BNR ‘s Voinea: From monetary policy perspective, no other option for Romania but to join Eurozone
From the monetary policy perspective there is no other option for Romania but to join the Eurozone, and the question is when and how, stated Liviu Voinea, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) on Tuesday, during “Romania 10 years in the EU. Progress, development perspectives, challenges” Profit Growth Forum.
“I would like to clearly express the National Bank’s point of view regarding Romania joining the Eurozone. From the monetary policy perspective there is no other option for Romania but to join the Eurozone. We can discuss as to how and when, not in order to postpone sine die, but from our desire to achieve a smooth transition when the economy is sufficiently competitive and prepared,” said Liviu Voinea.
The Deputy Governor recounted a discussion he held with a security agent at a pharmacy who asked him whether the transition to the euro will lower his salary. Voinea explained to the latter that by adopting the euro, his salary will not decrease because the local currency, the leu, will disappear, and that way, the salary can only decrease in comparison to other currencies.
“Here we have people preoccupied with the euro transition issue and it is useful to explain what this transition involves in the smallest details. It is not the first time I am being asked about palpable things in relation to the euro transition. For example I have a cousin in Drobeta-Turnu Severin, pensioners, both him and his wife, who is concerned by the fact that his wife’s pension, of 900 lei, will be turned into two 100-euro banknotes. Although having the same value, the psychological impact of seeing that after a life time’s work one receives two pieces of paper is not to be underestimated. And these real-life examples speak about the fact that the transition to the euro is not just a simple replacement of banknotes or change. It is a complex process, with the most diverse and profound implications and undoubtedly it can only be triggered by a political decision relying on a widespread consensus in society,” added Liviu Voinea.
UK ambassador Brummell: We’ll always remain a partner for Romania, for the community bloc
Britain will always remain a partner for Romania, for the community bloc, the UK ambassador in Bucharest, Paul Brummell said on Tuesday at the National Bank of Romania (BNR)’s “Profit Growth Forum” event.
The diplomat spoke about the beginning of the Brexit negotiations, but also about the future of the Romania – United Kingdom relationship.
We are witnessing a historic moment for our countries, since yesterday (Monday – ed.n.) the negotiations regarding the future of the relationship between the UK and the European Union have begun. Whilst this relation is about to configure, we shall always remain a partner for Romania, for the community bloc, Brummell said.
Talking about the relationship between Romania and Britain, ambassador Brummell said that he wished for the United Kingdom to become a very important partner for Romania and for the Romanians, since we have a strategic partnership, strong historic ties. He recalled the economic strength of Britain, this country’s educational system, which many Romanians choose, and also of the cooperation between Romania and Britain in security and defence.
As we speak, added the ambassador, British Typhoon aircraft are stationed at the “Mihail Kogalniceanu” military base and fly over the Romanian air space.
Brummell sustained that the past years seem to have been a period of favorable economic conditions for Romania – low unemployment, inflation rates.
In order to have stable economic ties, added the diplomat, essential elements are needed: an effective legal system, a transparent institutional culture. And, beyond all this, said Brummell, interpersonal relations are paramount. In this respect, he quoted Prince Charles at being awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa title on behalf of the Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj- Napoca. “I’m being asked for several times what brings me that often to Romania, what makes this place that special. To me, the answer is very simple: you, my Romanian friends, your cultural and natural heritage,” Paul Brummell recalled the Crown Prince’s answer.
Austrian Ambassador Reiweger: To grow, Romania needs more regional approach
Austria’s Ambassador in Bucharest Gerhard Reiweger stated on Tuesday during the “Profit Growth Forum” event that he thinks Romania needs “a more regional approach” in order to progress even more.
The diplomat spoke about Romania’s economic development in recent years and about the Austrian investments in our country.
“Part of the success story is illustrated by the direct investments,” said Reiweger.
“I believe we need to put the matter of the domestic market into the spotlight. On a real domestic market, it doesn’t matter if the money comes from Germany, Sweden, Austria, and Romania. (…) Perhaps we should talk more about the development of the European Union domestic market,” he added.
Reiweger highlighted that the “involvement of foreign companies does not only bring in money, but also results in a transfer of competencies, creativity and this is only natural.”
He recalled Romania’s performance in the IT and Tourism and the way certain Romanians perceive their country’s place within the EU.
The official said, among other things, that Romania has all the opportunities of a EU country member and the issue of some countries “lagging behind is out of the question”, however, “a more regional approach is needed. We spend hours traveling from Bucharest to Brasov (rd 171 km – ed. n.). It should be a region that generates growth (…) There should be a regional concept that would thus unlock a great potential.”
US Embassy’s Thompson: Romania should create environment to encourage diaspora to invest back home
Romania must create an environment in order to encourage the diaspora to invest back home, an environment without corruption, a competitive one, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Bucharest Dean Thompson stated.
He spoke at the National Bank of Romania (BNR) within the event called “Profit Growth.forum”.
He referred to the progresses that Romania has made since joining the EU in the areas of democracy, the rule of law and the respect for the human right and fundamental values.
In the context of mentioning the presidency of the Council of the EU, that Romania will hold in 2019, Thompson cited John F. Kennedy saying not to ask what the EU can do for Romania, but what Romania can do for the EU.
The US official stated he is confident in the development of Romania’s infrastructure, that will allow our country to be a leader in the European equation of energy.
He stated that on the current financial market, Romania is very stable, having, among others, a stable currency and a low interest rate. He added that under the management of the BNR, at the end of the ’90s the benefits of expertise, capitalization contributed to the force of the banking sector of Romania today.
He added that the current framework will bring foreign investments that Romania needs, giving the country the possibility to absorb the European funds allocated for the 2014 – 2020 period.
The Deputy Chief of Mission also talked about the need for Romania to focus on the human resource.
He stated that alongside Romania’s progress, basic priorities cannot be forgot, namely endorsement of young talents, convincing them to show their value here, in an environment without corruption, a competitive one. Romania needs to create an environment that will encourage the diaspora to invest at home and capitalize on the resources acquired locally or from abroad. Dean Thompson also stated that he is confident that Romania will succeed in this way.