Romania continues to have bureaucracy problems and does not have the reputation of a “clean, transparent country” for business, British Ambassador Martin Harris said in an interview to Mediafax. The envoy underlined that in his view, the reputation does not reflect reality 100 per cent, but it matters a lot, especially to an investor from Great Britain, where there are strict rules against corruption, including corruption abroad.
When asked to detail what measures could be taken to improve the country’s reputation, Harris replied that the most important thing is to make the market predictable and transparent. He added that the European Commission’s Mechanism Cooperation and Verification agenda is the most suitable in order to attract investors in Romania. “Meeting all measures under the MCV is the most efficient method to change Romania’s reputation and to prove that Romania is truly a country where there is a good, transparent climate for investors and business,” Harris added.
The ambassador also underlined that corruption continues to be a concern for foreign investors. “I think corruption is a general problem, for everybody in the society. In the case of British investors, there are small and large companies that face this problem and there are others who haven’t faced it. Like I said, reality in Romania is not 100 per cent bad, it is reputation that matters. This is a challenge for Romania, how to change its reputation,” the envoy underlined. Asked to comment on Romania’s economic situation, Harris said that in his view, the authorities were right to seal a partnership with the International Monetary Fund, because that generated macroeconomic stability and a low level of public debt. The ambassador underlined that small and medium enterprises have to be supported more because they are an important source of economic growth and new jobs. He also called on the authorities to take steps to make the labour market more flexible, to increase EU fund absorption and try to attract more foreign investors.