The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania, in collaboration with the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency and the Economy, Trade and Relations with the Business Environment Ministry, organized on Tuesday the Romania – Slovakia Bilateral Business Forum, which is also attended by Slovak President Andrej Kiska, on a two-day state visit to Romania.
According to the National Trade Register Office (ONRC) at the end of August, in Romania there were 644 companies with Slovak capital, that stood at 49.5 million Euros. In the first six months of this year, according to the Economy Ministry, Romania recorded a trade deficit of 247.5 million Euros. The total value of the exports exceeded 494.6 million Euros (+1.25 percent), while the imports value stood at 742.1 million Euros (13.8 percent).
“Youth are leaving Romania and Slovakia, and to make them come back the countries must invest in education, research, innovation and start-ups”, Slovakia’s President Andrej Kiska on Tuesday told the Romania – Slovakia Bilateral Business Forum.
“People are leaving from our countries. I know that a few millions of Romanians have left the country, a few hundred thousands have left Slovakia. We sometimes feel that the best young people leave the country. We must think what to do to keep them home. (…) I have a 26-year-old daughter, she left to London, then moved to Prague, and I asked her to come back. My 30-year-old son went abroad. All of us parents want to see our children close to us. They told me: “Father, we need those companies in Slovakia. When they come, we’ll also come.” How can we make the big companies hire them in Romania and Slovakia? Let us invest in research, innovation, let us prepare our society for them, to provide them with opportunities to be here. There are two priorities for us to focus on in the future, namely education and research, development, innovation and start-ups,” the Slovak head of state said.
He pointed out that Slovakia expects this year a 4 percent economic growth in the context in which the country’s budget is under control and unemployment is declining.
“Among the things we have in common [Slovakia and Romania], you have Dracula and we have Dracula’s Lady, Elizabeth Bathory. Both our countries need a good economic growth. We also expect a 4 percent economic growth, we have the budget under control, unemployment is increasingly lower. Both our countries fare well, but we also have common problems. We can see great differences among regions. There is a difference between our countries, a very big one, and I must say I am sorry that we don’t have these similarities, namely that you have started a very strong fight against corruption. Unfortunately, this has not happened in Slovakia yet,” Andrej Kiska also said.
President Iohannis: I tell Romanian investors to be more audacious regarding Slovak economy plans
“Romanian investors must be more audacious in connection to the business plans regarding Slovak econom”y, Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis stated, in a message sent on Tuesday by presidential advisor on economic matters Cosmin Marinescu, at the Romania – Slovakia Bilateral Business Forum.
“In the last 4 years, the trade between our economies increased by an annual average of almost 9 percent, which clearly shows the consolidation of our commercial relations. In 2015, the bilateral trade reached a maximum of 2.4 billion Euros. It is up to us to further develop this positive trend. On an investment plan, in Romania there are over 600 Slovak companies with a total invested capital of almost 50 million Euros. Slovakia is, in its turn, more attractive for Romanian investments but the investment potential of our cooperation is much bigger. We invite Slovak investors to come with confidence to Romania, and I advice Romanian investors to be more audacious regarding the business plan which concerns Slovak economy,” Iohannis stated.
According to him, the Romanian economy goes through a period of robust growth, which makes Romania be “an European champion of economic growth.”
“Romania’s economy goes now through a period of economic growth. The first semester of this year recorded an economic growth of 5.2 percent, which makes Romania an European champion of economic growth,” the President added.
“Auto industry presents a special collaboration potential between Romania and Slovakia”
“In the auto industry there is a special collaboration potential between Romania and Slovakia, but progresses can be obtained in other sectors, too”, Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis also pointed out, in the message read out by presidential advisor on economic matters Cosmin Marinescu, at the Romanian – Slovakia Bilateral Business Forum.
“Between Romania and Slovakia there is a special collaboration potential in the area of the auto industry. Slovakia recorded in the last years remarkable progresses becoming one of the most important actor of the auto industry. In Romania, in the past 10 years, the auto industry increased from almost 4 billion Euros to over 20 billion Euros in 2015. We can have similar progresses in other areas, such as the IT or telecommunication sector, where Romanian young people are very well prepared and they represent a valuable resource for the business environment,” Iohannis stated.
According to him, the Port of Constanta must become the main maritime port for Slovak commerce.
“We want the Danube to link us not only geographically but culturally and economically, and the Port of Constanta to become the main naval port for Slovak commerce. Vital in this direction is the European Union strategy for the Danube region, a mechanism designed for the economic and social development of the Danube’s macro-region. We want a closer collaboration between the professional associations and the Chambers of Commerce and Industry from both countries in order to identify new collaboration advantages and opportunities,” President Iohannis stated.
EconomyMin Borc: Romania deals with a lack of trust in a better future
“Romania is dealing with a lack of trust in a better future, both inside the country and outside the borders”, stated on Tuesday Economy Minister Costin Borc, during the Romania-Slovakia Bilateral Business Forum.
“Romania goes on an encouraging route in regards to economic growth, consumption and investments. We must find the best solutions to capitalize on the maximum potential of this favorable context both economy-wise and from the point of view of Romania’s position in a regional and international context. (…) Despite the progresses made in the past years and the ascending trend of economic environment, Romania deals forwards with a lack of trust in a better future, both inside the country and outside the borders. Trust is essential for every design of the entrepreneurs who want to establish or develop business, foreign investors or other partner countries, in order to intensify the cooperation of economic relations.
According to the minister, the state must be a facilitator of the innovation of the ecologic-system development in Romania.
“The industry is undergoing today, on a global level, through a paradigm changing in which the innovation is the main ingredient of business success. Competitiveness means the ability to anticipate the trends, to position in front of the market’s actors, to innovate and come with accessible solutions. The state, in this conditions, must be a facilitator in the development of the eco-system innovation in Romania. Through all the to-the-point actions, the Government proposes today a type 4.0 approach of Romania’s industrialization, a concept that places the IT industry and the intelligent specializations not only as an engine of economic growth but as a propulsion force for the industries with a proven capacity for enhancing and competing,” the Economy Minister added.
Slovak President appreciates Romania’s success in combating corruption in discussions with PM Ciolos
Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Monday met Slovak Republic President Andrej Kiska, with some of the
discussion topics regarding the national policies on social inclusion, as well as the visiting President’s appreciation for Romania’s success in combating corruption.
“During the meeting, the two officials hailed the excellent stage of the bilateral relations. They discussed about the solutions and good practices identified for supporting the professional mobility and promoting the dual education, aimed at developing the economy and increasing the number of jobs. The talks also reached aspects regarding the development of the rural areas, through the capitalisation on the agricultural potential. They also discussed the national policies on social inclusion. The Slovak side appreciated Romania’s success in combating corruption, which can represent a model,” reads a Government release sent to Agerpres.
According to the cited source, President Andrej Kiska reviewed the Slovak priorities for the current presidency of the Council of the European Union and asked the Romanian Prime Minister’s opinion on the concrete modalities of relaunchig the European project.
“Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos reconfirmed Romania’s full support for the positive agenda for the European Union proposed by Slovakia. He underscored that ‘the major common goal is a 27-member Europe, stronger, more united and more competitive, close to the citizens and their needs,'” the release also reads.
Romania, Slovakia’s export-import banks sign export-promoting cooperation agreement
Romania’s EximBank and the Slovakian peer institution Eximbanka signed a cooperation agreement to promote exports, the bank announced in a release on Tuesday.
“We are convinced that the signing of this document reopens a transparent communication channel for Romanian and Slovak companies that want to initiate business relations and run them in a safe and predictable manner. EximBank Romania and Eximbanka Slovakia have a diversified range of specific products and services to support exports and investments abroad, so that with the financing, guarantee and insurance instruments issued in the name and for the account of our countries we are able to support export projects developed in partnership by Slovak and Romanian companies on third markets, under fair competitive conditions,” EximBank executive chairman Traian Halalai told the Romania – Slovakia Bilateral Business Forum held Tuesday at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Romania.
According to the release, as of December 31, 2015, Romania – Slovakia trade exchanges stood at nearly 2.4 billion euros, with exports amounting to nearly 962 million euro (up 3.45 percent from 2014) and imports standing at 1.4 billion euro (up 9.10 percent from 2014).
President Kiska thanks supporters of Romania’s Slovak community speaking Slovak
In Oradea on Tuesday, Slovakia’s President Andrej Kiska extended thanks to the Romanian government, parliament and president for their support to the Slovak community of Romania and to all those helping the Slovak community speaking their mother tongue.
”I am glad that the Slovak community has an area where it can develop and feel good. The Slovak community in this area is a bridge between Slovakia and Romania that strengthens the ties between these two countries. I want to thank priests, teaching staff and all those who support the activity of the Slovak community of Romania for the ethnic Slovaks to be able to continue speaking their mother tongue, as well as customs and all that means cultural activities. I want to thank the Romanian government, parliament and president for their support to the Slovak community of Romania,” Kiska said in a speech delivered in Slovakian, according to a translation by MP Adrian Merka.
Accompanied by an official retinue, Kiska arrived on Tuesday in the northwestern city of Oradea by plane, on an invitation from the Slovak community of Bihor County. This is the second visit by a Slovak president to the county. It followed an October 2009 visit to Sinteu by then Slovakian President Ivan Gsaparovic. Accompanying Kiska on his visit to Oradea were Slovakia’s ambassador in Bucharest Jan Gabor, Romanian Deputy Prime Minister Vasile Dincu and other officials.
Welcomed with bread and salt by a pair of young Slovaks dressed in popular costume, Kiska stopped for a brief meeting at the Bihor-Salaj-Satu Mare offices of the Democratic Union of Romania’s Slovaks and Czechs (UDSCR) with the UDSCR leadership represented Chairman Adrian Merka and branch chair Francisc Merka. Welcoming the Slovak president were 40 leaders of the local Slovak community, along with Bihor County Council Chairman Pasztor Sandor, Bihor Prefect Claudiu Pop and Oradea City Deputy Mayor Mircea Malan.
Speaking on behalf of the Slovak community, in Slovakian only to fit into the brief schedule of the visit, were priest Rolnik Martin of Fagetu, Salaj County, school inspector for the Slovak Minority Alexandru Mlinarcik and UDSCR Bihor-Salaj-Satu Mare Chairman Francisc Merka.
”We are ten priests in our diocese with a Slovak ethnic background, but we are Romanian citizens, and we are glad that there is a bishop in our Slovak bishopric whose duty is to look at the Slovak priesthood abroad. That is all I wanted to tell him,” priest Rolnik told Agerpres.
Professor Mlinarcik gave a brief presentation on the state of Slovak school tuition in Romania, which it called quite worrying.
”Unfortunately, the situation of our students and teachers is getting more and more regrettable because their number is falling and we have to close down schools. And yet, we try to hold on. There are some 320 students taught in Slovakian and about 50 who are taught in Slovakian exclusively at the request of their parents. We have a theory high school at Budoi, Popesti Commune, as well as two schools for 1st to 8th grade students at Sinteu and Serani, plus four more schools for 1st to 4th grade students,” the professor told Agerpres.
Francisc Merka spoke on behalf of the Bihor-Salaj-Satu Mare chapter of UDSCR, with the largest membership of four chapters in Romania, 3,200 ethnics. The other chapters are Nadlac-Arad, Timis and the Czech part of Southern Banat – Caras Severin.
”There are currently 17,000 Slovaks in all out of an initial 50,000. In 50 years’ time they will say Slovaks used to live here. That’s history. The population is falling quickly and greatly. Among the most important causes are absence of jobs and young people studying abroad on scholarships from the Slovak state who never come back. They settle in the Czech Republic or Slovakia, while others move on to Canada or Sweden. It is a beneficial aspect that even poor young people afford to take higher education classes. But today, we are very proud that for the second time a Slovakian president has come to Romania. He came on an invitation from the union. Our obligations regard what we can do to preserve our customs, language and identity. We are not a political party, but a cultural union. We have 180 cultural events going on from February throughout December on funds from the Romanian government and the Slovak government alike,” Merka told Agerpres.
Senate Chairman Tariceanu, Slovak President Kiska discuss Romanian-Slovak cooperation, EU priorities
The Romanian-Slovak bilateral cooperation and the European Union’s priorities under the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU were among the topics addressed on Tuesday by the Romanian Senate Chairman Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and visiting President of Slovakia Andrej Kiska, according to a press release by the Senate sent to Agerpres.
The two high officials also discussed the economic situation in the two countries and the measures considered to attract the youth on the internal labour market, in particular by encouraging new investments, the SMEs and by stimulating research and innovation in tight connection with the university environment.
According to the source, Tariceanu spoke about the advantages and responsibilities arising from the EU membership, about the historic gap between the new states of the Union and the founding countries. He also expressed confidence in the EU future and in the important role the values and principles at the grounds of the Union have in the economic, social development of Romania.
As for the Council of the EU Slovak Presidency, the Senate chairman expressed Romania’s interest in an exchange of experience at parliamentary level with its Slovak partners, considering that Romania will take over, in its turn, the rotating EU Council’s Presidency in 2019.
In his turn, Kiska said that the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union so far has very good results, mentioning the role of a moderator a member state has in the administration of the EU President so that the interests of the 28 countries are best represented and brought to a common denominator.
“The two officials have had a views’ exchange as regards the migration of the well-trained workforce to the developed countries of the EU and the ways the young talented, creators of new ideas could be encouraged to perform in their country, thus stimulating research and the innovation,” reads the release.
The President of Slovakia said the Slovakian Government finds the education a priority, advocating for an education system harmonised with the labour market’s demand and for encouraging free initiative amongst the youth.