ECONOMY

AmCham conference “The Case for Investing in Romania”: Romania must break the cycle of political influence on economic decisions, says U.S. Ambassador Hans Klemm

Romania must break the cycle of political influence on economic decisions, U.S. Ambassador to Romania Hans Klemm told the conference “The Case for Investing in Romania” organized on Tuesday by the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham Romania).

“There will be two series of elections in 2016. This could be a decisive year for Romania. I call on Romania’s leaders to set an example for the future – put aside short-sighted political concerns and focus on the long term good of the country when enacting new or revisiting existing legislation or regulations; stop meddling in the management of state-owned enterprises for political gain and allow these enterprises to operate according to good business practices, so that all Romanians reap the benefits; and robustly and publically defend those prosecutors pursuing corrupt actors, and vocally support an independent judiciary”, said the U.S. Ambassador.
According to Klemm, for security, democracy and prosperity to develop in the long term, the Government and Parliament must continue the reforms aimed at ensuring sustainable development and the maturing of rule of law.

“As Romania tackles necessary reforms, establishing a solid foundation for sustainable growth, the United States will be an unwavering partner for all stakeholders, including the government, parliament, business community, and civil society in this joint endeavor. We can reach our common goals by concentrating on three cross-cutting themes: security, democracy, and prosperity. Whether in our U.S.-Romania Strategic Partnership Dialogue, within NATO, or other multilateral fora, Romania has shown that it is a true ally, committed to democracy, security, and prosperity for its citizens in a Europe whole, free, and at peace. Romania has made significant contributions to international peace and security, both in Europe and far beyond,” Hans Klemm showed.

“Ensuring and maintaining investor confidence are key to attracting new investments and expanding existing ones. For this to happen, the state must prove a reliable partner for all investors, both as regards the policies developed, and the treatment offered to companies. Given that it doesn’t yet have a consistent regulatory regime based on a long-term vision, Romania must respond to this challenge by adopting and implementing its regulations in a transparent, predictable and stable manner. The improvement and continuous commitment towards the organisation of consultations with all dialogue partners would be beneficial to everyone”, said Ambassador Klemm.


The Government should make progress with organizing transparent consultations for all the planned legislative changes

The Government should make progress with organizing transparent consultations for all the planned legislative changes, U.S Ambassador to Romania Hans Klemm also told the conference ‘The Case for Investing in Romania’ organized on Tuesday by the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham Romania).

The Government has signaled its commitment towards the transparency of decision-making. They should move forward with holding transparent consultations for all the envisaged legislative changes. Consultations of substance will lead to a balance between the short-term budget needs and social protection measures on the one hand, and the central goal of ensuring the conditions for the investments Romania needs for sustainable economic growth, said Klemm.

According to the ambassador, businesspeople will be reluctant to invest or expand their investments if they don’t feel that their voice is listened and that, in making decisions, the Government and Parliament take into account the effect of their decisions on investments.

Reforms are possible in the economies of all countries, and Romania is no exception. It needs structural reforms implemented in a firm and simple manner, that will increase participation in the labor market, reduce regulatory barriers, encourage the development of entrepreneurship and open the sectors of the economy to enhanced international competition and increased investments. These reforms include improving infrastructure, strengthening the technical and administrative capacity of the tax and public administration and the privatization of state-owned companies through initial public offering. In the long term, these reforms will generate the much needed sustainable economic growth and increased opportunities for all Romanians, he added.

“Romania is blessed with considerable resources. With a highly educated, multi-lingual, tech savvy population, Romania is well positioned to attract investors, and to serve as an investor’s launch pad for the region. Romania is also fortunate to have diversified natural resources – energy, agriculture, forestry. Lastly, Romania’s strategic location offers great potential. At the border of the European Union, it is also at a crossroad – North, South, East and West. Realizing that Romania’s location offers the promise of increased economic ties with EU aspirant nations and beyond, smart investors would seek out a transparent, stable and predictable Romania. Romania therefore should seek, incentivize and secure investments that would ultimately benefit its citizens through jobs and access to secure energy.,” the U.S. diplomat added.

He went on saying that Romania understands this great potential and the need to improve its investment climate. “The evidence of this is clear. The government of Romania reflected on stakeholders’ requests for greater transparency and acted to implement stakeholder consultations. By working with the Coalition for Romania’s Development, – Coalitia – the American Chamber of Commerce, the Foreign Investors Council and others on fiscal and regulatory regime changes, the government has signaled its commitment to transparency. Notably, the government’s adoption of two separate Action Plans for Good Governance in Economic Matters shows its willingness to work proactively on these issues. Improvement of the business climate is also an important element of the US-RO Strategic Partnership,” Klemm added.
The U.S. Ambassador promised that during his tenure here, he will work on increasing trade and investment between the United States and Romania, that are “deep and abiding allies”.

“Romania’s potential is great, I am convinced, but so too are the reforms that it must undertake to realize it. I encourage Romania to embrace the cross-cutting themes of security, democracy, and prosperity as essential tools to realizing its potential. These are the key ingredients that foreign and Romanian investors, private and state-owned, look for to invest their limited capital. We support Romania’s work to ensure it has a solid foundation for sustainable growth, grounded in a transparent, predictable and stable investment climate, and reinforced by stakeholder consultations and sound corporate governance,” Hans Klemm concluded.

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