Trade exchanges between Romania and UK have reached a good level, but there is still room for improvement, and the best manner for the Bucharest authorities to boost them is to continue the fight against corruption and create a platform for investments, to be more transparent and clearer, the British Ambassador to Bucharest Paul Brummell stated on Thursday, at the reception occasioned by the celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday.
‘I believe that the current level of trade exchanges is good, exceeding three billion euros, but the balance right now is to the advantage of Romania, with a growth by almost 4-5 per cent. We believe that we can reach a better level, but Romania’s attractions are still insufficiently known in the UK. And this is why we try to promote Romania among the British companies. We have brought a British delegation of 50 companies here recently, in fact. However, it’s important Romania also does something in this respect, like, for instance, continue to fight corruption and create a platform for investments to be more transparent and clearer. I believe that Romania’s prospects are very good and very positive,’ the British Ambassador stated, when asked about the target he had in mind for the UK regarding the trade relations with Romania.
Among the economic sectors that the UK wants to develop in the relation with Romania, Paul Brummel named the information technology, energy and transport infrastructure projects and environment.
When asked if the problems that appeared in the recent time on the Romanian political scene affect the British investors’ trust, the Ambassador said: ‘We support the fight against corruption in Romania.’
‘When Romania entered the European Union back in 2007 it was clear that the corruption level was too high and that’s why the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification (CVM) was implemented. Since then, the CVM registered very many successes, the anticorruption institutions had and still have a very good activity and I believe that this is a very positive thing for Romania and Europe. However, at the same time, the UK doesn’t comment upon individual cases,’ Paul Brummell stated.
As regards the elimination sooner by the European Commission of the CVM for Romania, the Ambassador said that it depended on what happens further in Romania. ‘These are clear indicators and if these indications are achieved, than this means that the CVM would no longer be necessary in Romania. However, it is not the case yet, although I believe that the country made really important progresses,’ the British Ambassador said.
When asked about the photo exhibition presented at the reception, showing successful Romanians living in the UK, but also about London’s intention to limit benefits for immigrants, which would prove, on the other hand, ‘an anti-European attitude’, the British Ambassador said: ‘We are members of the European Union, we support the Treaty of Lisbon and Romanians are welcomed in the UK.’
‘They are free to work and study in the UK. And I believe that the purpose of this project [of the photo exhibition – e.n.] is to prove that there are very many successful Romanians in the UK. From Sir George Iacobescu from Canary Wharf to the four thousand Romanians working as doctors or medical staff in the national healthcare system in the UK. Of course that there is also a small minority of offenders and in this respect I am happy that we have a very good cooperation between the British and Romanian policemen,’ Paul Brummell stated.
The reception organized by the Embassy of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s birthday was opened by the British Ambassador to Romania and the Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister, Bogdan Aurescu, who underscored in their messages the importance of the bilateral relation between the two states as well as their cooperation within the European Union and NATO.
There followed the unveiling of Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait and the cutting of a birthday cake with the message ‘Cake is Great.’ The message is part of the British Government’s international marketing campaign ‘Great’ promoting the UK.
The photo exhibition presented at the reception, showing successful Romanians living in UK, belongs to Romanian photographer Ion Paciu, settled for many years in London.
Present at the event were also, among others, Romanian MPs, Ministers Andrei Gerea, Angel Tilvar, foreign diplomats, National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) head Laura Codruta Kovesi, Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea, MEP Monica Macovei, Agerpres informs.