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May 13, 2021

Dutch ambassador: Romania has to take advantage of its agricultural potential, but clear strategy and laws are needed

Romania has a “huge” development potential through agriculture, however the domain needs new technologies, infrastructure, education, as well as a clear strategy featuring investments and a reformation of the legislative system with the clarification of property deeds, the Dutch ambassador pointed out.
“Agriculture is one of Romania’s opportunities but agriculture means high technology, education, new technologies, infrastructure, we need storage system and systems for transporting the goods from farms to the market. It has been proven that there is potential in Romania, but in order to benefit from it, to fulfill this potential, there is the need for a clear strategy, for investments, there is the need for you to reform the legislative system. I would like to mention only the cadastral system; it is essential for farmers to have a clear image about their property, about their plots of land, to have clear property deeds because otherwise they cannot obtain bank loans for example,” Johannes Hendrik Mattheus Van Bonzel, the Dutch ambassador to Romania, stated on Wednesday at the Forbes CEE Forum.
He pointed out that another important aspect for the improvement of Romania’s competitiveness is represented by the use of European Union funds, his recommendation being to spend the funds earmarked for development on the construction of a highway that would link Hungary and Romania.
“If Romania does not spend half of the sum earmarked, people in my country (Netherlands – editor’s note) for instance will ask why funds should still be earmarked for Romania because the country apparently does not need them since it hasn’t used them. The funds unused by Romania could be used elsewhere. We, as the European Union, have decided that these funds should go to Romania because of the huge development we can see here, for instance by creating highways from Hungary to Romania there would be a huge economic impetus, but if they aren’t built obviously the consequences are low economic growth, smaller fiscal contributions and the taxpayers wondering why nothing is being done with the money put aside,” Van Bonzel stated.
“I saw that in Romania 30-40 per cent, some say even 50 per cent, of the economy is unregistered, so we could imagine how many billions are lost through tax dodging and we see that the health system and the education system are not receiving what they need to keep up with the citizens’ technological requirements. These are conditions that the competitive environment has to take into account, consequently fiscal reform is crucial,” the ambassador added.

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