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February 8, 2023

National investment plan: Government hopes to attract minimum 10 billion EUR until year-end. How many jobs will there be created?

The government aims to attract investments of minimum “10 billion euro” in energy, mineral resources, agriculture, industry and infrastructure, creating at least 50,000 jobs, according to the national plan launched this Thursday, informs news agency Mediafax.

In this regard, the government relies on the recovery of the political and economic relations with both Europe and Asia. Last year, foreign direct investments in Romania have declined for the fourth consecutive year, to 1.6 billion euros, the decrease meaning 11% of the 1.8 billion recorded in 2011. In the first four months of this year, foreign direct investment totaled 322 million euros, down nearly 35% over the same period last year when it was reported a level of 494 million euros.

The Roşia Montană investment, blocked for many years because of environmental-related disputes, has been included in the National Plan for investments and jobs, and is presented as a mining project “with new environmental standards” from where the state receives “78% of what the project generates.”

For this investment, it is shown that heritage protection and increase of the benefits of the Romanian state up to 78% of what the project generates are also taken into account.

Other investments mentioned in the same category include also Rovinari steam power plant, with a new energy group of 500 MW, where China Huadian Engineering would provide an investment of around one billion dollars, a project of 150 million euro for a gas plant in Fântânele Mureş, ensured by Marubeni Company in partnership with ELCEN.

One year ago, PM Ponta declared that the decision to be made by the Government in the Roşia Montană project requires the prior fulfillment of three conditions, respectively environmental guarantees, achievement of a renegotiation regarding the interest of the Romanian state, as well as total decoupling of the project from lobbying and political interest.

Also at that time, Ponta accused President Traian Băsescu that, although he occupies the first position in the country, he lobbies in favor of a private company in the Rosia Montana project and showed that such a wide-scope project cannot be developed by political lobby.

Subsequently, PM Ponta declared that the government wants to postpone the decisions regarding the shale gas and the Rosia Montana Project until after the parliamentary elections.

Environment Minister Rovana Plumb declared in spring that the Rosia Montana project is undergoing assessment with the ministries with responsibilities in this field, the decision following to be made by the government.

At the end of April, the government decided to set up a new company to exclusively handle the Rosia Montana Project which was to operate under the subordination of the delegate minister for infrastructure projects of national interest and foreign investments.

The new company will result by partial unbundling of the National Copper, Gold and Iron Company Minvest Deva, which currently holds 19.3% of the shares in Roşia Montană Gold Corporation (RMGC).

Roşia Montană Gold Corporation is controlled by the Canadian company Gabriel Resources, with 80.46% of the share capital, backed by major names in the global business, such as billionaires John Paulson, Beny Steinmetz and Thomas Kaplan.

In Roşia Montană (Alba County), the company has leased for exploitation purposes the most important gold deposit in Romania, assessed to approximately 300 tons of gold and 1,600 tons of silver.

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