“More predictability and transparency in the Government’s action and the law-making process are essential conditions for drawing in new investment or expanding the existing one. I am a supporter of the economic governance plan being implemented, because it could lead to the creation of an attractive long-term context for foreign investors. Legislative stability and transparency, getting the business community and all the players involved engaged in a dialogue and when changes in the legislative and regulatory frameworks are needed, that should become a natural gesture in Government’s action,” Iohannis told a forum on new prospects for cooperation between Romania and the US under their Strategic Partnership hosted by Central University Library at Bucharest University.
Iohannis: Romania would like the U.S to be among the first ten foreign investors
He underscored that Romania would like the US to be among the first ten foreign investors and for that to happen the undisputed potential of Romania given by a well-educated and competitive human capital should be used for starters as well as the advantages of Romania’s geo-strategic location.
“The economic dimension could turn into a main engine for growth under the strategic partnership,” Iohannis said.
He reiterated Romania’s firm support for the finalisation as soon as possible of negotiations over and the conclusion of the agreement on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), saying that besides the certain benefits to Europe and the United States the agreement is necessary because of challenges generated by a global market economy.
Energy security has to get an essential place in the economic dialogue between Romania and the US
Iohannis also underscored the importance of energy security.
“Eliminating the trade barriers in the area of energy is crucial to the consolidation of Europe’s energy sector and security. In the light of the latest developments in [EU’s] Eastern Neighbourhood, energy has become a political weapon and pursuing energy independence became the best means to defend against and prevent vulnerabilities. That is why energy security has to get an essential place in the economic dialogue between Romania and the US. Romania can turn into the most important destination for the US energy companies’ investment in the region, as our life is increasingly more open to expertise and investment coming from the US,” he said.
The President indicated there are other areas as well related to national security – research education and innovation – pointing out that the accelerated interaction between the academia and the business community has to be consolidated.
“The achievements of Romania’s intelligence are acknowledged at international invention competitions and shows. These are realities that entitle us to optimism and that make us seeking solutions to reach the top ranking of European and world economies. Viable institutional mechanisms are needed that will help individual innovation skills be translated to the commercial and economic fields,” said Iohannis.
“The outlook for the relationship between Romania and the United States has never been more promising and full of hope than it is now. It is within the power of every one of us to make the outlook come true. I am fully confident that together with the American partners we will breathe increased energy into joint actions so that the 2015, when 135 years of diplomatic ties between Romania and the US are celebrated, will become a linchpin for excellence in terms of achievements under the Strategic Partnership,” Iohannis concluded.
U.S. Charge d’Affaires Dean Thompson: American companies are looking for a stable, transparent and predictable market place
In turn, the U.S. Charge d’Affaires Dean Thompson emphasized that working against corruption and for the rule of law — while increasing transparency, predictability and stability — are all essential for improving the business and investment climate. “It is critical for the government and the parliament to be reliable investment partners,” said the American official.
“They must have transparent, across the board, consultations with all stakeholders on each piece of legislation. Stakeholders must be given the time necessary to provide meaningful input, and need assurances from the government that their input will be considered. Furthermore, the government must ensure stability in the investment climate, by avoiding rushed short-minded decisions,” he added.
“We all know that our partnership in the U.S-Romania Strategic Dialogue touches upon many crucial areas, including our robust political military relationship, excellent law enforcement cooperation, rule of law issues, and economic and commercial affairs.
And when we look at that economic and commercial relationship, it’s important to recognize that American companies have already expressed a keen interest in and have put forth investments in Romania,” the American diplomat told the forum on the Strategic Partnership.
He said that although the official U.S. Foreign Direct Investment in Romania is two to three percent of the total (around USD 1.5 billion in 2013 and growing in 2014), this number hides investments from U.S. headquartered companies that invest through their European subsidiaries, as well as those traditional American brands that may have moved their headquarters.
Top U.S. Companies located here include HP, GE, Oracle, IBM, Ford, Honeywell and others. “These companies recognize the potential that Romania possesses to be a regional leader. But to fully realize this potential Romania must continue to make progress on business and investment climate issues, “ the American official added.
“American companies seek out investment opportunities that offer a promising return. Romania has already done much to attract FDI, including that coming from U.S. companies, but we can still do more. American companies, like all companies, are looking for a stable, transparent and predictable market place — with clear and predictable costs and benefits — contributing to their internal calculations regarding the optimal production and investment levels.
Romania’s location within the EU combined with its educated workforce is attractive for U.S. companies, especially those companies interested in expanding their European market share”.
Corporate governance issues are of paramount importance to our economic and commercial relationship.
“Given that the Romanian state is a shareholder in many strategic enterprises, corporate governance issues are of paramount importance to our economic and commercial relationship,” Dean Thompson told the forum.
“The first step towards good corporate governance is having the right people — competent, experienced and professional — on the boards of directors. The Romanian government must ensure that state controlled entities are run by professional, private managers, selected via a transparent and competitive process, free from any political influence. Secondly, the Romanian government should empower those managers to make sound business decisions, without fear of interference by governmental officials in the entity’s internal affairs. Sound decision making as part of the corporate governance approach has additional, often unspoken benefits – it shores up a company against the threat of corruption and helps a country’s economy to grow,” the American diplomat added.
“Good corporate governance practices set clear ‘rules of the game’ and establish ‘checks and balances’. Corrupt acts are then more difficult to conceal and accountability is more easily accomplished. Properly managed state controlled entities are the underlying basis for supporting government efforts to combat economic corruption. By reducing the opportunities for corruption, state controlled entities will no longer be a drag on the state’s limited resources,” the U.S, charge d’affaires concluded.
Aurescu: Undoubtedly, Strategic Partnership with the U.S. has great outlook for the future
The Strategic Partnership with the United States of America has great outlook for the future, there is no doubt in this respect and it ‘only depends on us’ for these expectations to become true, on Monday said the Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister, Bogdan Aurescu.
‘The Declaration on the Strategic Partnership for the 21st Century and the Agreement on the anti-missile system I have had the honour to negotiate on Romania’s behalf, both finalized in 2011 have opened a new chapter in our relationship, a chapter based on the recognition that Romania has become a partner and a confident, strong ally of the US and within the NATO. (…). There is no doubt that the Strategic Partnership with the United States has great perspectives for the future. It only depends to us to transform these perspectives in reality, through a joint effort and dedication,’ Aurescu told the ‘New outlook of Romanian-American cooperation based on Strategic Partnership’ forum, according to a press release sent Agerpres by the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE).
‘We wish to deepen our cooperation with the US, next to our European allies and partners, in order to ensure a space of security, stability, prosperity and of the rule of law in our neighbourhood, from the Black Sea to the Western Balkans,’ the dignitary said.