Romania must capitalize on its digital advantages that include a highly performing broadband infrastructure and a dynamic IT sector, President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday at the opening of the Digital Romania – Industry 4.0 International Forum organized at the Victoria Palace of Government.
“In today’s highly dynamic world, Romania must not miss the start, but instead capitalize in the best possible manner on its advantages, of which the following are worth mentioning: the highly performing broadband infrastructure, as Romania is among the countries with the fastest internet service; the highly dynamic IT sector that has increased in the past year by more than 20 percent to a turnover of over three billion euro; the highly skilled workforce – we have 120,000 IT experts and the number of graduates from science, technology or math faculties places Romania on a very honorable position in European Union; the innovative potential we need to take advantage of by developing a culture of success based on performance, work, honesty and integrity – exactly what we want the Educated Romania project to signify,” said the head of state.
According to President Iohannis, Romania can be an important player in the smart car industry. “In this regard, we have a developed, integrated and performing auto industry, but also top-notch applied research centers and high-tech products,” said Iohannis.
The head of the state emphasized that all these are arguments for Romania’s becoming a development vector for the digital agenda in a regional and European context.
“But in order to render effective these advantages, we need a long-term vision to consistently support our development potential and shape Romania’s trajectory in a European context and beyond that. The freshly initiated country project will address these national requirements through vision, far-reaching ambition and consensus. If we have a long-term plan in place, we will better know how to do things tomorrow,” said Iohannis.
The President pointed out that the digital revolution brings about a profound change in society, and added that the EU of free circulation requires a single digital market based on freedom and security, which complements the desideratum of the European single market. “Digital networks and services could bring about the revival the European economy so badly needs, in both substance and direction,” said Iohannis.
Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos and European Commissioner for Digital economy and Society Gunther Oettinger also attend the opening of the forum.
“Digitalisation will reduce corruption”
Digitalisation will contribute toward reducing corruption, making the interaction between government and citizens simpler and less expensive as a result of such solutions, President Klaus Iohannis added.
“Digitalisation will obviously contribute to reducing corruption, and that is perhaps the most important advantage in the short run. Doing politics surely means interacting with the citizens, but public administration for the citizens means each citizen deserves respect because nobody is personally favoured. In this respect, interaction between government and the citizens will become simpler and less expensive as well as closer to the normal logics of a partnership, thanks to digital solutions. Rethinking the relationship between government and the citizens is the key to our development,” Iohannis also told the “Digital Romania – Industry 4.0” International Forum.
PM Ciolos: There is huge gap between public, private sector’s use of information technology
Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos said Thursday that ever since the beginning of his office tenure, he has noticed a huge gap between the public and the private sectors in terms of the use of information technology.
“I have identified and defined a discrepancy, a huge gap between the public and the private sectors in terms of the use of information technology. On the one hand, I have noticed high IT and innovation performance and huge potentials thereof. On the other hand, vital sectors such as education, healthcare, social assistance, agriculture and fiscal policy are developing much too slowly and they hardly keep up with the people’s needs and the developments in other countries. Last but not least, we have all noticed that bureaucracy is deep seeded in the administration, overburdening us, wasting our energy and money (…) and I mean here the public sector, the taxpayers and the citizens,” Ciolos told the Digital Romania Forum in Bucharest.
He added that Romania nevertheless has all the assets to become an important regional player in information technology, but, unfortunately, such assets are not capitalised on at their full potentials.
Ciolos added that ministries have been involved in the adoption of measures that will boost the information technology sector.
“First of all, there is a manifest for a digital Romania that we are proposing here, same as in other areas, and we are aware that what all we could do this year was to pave the way – meaning prepare a framework and package of measures for the idea to be continued in the year ahead. Our strategy was set around about three objectives. Firstly, improved coordination of IT investment and public spending that yields results for the citizens reflected in administration’s performance; secondly, support for innovation, research, development and entrepreneurship and thirdly measures to attract specialists and professionals for the public sector,” said Ciolos.