ECONOMY ENERGY

PM Ciolos says his energy-focused talks in the US regarded offshore explorations, not shale gas

Romania’s Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos said Wednesday that his energy-focused conversations in the US regarded offshore explorations, while shale gas was not mentioned.

“We have not discussed shale gas. There were surely discussions particularly about offshore gas explorations. There are American companies with such projects, and I encouraged them to continue their projects, discussing mainly the energy transmission infrastructure the Romanian Government intends to support, including a BRUA pipeline connecting the Black Sea to Europe via Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria, as well as other interconnection projects with neighbour countries, which again would generate certain advantages to the companies exploring the Black Sea for natural gas,” Ciolos told a news conference at the Romanian Embassy in Washington DC.

Ciolos added that if these capabilities are capitalised on, Romania could turn into an energy exporter in some years’ time, and then all the matters related to interconnections and transmission infrastructure become essential to the companies involved.

 

 Gov’t intends to come up with tax incentives for R&D investors

 

The Romanian Government is set to provide tax incentives to investors in research and development, Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos told a news conference at the Romanian Embassy in Washington DC on Wednesday.

He said he discussed the incentives with Ford execs he met in Detroit.

“I have incited the Ford corporation to come invest in Romania in research, development and innovation, not just in production, and informed them that the government I lead intends to come up with tax incentives for research and development, the same as it happened some years ago when Romania decided to scrap all rates and taxes for IT investors, which led to a massive development of the IT industry, and do so by the end of our term in office. (…) We want to do the same for research and development: attracting corporate investment for more than just production, for innovation as well, and this way using Romanian engineers and doing so as the investment environment in Romania may be as attractive as any other abroad,” said Ciolos.

He added that the Romanian Government is set to rescue or even entirely scrap rates and taxes on R&D investment.

 

Ciolos about Visa Waiver Program: We cannot expect formal decisions in the near future

 

Romania cannot expect formal decisions regarding the Visa Waiver Program in the near future, but we continue to insist on this matter, Romania’s Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos said in Washington on Wednesday.

“We have also discussed this topic [the visa requirement being lifted for Romanian citizens] with Vice President Biden. Our US partners understand Romania’s interest in and expectations that solutions are found in this respect. Of course, they reminded us that there are certain criteria, which we are meeting to a large extent; there is still that one criterion of visa denials. It is an issue undergoing debate in the US Congress. We also know that decisions aren’t so much up to the Administration, as they are to the Congress; given that this is an electoral year in the US as well, it is an issue on which we cannot expect formal decisions in the coming period,” Ciolos told a news conference at Romania’s Embassy in Washington DC.

According to the prime minister, Romania will continue to insist on this matter which remains on the bilateral agenda.

“It is important to us as well that the US authorities and the US friends understand that when we talk about a partnership, and mostly about a strategic partnership, we also have expectations from this point of view,” said Ciolos.

Dacian Ciolos also participated in a working lunch with businessmen in Washington DC on Wednesday afternoon, the last item on the agenda of his visit to the US, which began on Sunday.

“It will not be only Romania standing to gain financially in the long run, but also the companies investing in Romania if we came up with such incentives, while avoiding the incentives having a significant negative impact on the national budgets, as they will certainly have a positive impact in the long run, because research and development in Romania would entail modern production facilities resulting from R&D actions, which in my book is the normal course of things,” said Ciolos.

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