There are days in a country’s history when time flows differently. These are landmark days which gain in importance every year and are proudly remembered. So, it is the December 1st when over 100 years ago our forefathers managed to put on Europe’s map the Greater Romania, the dream of many generations. An almost impossible dream if we note that the country was previously partially occupied by foreign armies and weakened by wars and epidemics.
Then, our forefathers gave us an exceptional life lesson: beyond pride and egocentrism, different opinions, personal and group interests, they had managed to find common ground which brought them all around the same table, working together, shoulder by shoulder, putting their whole energy toward a common goal – the establishment of the Greater Romania.
Now, more than 100 years after that memorable day, a lot has changed: Romanian industry was established and developed, trade was modernized, transport and communications were developed, banking and credit institutions progressed, research and school and education were reformed.
I emphasize with pride that the Bucharest Chamber of Commerce and Industry, founded by a happy coincidence 50 years before the Great Union, in 1868, was an important contributor. Since its founding, in its over 150 years of uninterrupted existence the Chamber’s evolution reflected accurately the history of the country, with the inherent ups and downs periods.
Our organization had an extraordinary growth from the beginning and until the Second World War. In these years, our institution founded the Stock Market and the Trade Registry, institutions that are vital to the economy and had an important contribution to major economic legislation. Also with the Bucharest Chamber support were established the first office for commercial information, first commercial and industrial schools, first national fair but also we have consistently financed the higher education studies in economic sciences.
After these periods of blooming and modernization we passed through yet another World War, we were touched by the communist scourge but we were reborn!
Today I believe we must again look at the past, remember the life lessons written in the days of the Great Union, honor the forefathers, continue their work and fulfill our destiny. This may sound like just big words, without meaning, but it’s not at all the case!
I firmly believe that if we all do our duty, with decency, professionalism, persistence and respect for the others, then our effort counts, regardless of our place in the huge mechanism that is the Romanian society.
But which should be the direction? What goal do we want to reach with our effort? I look again at our forefathers. We need once again to get rid of our egocentrically approach, to overcome what splits us, to sit together around a table and work together – entrepreneurs, managers, business community representatives, academic people, politicians, specialists from various fields – for a goal beyond us: a country project that should remain a priority regardless of the Government and Parliament colors.
What should this focus on? Recover the economic differences vs. the Western Europe. How? Using our competitive advantages, using efficiently and responsibly all our resources, including the European funds and resetting the balance of the economic and social mechanisms.
How will be the tomorrow’s Romania? A country with a strongly digitalized administration, flexible and oriented toward the contributor needs. A country with strong and predictable legislation, especially in the fiscal area, which will allow us, business people, to implement our ideas and projects and will make Romania an attractive destination for foreign investment. A country with modern and developed infrastructure and with an education system fully anchored to the 21st century reality. I like to think that the tomorrow’s Romania will be a country from where the young people won’t leave abroad.
Is feasible this portrait? Yes, it is! We have the potential and the resources to build it. Indeed the vision, behavior and the perseverance of the decision makers are important but we cannot neglect the role of the business community and of the society in its ensemble. So, I invite you, dear readers, let’s each take a brush, and together we’ll draw, day after day, at the best of our capabilities, the Romania of tomorrow!
Happy Birthday Romania! Happy Birthday Romanians!