The Economic Forum organized on 14th of June 2016 in Bucharest by the Italian Embassy in Bucharest together with ICE – the Italian Foreign Trade Agency, in collaboration with Confindustria Romania, the participation of the Italian Chamber of Commerce and SACE, aimed to evaluate opportunities for Italian investments in Romania, which are representing a European itinerary in the global economy.
The guests of honor of the Economic Forum “Italian investments in Romania: a European itinerary in the global economy” were the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
The event was opened by Mr. Diego Brasioli, Ambassador of Italy to Bucharest, who recalled the growing interest of Italian companies to Romania and the Embassy involvement in supporting the efforts of Italian entrepreneurs through promotion and support.
Further, the President of Confindustria Romania, Mauro Maria Angelini, addressed the two Presidents and present guests the greeting of hundreds of Romanian companies with Italian capital that are part of this Patronage and the greeting of tens of thousands employees who work in these companies. After mentioning the first article of the Italian Constitution which states that Italy is a democratic Republic based on work, the President of Confindustria Romania declared: “We are here to work. We are creating companies, we take responsibility, we are risking to create economic growth, we feel indebted to contribute to Romania’s development and we have brought with us our values and the perseverance of our parents and grandparents who rebuilt Italy after the war. I believe that we have also brought here the competence and the desire to do good things, in other words the need to give what is best in us”.Then, the President of Confindustria Romania addressed directly the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis:”We want to tell the Romanian President that the Italian entrepreneurs exist and will remain in Romania. As independent Patronage, Confindustria Romania collaborates with institutions and we intend to represent an instrument of subsidiarity and social dialogue along with other Patronages, and to offer our vision on technical topics”.
The Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, highlighted the importance of economic relations between Romania and Italy: “The community of Romanians in Italy far exceeded one million people and nearly 60.000 Romanian-owned businesses operating on the Italian market. I am delighted to see that along with the community growth in Italy there have also emerged Romanian entrepreneurs which embody the standards of Italy’s business environment and economy. Economic exchanges of 13,5 billion euros in 2015 and the large number of companies present in the two countries and owned by both Romanians and Italians shows us how powerful the economic cooperation between the two countries is. Romania and Italy are an example of integration in the European Union. The relationship between our countries is a powerful example of what the European Union should be.”
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said that “the long traditional friendship and cooperation between the two countries have created the premises so that Italy would become one of Romania’s strategic partners. In the economic cooperation plan, Italy is the second trade partner of Romania and one of the most important partners in the investment plan. Even during the difficult period after the economic crisis, the trade relations between the two countries continued to grow and diversify. In 2015, trade exchanges exceeded 13,5 billion euros, an over one billion growth compared to 2014. The same positive trend is strengthened and confirmed by the number of companies with Italian capital in Romania. Today, the number of Romanian companies with Italian capital rises to over 42.000, with a total invested capital of over 1,6 billion euros”.
The first Economic Forum’s panel that started after the speeches of the two Presidents, under the name “New opportunities for Italian investments in Romania” and conducted by Luca Gentile, Director at the Italian Agency for Foreign Trade, was dedicated to business opportunities and innovations in the legislative area recently adopted in public procurement. The second, “Business development: news about European funds for small and medium enterprises in Romania”, conducted by Rocco Ferri, General Director at Confindustria Romania, presented strategies of business development, a special attention being given to grant funds for small and medium enterprises. The last panel “Organic farming and technology: the strategic role of Italian companies in Romania” conducted by Adrian Dimache, General Secretary of the Italian Chamber of Commerce for Romania, focused on the strategic role of the Italian companies in Romania in the organic farming field.
Also, there intervened: Costin Borc, Vice Prime Minister of the Government and Minister of Economy, Commerce and Business Relations, Florin Jianu, President of the National Council of Private Small and Medium Enterprises in Romania (CNIPMMR), and Achim Irimescu, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The current context of economic growth, in which the Italian companies are investing in Romania, is particularly favorable. In 2015, the GDP grew by 3,7%, the European Commission estimating an increase of 4,2% in 2016 and of 3,7% in 2017. In 2015, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INS), trade exchanges between Italy and Romania have peaked at 13,64 billion euros, an increase of 8,55% compared to 2014. The positive trend of the trade exchanges level appears to be confirmed by data from the first two months of 2016. Italy thus keeps its place as leader in the ranking of exporting countries and in that of the destination markets of Romanian export products, with a share of 11,6% of Romania’s total trade exchanges (12,4% of total exports and 10,9% of total imports). The constant growth of trade exchanges reflects a strong presence of Italian companies in Romania. Therefore, Italy ranks first in Romania for the number of registered companies. According to the Registry of Commerce’s data, on December 31st 2015 in Romania were active 24.105 companies with Italian capital, only in 2015 being registered 2.203 new companies with Italian participation. Italy confirms thus its position as principal investor in Romania, owned for over 10 years, due to the number of registered companies (20,5% of total).