Roberto Musneci, President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce for Romania: Italy and Romania, partners of choice in a fast-changing EU

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The changes in the economic and social scenarios in Europe and the world make the Italian National day celebration an even more important event in general and in Romania in particular. It is a chance to reflect on how to capture the opportunities provided by an EU economy slowly exiting from a long crisis and the acceleration of growth in several countries in CEE despite some persistent challenges.

From a strictly economic standpoint, European countries are facing several challenges to lower taxes, improve the efficiency of public administration and create jobs. People and capital move where there is a perception that improvements in these axes are in progress.

It seems that, despite the “liveliness” of the political debate and the room for improvement in the efficiency of public administration, the economic growth path of the last few years in Romania is confirmed and strengthened.

Better predictability of the legislative framework through an open public-private dialogue is being developed and it is a pre-requisite for long term sustainability of economic growth, but the number of Italian companies and bilateral trade hit new records in 2017 and this year. Several areas of the country basically show negligible unemployment rate, generating salary inflation and investors find difficulties in filling job vacancies. Policies and practical programs should be put in place to address these issues facilitating internal migration and compensating migration abroad.

As it always happens where opportunities are available, we have to face lights and shadows with the entrepreneurial spirit that characterizes Italian investors.

 

In this context, “Sistema Italia” comprising also Confindustria, ICE and the Cultural Institute and actively coordinated by our Embassy, is focused on providing services to our members and facilitate the localization of Italian companies in Romania on this path of growth fueled by basic needs still unmet, by a growing middle class demanding more sophisticated goods and services and by major opportunities in Infrastructure, Energy, Defense and healthcare to name some.

 

The Italian Chamber of Commerce, to support our current and potential members, decided to open additional branches across Romania, and to promote, under the coordination of our Embassy, a structured discussion table with Romanian authorities to address systemically the major needs and opportunities faced by our companies, to navigate better the complexities of new legislation and its impact on the business, to act more forcefully in view of international competition and last but not least to promote Romania as a business hub for the Black Sea region and beyond.

This, we believe, is of paramount importance particularly in view of the approaching Romanian Presidency of the EU in January next year. This is a major opportunity for Romania to leapfrog in terms of its capabilities, to help shape the EU in this moment of major change and to showcase its attractiveness as an investment destination. We all have a stake in this exercise and we should support Romanian institutions to arrive well-prepared at this opportunity, with a clear set of priorities.

Italy continues to be the partner of choice for Romania. The Italian Chamber of Commerce, with its diverse composition of large and Small & Medium enterprises and its presence throughout the territory, will continue to be an active player of “Sistema Italia”.