Laufer: Several large companies will relocate their operations in Romania by the end of the year
Several large-scale companies will relocate their operations in Romania by the end of this year, attracted by the benefits they find here, such as economic growth, wage levels and the potential of the domestic market, said Ilan Laufer, the Minister for the Business, Trade and Entrepreneurship Environment, at a conference on SME development.
"In the current global context, Romania has become a more attractive destination for foreign investors, and this is what I have to say from the countless discussions I have with foreign companies wishing to come to Romania. There is even a move to Central and Eastern Europe and Romania is in a better position than it was a few years ago when, unfortunately, many projects that came to this area of Europe were in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and other countries that offered better conditions. At least this was the prospect of those who wanted to invest." said Laufer, cited by Agerpres.
“You will see by the end of the year some big companies that will announce the relocation of the operations in Romania" Laufer added, recalling Romania's high potential in the IT area.
"There is growing interest in this area. Oracle has here its fourth largest operation in the world, and it has many," the minister pointed out.
Laufer listed both Romania's strengths and weaknesses. On the benefits side, he has identified the strong growth of the economy in the first half of the year (5.8%) and the macroeconomic stability:
“Regardless of the private-sector discussions about the measures that the Government wants to implement, there is stability in Romania, appreciated by those who come and invest here, and Romania is ranked by all rating agencies to a very good rating, which means we are taking steps in a good direction. Another advantage, apart from macroeconomic stability, is the flat tax rate," Laufer continued.
Why Romania can take advantage of Brexit
Further, he stressed how Romania can take advantage of the Brexit.
"Another strong point is Romania's geographic location when we discuss about the development of the domestic and foreign markets and attracting investment. We have the Brexit context and we have many potential new investors [...] from the United States to Japan and China and other countries. Europe's financial strength was in fact London. Now there is a talk of relocating to Frankfurt and Paris. There are companies that do not relocate to one country but have several options. Romania already receives constant requests, including us, through InvestRomania, at the ministry, but I want to tell you that companies that work independently have more and more requests in this regard," Laufer explained.
Other strengths linked to Romania listed by the minister are natural resources and the development of industrial and technological parks, tourism potential and wage levels compared to other countries. At the same time, Romania's domestic market is still very low, so there is potential.
In terms of weaknesses, Laufer started with national competitiveness:
"We are not yet competitive enough and, of course, you have to have the right infrastructure, in order to compete with the markets next to us, which have a faster and cheaper transport system. There is a lot of work to do, and I think things will get a totally different direction in the next two years. This is a priority for the Government, certainly," he said.
Another weak points presented by Ilan Laufer were bureaucracy and low labor productivity in our country.