Two-thirds of the executives of member companies of the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham Romania) who participated in the survey on investment quality in Romania believe that the pandemic has brought them an opportunity, Ionut Simion, president of the organization told a press conference on Wednesday.
“As we saw from the results of the survey, the effects of the pandemic are not long lasting. Last year, companies outperformed estimates and have very good prospects for 2021. Specifically, 74% of respondents rely on an increase in revenue in 2021 and only 4% estimate a decrease in turnover,” said Simion, according to Agerpres.
Thus, 64% of companies turned the crisis into an opportunity. The directors of these companies said that they developed new services and attracted new customers during this period.
“This speaks about the ability to adapt, turn a crisis into an opportunity and accelerate the innovation process,” said the AmCham official.
At the same time, 40% of companies did not resort to any of the support measures provided by the Romanian Government to deal with the crisis caused by COVID-19.
50% of the respondents consider the investment environment as good and very good, and the membership in the European Union is the main guarantee for investments and the quality of the investment environment in Romania.
“Our members consider that, unfortunately, the workforce climate is very tense, so that 87% face a lack of skilled labor. The digitalization of public administration remains a priority, essential for a modern and efficient state, and for the Romanian state, AmCham members consider that the physical infrastructure remains the main challenge that must be faced and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan is the main way to overcome this obstacle,” said Simion.
As regards the assessment of the investment climate, we must be careful about the changes that have a significant impact on the quality of the labor force, the increase of inflation and last but not least the increase in the public debt, which happened in Romania at a faster speed than in other countries, he believes.
For 97% of respondents, stability and predictability are essential for an attractive investment climate. 67% of companies will make new investments this year, and 96% of companies will increase or strengthen their market presence in the next three years.
The main development pillars, mentioned by the respondents, would be infrastructure, education, health, IT&C, innovation, industry and agriculture.
Looking to the future, most companies have begun to take an interest in and implement the regulatory framework required by the new environmental, social policy and corporate governance rules.
“The imperatives for economic recovery? First of all, concrete measures must be taken to de-stress the situation on the labor market, fiscal policy being considered the most burdensome among Central and Eastern European countries. We must address the issue of transport infrastructure, but not only that, as I was saying, is it now or never. We recommend decision-makers to identify the development pillars for Romania. We took the liberty to enunciate the six starting from the answers of our members and last but not least, regardless of the measures that will take be taken, something that is very important for a robust investment climate in Romania is the predictability, stability and transparency of the decisions that will be taken,” added Ionut Simion.
62% of companies predict the return of most employees to offices, 13% right off, while companies pay more attention to employees, the survey also shows.
“For us, this study is a very useful tool to have a constructive and competitive dialogue with policy makers and we will continue to promote measures that will increase Romania’s competitiveness and prosperity,” the AmCham president concluded.
The survey was conducted among 180 respondents who hold the positions of CEO and CFO within the AmCham member companies.
The research was conducted between May 25 and June 18, 2021.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham Romania) is among the most representative associations of the Romanian business community, recognized as a promoter of public-private dialogue on issues related to the business environment, public policies with an impact on the economy, Romania’s competitiveness or the dynamics of trade relations between the USA and Romania.
Currently, the over 460 American, multinational and Romanian companies members of the AmCham Romania community, make possible the involvement of AmCham in promoting economic priorities for many fields of activity, through specialized working groups, such as: Capital Markets and Financial Services, Corporate Governance, Competition and State Aid, Energy, Education, Digital Economy, Taxation, Environment, Labor Market, Health, European Funds, Public Procurement and Public-Private Partnerships, Real-Estate and Tourism.