President Iohannis: No Gov’t programme should run counter to essential economic requirements

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No matter how ambitious it might be, no government programme is entitled to run counter to the essential requirements of stability and predictability that the economy need, President Klaus Iohannis said Friday in a message to the release of a Romanian version of the “White Paper on Romania’s SMEs.”

Organising the event was the National Council of Romania’s Privately-owned Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (CNIPMMR), and reading out the message was presidential adviser with the Economic and Social Policy Department Cosmin Marinescu.

“I am glad to extend congratulations to representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises in this special context of the quarter of century in the life of the SME Council in Romania. All along, the Romanian economy has advanced with and through small and medium-sized enterprises,” said Iohannis.

He added that the “White Paper on Romania’s SMEs” has managed to reflect the most obvious trends and concerns of business people and put forth strategies to support and develop the Romanian business environment.

He mentioned having had a wide-ranging debate with Romania’s business leaders, foreign investors, large, small and medium-sized companies when holding consultations over the country project, an initiative of the Presidential Administration.

Iohannis also talked about the national budget implementation the first half of 2017, as well as recently unveiled measures that could affect the business environment.

He pointed out that the business community’s worries over the recently unveiled measures are justified.

“I believe business people’s worries over the potential implications of recently unveiled measures over the economy are fully justified. As I said at the inauguration of the Government, changing the government programme, especially its essential fiscal and social parts does in no way provide a sign of trust the Romanians and the investment community have been waiting for ,” said Iohannis.

He added that “this way of creating economic policies sow the seeds of uncertainty and worries, and the signals of late from the business community has made me warn the Government and the political coalition that such a relationship between the government and the business community threatens to endanger jobs and important investment projects, which I believe Romania badly needs.”

Iohannis mentioned that the dialogue between the Government and the business community is essential. He called the SME sector the “spine of a dynamic and prosperous economy.” Although the sector has evolved, “entrepreneurial density in Romania’s economy puts us again on the last places in the EU, with just 2.2 SMEs per 100 inhabitants, as against an EU average of 4.5 SMEs per 100 inhabitants.”

Iohannis said it is time for SMEs to turn accessing European funds into a priority.

He also mentioned an increase in the development and use of innovations as one of the instruments Romania may use to make up for its delays from other European Union member states.