President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday that supporting the digital sector should be the top priority of any government and that predictability, which he called a key word of any responsible government, has been missing in Romania for the past years.
“In the years ahead, I believe, support for the digital sector should be attached top priority on the agenda of any government, which I hope will come next week. Predictability is the key word of any responsible government, but, you cannot call predictability what we have had for the last two years. I will not insist now on the chaos generated by the [majority] Social Democratic Party (PSD) in key sectors of the national economy, nor on the inability of this party to understand that the administration must support the business community and not destroy his hopes and prospects,” Iohannis said at the GoTech World inhibition and conference hosted by Romexpo in Bucharest.
The president stressed that the digital sector is “the great revelation of the Romanian economy,” given that in the last decade the IT&C industry reached 6pct of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), “in record time”. According to Iohannis, there are over 140,000 professionals employed in the area and the domestic IT&C market is currently valued at about 4.5 billion euros.
“Yesterday I was in Belgium, in Brussels, where Romania participates in a cultural mega-event, Europalia, and I had the opportunity to talk with His Majesty the King of Belgium and some ministers in the Belgian Government. I told them precisely the same things, that in Romania, in less than a decade, the IT&C industry increased from practically 0 to 6pct, and they asked me twice ‘to 6pct ?!’ So the people were extremely impressed by this wonderful performance of Romania, which we owe you,” Iohannis added.
He also mentioned the need for “multiplying efforts in digital infrastructure” and the importance of a business community that is friendly to investment in creativity, innovation and technology.
“The fact that we are here today shows our determination to work together to change things in this direction,” the president said.
According to Iohannis, each year, the initiatives geared towards digitisation in the Romanian economy and society are becoming increasingly more numerous, and the Government should encourage and support, through the legislative framework, this modernisation process.
“Artificial intelligence, automation, 3D technologies and the like have opened new avenues for industry, transport, energy, agriculture, and also for the administration and public services. The skills of the future evolve slowly but surely, from theoretical approaches to very concrete initiatives. Thus we are achieving a better quality of life, prosperous, profitable businesses, and sustainable development,” he said.
Iohannis added that he was pleased to see not only competitive companies, whose products are available over the world, but also many young people who have tried their “technological and entrepreneurial talent” by building innovative start-ups.
“I believe that the strongest force in the equation of progress is ideas becoming reality. Therefore, today, perhaps more than ever, the business leaders should become an example and, at the same time, a support for young entrepreneurs. The IT&C sector must become a spearhead in the development of the economy and society, both through established leaders and newcomers,” he said.
Iohannis said that he has lent his high patronage to the “Romania TechNation” project, which will start next week, designed to boost Romania’s transformation through technology.