by Luca Gentile General Director ICE Bucharest
Romania is growing at a very encouraging level. The forecast is positive, all international economic and financial institutions are talking about a GDP growth among the highest in Europe, with an average of 3 percent in the 2014-2017 period. The country has climbed places in the Ernst&Young hierarchy of the most attractive countries from the point of view of foreign investments and is now third ahead of Hungary. For the first time since 2008, Standard & Poor’s has improved Romania’s rating relying on the progress made by the country. Against the backdrop of such an encouraging scenario, the ICE Agency is continuing with fresh impetus its own activity of support and assistance offered to Italian companies. Which answer promptly: an ever increasing number of investors are entering the local market – well over 850 new Italian companies in the first 4 months of 2014.
Alongside energy, infrastructure and the manufacturing sector, agriculture is, without doubt, one of the sectors that deserves being focused on in the future. In the next seven years, EU funds will represent one of the crucial instruments on whose basis Romania can continue its own development, after registering a high degree of absorption of previous financings. Romania has always been and continues to be one of the main markets for our imports and exports. Italian investments cover all sectors, from the traditional manufacturing sector to the agro-industrial sector, going through infrastructure, transportation and energy sectors.
Hence, Italy is confirmed as a decisive partner, the second-best trade-wise and the top country based on the number of registered companies, 37,880 companies with a capital of EUR 1.7 bln, approximately 19 percent of the total number of foreign-capital companies. Trade between our two countries reached a value of EUR 1.9 bln in the first two months of 2014, up by 6.6 percent year-on-year.
It means Italy wants to invest in Romania because it believes in this country, being constantly on the lookout for novelties for consumers whose tastes are increasingly sophisticated, and wants to make itself known ever more. The Italian Festival in Romania, taking place simultaneously with the Italian Republic’s National Holiday, on June 2, seeks to create an extended moment that would allow Romanians to come into direct contact with the best of Made in Italy. Already at its 7th edition this year, with the support of the Italian Embassy the ICE Agency has sought to renew and amplify it content-wise, giving it a promotional and commercial dimension that today embraces several sectors.
For an entire month – from May 15 to June 17 – the audience and sector operators can appreciate the good taste and the beauty proposed by the well over one hundred brands of fashion designers and by the best Italian agro-food products in more than 500 stores, restaurants and the most important GDP store chains such as Carrefour, Metro and Mega Image. All of it at low prices, within a festive atmosphere featuring animations and music, tasting, culinary shows and other surprises.
This year, apart from the traditional presence of quality restaurants and of the famous fashion and furniture brands, we have also involved the main big distribution chains present in the country. Thus, our target will consist of a very varied audience, ranging from consumers to the press, from buyers to distributors, and this year’s edition marks the entry within the Festival of the publishing sector, a sector that has not only a cultural impact but also a significant commercial impact. By visiting the Festival’s website – www.festivalitalian.or – you will be able to decide on a daily basis what events to follow from the rich list on offer.