Last year the title of my contribution on the occasion of the National day was : “ Italy and Romania, partners of choice in a fast changing EU”. This year I simply modified it into “…..faster changing EU”.
I could have stopped here my contribution because the key elements of the relationship between Italy and Romania have not substantially changed.
Nevertheless, at least one notable remark must be made. We should congratulate Romania for having, as we speak, practically completed its mandate at the Presidency of the EU with a sterling performance and a record number of dossiers closed. The Chamber of Commerce as part of “Sistema Italia” constructively contributed to express the views, the needs and the concerns of our vast business community.
The changes in the economic and social scenarios in Europe I mentioned last year will continue at a faster pace and Romania will be no exception. From the operational perspective of our members, there is a widespread view that, while macroeconomic indicators will most probably continue to show solid growth, low debt and a general increase of purchasing power, some important challenges will persist. For example, the need of a better structured consultation process based on impact analysis of new legislation and an improvement of the overall transparency of the administrative processes particularly at local level where many of our members are based. We believe though that the conditions are favorable for such needed changes and Romania will continue to be an attractive market for our investors.
Challenges on the labor market will also persist. Several areas of the country basically show negligible unemployment rate, generating salary inflation and investors find difficulties in filling job vacancies. Policies and practical programs introduced in the last year should be reinforced to address these issues facilitating internal migration and compensating migration abroad.
In this context, the Italian Chamber of Commerce as part of “Sistema Italia”, actively coordinated by our Embassy, continues to be focused on providing services to our members and facilitate the localization of Italian companies in Romania attracted by basic needs still unmet, by a growing middle class demanding more sophisticated goods and services.
The Italian Chamber of Commerce, is steadily growing its memberships in 2019, opened a new branch in Cluj alongside those already opened in Timisoara and Arad, and we are considering opening branches in other cities where we have demand from our members. New management in the chamber brought new ideas and even more energies to create new services and events in the coming weeks as well as a new website so,…stay tuned. The Chamber continued its involvement in Corporate Social Responsibility and we are actively preparing our year end flagship events in Timisoara and Bucharest. We started active collaborations with other bilateral chambers. The network of investors from other countries is highly appreciated by our members.
Our discussion table with Romanian authorities to address the major needs faced by our companies and to navigate the complexities of new legislations continues as part of “Sistema Italia”.
We aim to reinforce “Sistema Italia” because only acting as a team, the Italian business community, made principally by small and medium enterprises will be able to face competition and make an impact in the business dialogue with Authorities and other strong business communities.
Therefore, allow me to conclude exactly with same closing remark I used last year:
“Italy continues to be the partner of choice for Romania. The Italian Chamber of Commerce, with its diverse composition of large and small & medium enterprises and its presence across the territory, will continue to be an active player of the Italian system.”