FIC President: ‘Do we want economic growth and foreign investments?’

Foreign investors want predictability and transparency in Romania. According to Steven van Groningen, businessmen want the government formed after the general elections in December to be a better administrator and to pay its bills on time.

Foreign investors want greater predictability of the Romanian economic sector, legislative stability and the government to be an efficient administrator. “What we are expecting from the new government is to see a greater predictability of the economic environment. For it to be a good administrator. To solve the tax problem, to efficiently collect. To be transparent, for there to be a prioritization of projects and for it to finalize the projects it started. We want to see a better process of consultations with all parties. We are seeing laws modified through emergency ordinances. A higher legislative stability is needed and the stability of those with whom we are in dialogue. They change too often,” Foreign Investors’ Council (FIC) President Steven van Groningen stated at a breakfast briefing organized by the British-Romanian Chamber of Commerce (CCRB) and the Foreign Investors’ Council. He added: “We would also want to see that when it (the government – editor’s note) plans a major project it won’t just start it but will also carry it through. It’s commendable that thousands of projects are started, but it’s a shame almost none are completed.” The FIC President also pointed out that it is very difficult to have economic growth without money, without investors. Romania needs economic growth in order to reduce the lag that separates it from the other EU member states. “Sometimes I wonder whether economic growth and foreign investments is what we want,” van Groningen stated. He pointed out that all political parties should understand that clear commitments are needed in order to “unblock” Romania’s potential.The investors’ representative also met Premier Victor Ponta, as well as Adriean Videanu and Vasile Blaga (ARD) in order to discuss these aspects with them.

Last week the head of FIC stated that the experience of the last 20 years shows that unfortunately the general elections scheduled in December will not bring about fundamental changes for the economic environment. In his turn, Raymond Breden, executive president of the British-Romanian Chamber of Commerce (CCBR), stated that the new government, irrespective of what party forms it, should clearly show the will to improve the situation in Romania.

New agreement with IMF, useful for Romania

Romania still has the potential, but a long-term vision is needed because the economic conditions are different, investors believe. In this sense, a new agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is useful for Romania as a source of financing but also for her image on external markets, FIC President Steven van Groningen stated for Agerpres, informs. According to him, in the past things were moving fast in what concerns foreign investments because everyone was seeing that there is potential, while now investors are no longer convinced that this potential is there. On the other hand, CCBR’s Executive President Raymond Breden pointed out that Romania acted in an extremely responsible fashion during the crisis by implementing the stand-by agreement with the IMF. Moreover, strengthening the national currency in relation to the single European currency is an important factor for the future economic situation, the British official added. At the same time, Steven van Groningen considers that limiting the privately-administered public pension funds’ investment options is not a good decision.


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