The feeling of trust in the Romanian society has probably reached the lowest level in the last 30 years, by an unfortunate way of making public policies at the central level, with nationalist-populist tendencies and by blaming foreigners, multinationals and banks, Dragos Anastasiu, president of the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce (AHK Romania) drew attention on Tuesday at the ‘Cities of Tomorrow’ conference.
“I think that at a moment which is, in my view, somewhat sensitive for Romania, what we are doing today is an example that it can be done differently. Seeing the potential we have at country level, at the level of each locality, and we hardly achieve any success, we thought about what we can do. We have embarked on this road of collaboration between Romania and Germany, between the business community and the local communities in the profound belief that Romania can change from communities, through the involvement of everybody, the involvement of the communities and the involvement of the local authorities. I would like to give you good news: three weeks ago, I had a meeting with the 20 largest German investors in Romania. In a sensitive moment, in which the feeling of trust in the Romanian society has probably reached the lowest level we have had in the last 30 years. An unfortunate way of making public policies at central level, through lack of predictability, lack of dialogue, lack of impact studies, all this has made the confidence sentiment, which is not very high in Romania anyway, to go down even lower,” said Anastasiu.
“The good news I want to give you is that in this discussion we learnt from all our investors that things at the local level have changed for the better. The collaboration between the business community, civil society and the local authorities has improved considerably. Local communities are exceptions. There are communities and cities that have developed despite aberrant legislation, public policies at the central level that do not help communities develop as they deserve,” said Dragos Anastasiu.
He gave examples of good practices and collaborations at local authority level, such as Oradea, Sibiu, Timisoara or Arad.
Ambassador Cord Meier-Klodt: Eight cities in Romania generate over half of GDP
Eight of the largest cities in Romania generate more than half of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and we agree that there is a great need for the development of several such engines of economic growth, German Ambassador in Bucharest Cord Meier-Klodt told on Tuesday the “Cities of Tomorrow” conference, organized by the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Romania).
“I have been in this country for more than two years (…) Eight of the largest cities in the country generate more than half of the national GDP. These cities are the growth engines and also the rays of development for the whole country. These are important cultural centers that attract tourists, students, investors and professional experts. We all agree that Romania needs many such engines of growth, and the difficult question is how to build such sustainable development pools. I do not think there is a recipe that applies everywhere in urban development strategies. Any strategy must include a corresponding melange of top-down and bottom-up approaches. Local and central administrations, governments must provide the framework to respond to growing demands for public services and infrastructure. Traveling through the country, I have seen many companies, especially German, already applying the principles of corporate responsibility”, the German official said.
The German ambassador in Bucharest also underlined that by 2050, three quarters of the world’s population will live in cities, the equivalent of about 7 billion people.
AHK Romania is the official representative of the German economy in Romania. Established in September 2002, the entity currently has about 600 member firms, being the largest bilateral chamber of commerce in Romania.
AHK Romania’s General Manager: We want to contribute to Romania’s competitiveness, friendlier business environment
A country’s improved competitiveness results in a friendlier business environment for both Romanian and foreign companies, Sebastian Metz, General Manager of the Romanian – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Romania) told the conference “Cities of Tomorrow” on Tuesday.
“Cities of Tomorrow” has proven its top efficiency for the business milieu, in short for all stakeholders in urban development. The common goal of this conference, in its seven years of existence, has been and further is a visible, solid, strong contribution to improving living standards in our cities here in Romania. We want to contribute to Romania’s competitiveness, to facilitate sustainable development and smart solutions for the cities and regions of Romania. A country’s improved competitiveness leads to a friendlier business environment for both Romanian and foreign companies, which means economic development and, in general, well-being. We encourage dialogue among all actors as a means to a more attractive, more modern country. We believe that if we invest more today and strive to implement a long-term strategy, we will reap the fruits tomorrow, Metz said.
The AHK Romania official added that the trialogue involving local authorities, the business community and civil society is the key element in shaping sustainable development.
The dialogue among local public authorities and the business milieu is important, but the involvement of the civil society is also important. Therefore, we consider that trialogue is the key element in shaping sustainable development. More than that, we will focus on the role of communities in the development of a city, a region, an entire country. The functionality of a community is not determined just by its internal interactions, but also by the way it works with other communities. The way we understand to involve a community in getting a common voice and permanent involvement defines the future of all of us. As official representative of the German economy in Romania, AHK Romania is the first point of contact of the German companies interested in the Romanian market. The range of the subjects we approach is much broader and is rapidly expanding. Our initiatives cover projects in the field of sustainability, energy efficiency, renewable energies or digitization of mobility, industry 4.0, professional training, advocacy and arbitration, said Sebastian Metz.
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