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August 3, 2021
POLITICS

Swiss Ambassador Jean-Hubert Lebet: Romania has huge unexploited potential

Romania has a huge unexploited potential, while the country’s image should be improved from within, and the excessive bureaucratic system needs systematization to provide efficient administration, Swiss Ambassador in Bucharest Jean-Hubert Lebet told Agerpres in an interview.
Since he came to Romania, the relations between Romania and Switzerland had a positive trend in several fields, and the bilateral political dialogue was stimulated. The ambassador credits special circumstances for this evolution, firstly the centennial of the bilateral relations; also, the 20th anniversary of the Sighisoara (northwest of Bucharest) Festival (with the Sighisoara Academy financed by Switzerland), and the 10th anniversary of the Pipe Organ Constructors and Restorers and Craftsmen Cabinetmakers Post-Secondary School in Herman, Brasov County (center).
The Swiss diplomat mentions the signing, since his appointment, of several agreements for the implementation of projects financed under the Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme.
Lebet also said in this interview that he recommends Romania to Swiss investors, as a country with outstanding potential. ‘Of course, there are problems with the infrastructure, the energy, and the excessive bureaucracy, but these are precisely the fields where we can bring our know-how and financial support. Romania benefits of European funds, which unfortunately are not fully used; nevertheless, there is a general context we see as favourable for investments. (…) Romania is a country with a huge unexploited potential, with an image that should be improved from within. One of Romania’s most serious problem is the excessive bureaucratic system. Romania has a considerable productivity potential. It needs hard work, systematization, rationalization and simplification of procedures, which would increase the efficiency of administration, resulting in its ability to support investors. First, a drastic simplification of the legal norms, and moreover of their application rules is necessary; also, the attributions of each public officer should be specified. Too many times public officials were found personally responsible for their decisions, which results in apprehension of acting,’ the ambassador asserted. He added, ‘Romania is an great country, which unfortunately does not have a very good image abroad. This is a serious handicap when it comes to exporting Romanian products, to attracting tourists, and to the diplomatic activity abroad. A well-conducted media campaign is necessary over a long period, a consistently built campaign, based on a strategy financed by the Romanian government; it would solve many problems. (…) I also believe in wine diplomacy; people who discover Romanian wines are astounded at their quality.’

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