The American Chamber of Commerce in Romania – AmCham Romania, the leading business association in Romania representing over 400 members, both U.S., international and Romanian companies, is placing the US-Romania Strategic Partnership, including the growth of the trade relations between the two countries, among its leading priorities.
We strongly believe that coordinated efforts are needed to improve the local economic and investment climate, responding to investors’ needs, addressing the current challenges and exploring the existing country opportunities and advantages.
In this respect, AmCham advocates for a strategic, multigenerational country model to project Romania’s future economic development and define the sustainable growth paths for the country. Reaching a country model broadly supported by all societal stakeholders requires a top level process facilitator, which we believe that best matches the role of the Romanian Presidency and needs to engage and align solid vectors beyond the business and the political communities.
Romania continues to rely on several traditional advantages which set a favorable context for projecting its long-term development options that could lead to reducing the gaps with the EU averages. These include the country’s macroeconomic stability both at a regional and European level, energy potential and wealth of natural resources. However, the absence of a long term country development model makes Romania subject to deviations related to the evolution of the political and executive cycles, while once a country model would be embraced, it could have a significant impact in channeling resources towards the development of strategic priorities.
AmCham’s recommendations such as the Priorities for Romania document further substantiate this AmCham proposal and its benefits, and we plead for launching a substantial dialogue and process as soon as possible as such project holds enormous potential including in sending a positive signal to the investors’ community, Romanian society in general and international institutional partners.
Consistent efforts towards improving the country’s economic competitiveness equally respond to the needs and expectations of investors.
When speaking of U.S. – Romania relations in particular, we need to acknowledge the U.S. – Romania Strategic Partnership for the 21st Century that, although signed in the context of the military and defense cooperation between the two countries, sets favorable grounds for intensified economic cooperation which although slightly increasing, has not reached its full potential.
This framework has already enhanced dialogue between U.S. and Romanian officials related to the economic governance and agenda, based on the needs to ensure a more predictable, stable and attractive climate for investors. Such recommendations have been transposed by the Government in two governance action plans, aimed at improving the efficiency of authorities, accelerating certain priority matters, and increasing the transparency of the regulatory system.
Besides bilateral efforts to increase economic cooperation, another enabler of the U.S. – Romanian economic relations is expected to be the upcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investments Partnership (TTIP), the ambitious trade agreement currently under intense negotiations between the world’s largest trading blocks.
AmCham Romania, likewise its partners in the AmChams in Europe network, advocates for a comprehensive TTIP framework that once successfully negotiated represents a unique opportunity to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy, improve regulatory practices, promote investment flows between Europe and the US, and ensure that future trading standards align to shared values across a range of issues – most importantly, consumer protection, employment, health and the environment. Although EU member states have delegated their negotiation mandate to the EU Commission, AmCham Romania believes that national authorities need to be more vocal in emphasizing the country position and opportunities related to the TTIP to the Romanian public.
Such opportunities need to be correlated with internal efforts aimed at making Romania a better home for businesses through measures and policies that would increase Romania’s economic competitiveness which is the overarching theme of all AmCham’s advocacy endeavors. When addressing topics related to taxation, energy, environment, health, education, labor, corporate governance, structural funds & public procurement, competition and state-aid, capital markets, infrastructure or ICT – each being covered by a dedicated AmCham working group- the policy recommendations that AmCham members formulate emphasize how the respective measures can serve the overall national interest, in addition to the legitimate business interests of the companies we represent.
About AmCham Romania:
The American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham Romania) is the first choice for advocacy and business growth in Romania. The organization was based in 1993 and it now represents over 400 members – U.S., international and local companies, with total investments worth over USD 20 billion and generating approximately 200,000 jobs.
AmCham Romania is firmly committed to facilitating an open dialogue between the business community and the central authorities, promoting transparent solutions and priorities for making Romania a better home for businesses and increasing the country’s economic competitiveness in the region and at European level. AmCham Romania is an accredited member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and part of the European network – AmChams in Europe.