On Thursday at the Government House, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca met World Bank Group President David Malpass to unveil the Romanian government’s vision for an integrated approach to investment on European money and national funds along with other international financial instruments.
According to a government press statement, highlighted was the progress made by Romania in 30 years of implementation of development programmes with the World Bank that contributed to consolidating the development of the country while deepening its Euro-Atlantic integration.
Ciuca said he was confident that the European funds and facilities offered by the World Bank Group would provide important support to access the necessary development resources.
“We have the largest investment budget allocated in the last 30 years and we want to contribute through our stability to stability elsewhere in our region. We have launched the Support for Romania programme, allocating for investment 60 percent of the 17.3 billion lei,” Ciuca is quoted as saying in the statement.
At the meeting, the functioning of the monetary system and the stability of the exchange rate in Romania were appreciated, and an increase by 25 percent in the country’s defence budget, to 2.5 percent of GDP, was mentioned.
“The role of economic development remains crucial in consolidating modernisation efforts, and the importance of completing roads and other major infrastructure projects is noted,” the statement says.
Regarding the management of the effects generated by the Russian military aggression in Ukraine, Ciuca presented Romania’s effort with granting support to over 740,000 refugees who entered the country since the beginning of the conflict.
Access to social services, in coordination with European and international partners and together with the civil society, the solidarity shown by the Romanians were noticed during meeting.
At the same time, Ciuca highlighted the situation in Moldova, affected by the management of the refugee flows, which needs support for budgetary balance and the development of exports on the European market.
“The head of the Romanian executive provided details on the support given by the Romanian government for the transit of goods, for facilitating exports from Ukraine, to maintain supply chains. Part of it is the approval today of funds to expand cargo traffic through Constanta Port by developing the local railroad infrastructure and later the use of the Danube as a transport route,” the release points out.
In the field of energy, the opportunities offered by European funding were highlighted, which can be boosted with support from the World Bank. The need to reduce dependence on Russian gas and reconfigure European business chains will be able to provide new opportunities for Romania.
“Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca presented Romania’s plans to develop electricity generation facilities and expand natural gas exploration, including offshore. Under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, Romania will invest in renewable energy production. From the same European resources, 500 million euros will be allocated for the production of microchips and semiconductors,” according to the government.
Workforce training and digital education in particular were mentioned as priorities in the efforts to provide a high level of qualification, with Ciuca mentioning the implementation of the Educated Romania project.
Capitalising on Romania’s agricultural potential amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is a need noted during the meeting, with mention being made of the financial support necessary for the development and modernisation of Romania’s irrigation system.
Accession to OECD, vital to the consolidation of Romania’s economic profile, was appreciated as a strategic objective after accession to the EU and NATO likely to generate the creation of new jobs, more investment and development opportunities.