The ‘Repatriation through Entrepreneurship’ (RePatriot) action has successfully ended after 3 days of conferences, meetings and applied discussions with Romanian entrepreneurs from Italy, Greece, Spain and France.
The RePatriot action in Rome started on Thursday, November 24, with a conference at the Accademia di Romania. The conference was attended by over 100 entrepreneurs and was watched live by more than 5,400 persons from all over the world. This was the 8th conference organised abroad. Apart from several entrepreneurs based in Rome, speeches were given by Felix Patrascanu – founder, FAN Curier; Bianca Dancila – founder, GripADs; Simona Pirtea – Managing Partner at Business at Law; Magdalena Lupoi – partner at Noerr; Lucian Rotar – Loginet Conseil CEO; Mariu Bostan – entrepreneur and initiator of the RePatriot project. The event enjoyed the presence of economic advisor Norina Boru Constantinescu and Romanian Ambassador to Italy George Gabriel Bologan.
“I see opportunities at every step, because we are interacting with all Romanian industries! Services, tourism, IT and communications, hi-tech in general, offer profit-making opportunities. Agriculture is of interest, because there is still land left unworked for many years. Infrastructure however is a real problem, but despite the unfulfillments one can do business in Romania. With the amount of knowledge you have accumulated here, it’s doable. You had the courage to leave the country and I see you are managing, you can do anything, just like I did,” Felix Patrascanu stated at the conference.
The conference was interactive. Business opportunities were presented, obstacles, bureaucracy, the cutting of red tape and corruption were tackled. Many questions were asked and the talks continued in an informal setting until midnight, once again confirming the interest that Romanians living abroad have in finding out more about what is going on at home.
“You earned experience and professional and business know-how in a Western context, with fair principles, with relatively consolidated democracy, and you can bring back civic knowledge important for the country! We need your involvement. You cannot leave our country, the country of our Romanian people, for which our forefathers gave their lives in wars, for which our heroes suffered. We want to build together, we want to improve things. No country is perfect, there is no Heaven here on Earth, we love our country and many things in Romania are going in the right direction.
“Entrepreneurs take risks, fight problems. If entrepreneurs were to be blocked by the first bureaucrat, would the West have been so developed? It’s important to find allies, seek help, be on the lookout for coalitions, be together with those who think and behave correctly,” Marius Bostan said.
“I’m here to express my appreciation for a praiseworthy initiative – RePatriot. The results we all want, probably immediately, appear only if we have projects and if we manage to relay what we want. We cannot laugh at anything and look indifferently to what is happening around us. In our case, constructive communication is based on a national ethic that confers responsibility. It’s important to have a positive attitude, with palpable results, and human capital is a country’s most important resource! I congratulate you for the initiative. I personally believe it’s a success,” Romanian Ambassador George Gabriel Bologan stated at the conference.
“I too had the opportunity to work in Italy. However, I chose to take a risk in Romania. Today, I have three successful businesses in Sibiu. It’s very hard to watch the young people leave the country and we are trying to help the Romanian business sector. Come join us and let’s rebuild and strengthen our country,” Bianca Dancila stated at the event.
After the conference, talks continued late into the night at a restaurant owned by a Romanian entrepreneur, in downtown Rome.
On Friday and Saturday, November 25-26, direct meetings and visits took place to explore business opportunities with Ioana Pricopi, Valentin Fagarasian, Lucian Rotar, Ovidiu Burdusa, Larisa Manciu, Slevoaca Florin, Dohotar Mihai and other Romanian entrepreneurs.
“The meeting with the RePatriot team was a real success and sparked great interest in the community. We will continue with other initiatives alongside them,” said entrepreneur Valein Fagarasian, who leads businesses in both Romania and Italy and is RePatriot ambassador in Rome and Chairman of the Rome&Romania Cultural Association.
Most people agreed that Romania offers opportunities that businessmen want to use, but there are obstacles that block the path to a solid economic environment, obstacles such as red tape, the complexity of construction permits, the lack of fiscal predictability and the administration’s lack of interest in economic development. The efforts and results registered by the Government in the last year were appreciated.
“Corruption and red tape are Romania’s problems, which Romanians living abroad consider the main reasons that prevent them from coming back or investing in the country. But, considering the DNA’s 2015 report, which points to the investigation of an ever-growing number of public system persons, we can strongly state that Romania is on the right track. Thus, the path toward “clean” and honest businesses is being opened. We need the involvement of all Romanians because any project or idea is developed by people, for the people,” Simon Pirtea stated.
During the three days, several business and collaboration ideas were proposed for the promotion of investments in Romania, investments that can be carried out in a more applied manner and with better results by Romanians living abroad. Investments in energy efficiency, tourism, agriculture, constructions and technology are expected back home!
The next RePatriot action will be a conference organised in Alba Iulia on the National Day, December 1st. The conference will take place at the ‘1 Decembrie 1918’ University, starting at 5 p.m., and over 100 Romanian entrepreneurs are expected to attend.