institute of Culture, without overlapping and with a balanced and wise operational coordination from Ambassador Giungi, has allowed us to gain greater authority also towards the Sistema Italia and the Authorities.
Italy is only one and we can get from it: support, skills, know-how, best practices, at different levels and in various forms. The many missions on the Romanian territory, which we’ve done together in the last few months, and the Embassy’s full availability to attend every important moment of our individual activities, has certainly raised the perception of this praiseworthy initiative and approached all our structures to the territory and to the needs of those who work in Romania. The common goal is to get to feel and recognize that there is a “Sistema Paese”.