The level of bilateral cooperation was growing steadily until the financial crisis of 2009. Today, we have still not recovered those levels of investment, but the strengthening of the Portuguese economy and the potential for development in Romania make me confident about the future.
Is this level accordingly to the real economic potential of both sides? What should be done to take advantage fully of this real potential ?
I believe there are great opportunities to be explored by both sides and am very encouraged by the investments of several large Portuguese investors in Romania in multiple sectors: Shopping centers (Sonae Sierra); Industry (Coindu); Construction (Pragosa), amongst others.
We are at the middle of 2016. Are you pleased with the Chamber’s achievements for the first half of this year? What are the main projects for the remaining months of 2016?
This year we have been active in promoting Romania through the network of Portuguese Chambers of Commerce around the world. We participated in a two-day workshop presenting the attractiveness of Romania to other Portuguese investors around the world. Our idea is to facilitate the access of potential investors to Romania.
What do Portuguese investors believe about the business climate in Romania? Is it a stable, transparent and predictable environment for foreign investors?
Portuguese investors are still not fully informed about Romania, but the overall feeling is that there are many opportunities to be had and that there is finally a stable and safe environment to invest.
To switch a little bit the question, what do Romanian businessmen and investors believe about the business climate in Portugal?
Romanian businessmen see potential in Portugal and many are interested in taking advantage of the great experience that Portugal has had with absorbing EU funds.
What could do more both Governments to encourage more the business exchanges?
The landmark visit of the Portuguese President last year and the visit of the Deputy Prime Minister of Portugal to Romania the year before, were very important steps to develop relations between the two countries. These types of exchanges bring both of our countries to the forefront and create great opportunities for investors to identify opportunities.
The Chamber has been very active not only in promoting bilateral exchanges between Romania and Portugal, but also in supporting cultural or social events. Could you mention please some of these projects?
We believe that the path to business growth is driven by cultural understanding. Portugal and Romania have a cultural proximity that defies the distance that separate them. This year, we were very happy to have supported the Romanian Embassy to Portugal, the Instituto Cultural Romeno and the Bonte Foundation in organizing their exhibition of Modern Romanian Paintings at the Palacio Nacional de Ajuda which will be running until the end of August.