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February 8, 2023

Premier Ciolos on state’s role in the economy: State-owned companies were left rudderless

After the working meeting at the Economy Ministry, Premier Dacian Ciolos stated that unfortunately the companies in which the state is shareholder were left rudderless, lacking a vision. He pointed out that the state should have professional representation within these companies’ Shareholders’ General Assemblies and Boards of Directors, not just appoint “some people so they could earn a higher salary.” Ciolos pointed out, after the meeting at the Economy Ministry, that he has asked Deputy Premier Costin Borc to come up with “clearly defined ambitions” to implement the ordinance that concerns the corporate governance of state-owned companies.

“Unfortunately, these companies were left rudderless, without a well-established vision on what part of this national resource can be harnessed. A process of privatization or of opening some of these companies to private capital was started, but the state’s stake remained rudderless, without clear objectives being defined, what is wanted from these companies and how they could integrate in Romania’s economic development,” the Prime Minister explained.

He said that, from this point of view, the Economy Ministry’s role is to offer a guiding line and to mobilize the mechanisms at the state’s disposal in order to stimulate economic development and integrate the companies that are still state-owned and most of which are managing important resources.

According to the Premier, among these companies there are some around which “some national brands” could be developed, because they are managing natural resources that can be put to good use through professional management.

“So, it’s not an objective, as I heard said, that the technocrat Government is coming to sell the state’s assets and privatize. We do not see things in this manner. First we have to define what we want with them, what potential they have, and then we see how we put this capital to better use,” Ciolos said.

He pointed out that he expects the Economy Ministry to redefine the state’s role in relation with the private business sector and with the manner in which companies in which the state holds stakes are being managed.

“We want to come up with a sustainable economic development vision. (…) We want to leave behind a vision on Romania’s economic development potential by harnessing the private economic sector and by finding the state-owned companies’ place in this economic development,” Dacian Ciolos pointed out.

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