The Foreign Investors Council urged the Cabinet to establish a bureau tasked with monitoring the implementation of infrastructure projects either under the Ministry of Transport's control or as an inter-ministry institution. This bureau would have the necessary technical, financial and legal experts and adequate financial resources in order to make sure that projects are completed.
Foreign investors warned that ANAF's style of aggressively pursuing good tax-payers could have very negative consequences: a loss of foreign investment and the exit of certain companies from the Romanian market. The warning is featured in FIC's 2015 White Book.
The contributions paid to the mandatory pension funds should increase from 5% in 2015 to 6% in 2016, according to the Foreign Investors Council. This would allow investors to recover the revenues lost in 2009 when the contributions were frozen.
Supplementary deduction of research and development related expenses for scientific and technological projects and programmes directly serving key national socio-economic programmes should be increased, according to recommendations of the Foreign Investors Council (FIC) included in the 10th edition of the FIC white book "Regaining Momentum." "An increase in the supplementary deduction of R&D related expenses for scientific and technological projects and programmes directly serving key national socio-economic programmes and with potential to increase Romanian Intellectual Property assets could be made a priority. This would support the Government's strategy for R&D and Innovation to boost Romania IP assets that are currently well above the EU average. R&D initiatives could also be encouraged and financially supported by consortiums formed between technical universities and industry partners. To facilitate this process, an analysis of best practices applicable in other states in relation to the implementation of R&D incentives would be particularly useful," says FIC. FIC is also encouraging the elimination of restrictions caused by the use of ambiguous terms and the clarification of the norms for the application of this facility. In addition, FIC considers that strong inter-institutional cooperation between the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Education and Scientific Research (Ministry of Education) would bring benefits to the general legislative framework dealing with R&D facilities by bringing clarity and by tailoring it to the business environment's needs. According to the FIC document, the R&D incentive has been the subject of intense discussion during the past 18 months and specific positive measures have been implemented, such as an increase in the supplementary deduction of R&D related expenses, from 20 per cent to 50 per cent. However in order for this tax incentive to reach its full potential and to represent a real opportunity and attraction for companies performing activities connected to this area FIC considers that changes should be made. For the following programming period (2014 -2020), Romania's projects to be financed from EU funds should be correlated to a greater extent with public investments supported from governmental sources, so that all public funds, regardless of their financing source, will be allocated according to national development priorities, the Foreign Investors Council (FIC) says in the 10th edition of their "Regaining Momentum" white book.
Tax evasion should be punished more harshly and the authorities should draw a list of tax payers that are behind on their tax payments, according to recommendations made by FIC in its tenth White Book. Foreign investors think that ANAF should focus on high risk sectors and on tax payers which are more likely to engage in evasion.
Processing industry managers expect the output to grow in the next three months, according to a survey conducted by the National Institute for Statistics (INS). Managers also expect to see the number of employees increase in the next quarter.
World Bank analysts say that Romania and Poland, along with other Central and Eastern European states, will continue to grow at a faster pace than Western European countries. Romania and Poland are expected to post economic growth rates of more than 2.4% for this year. Thanks to the falling price of oil, a depreciating currency and the ECB's aggressive quantitative easing policy, the European Union's economy will grow 2% next year.
Romanians drink alcoholic beverages worth EUR 700 million every year, but only 25% of all sales are taxed, according to data released on Thursday by Spirits Romania, an industry group. The black market soared after the Cabinet increased the alcohol excise by 40% in 2013.
Volksbank owners approved the restructuring plan proposed by the managers. The financial institution failed last year's stress tests and the entities that make up the group are not expected to reach the capital targets set by the European Central Bank. Turning Volksbank AG into a bad bank would ease the pressure on the group's regional members.
The Romanian financial market is unbalanced because the banks own 80% of all financial assets, according to Mugur Isarescu, governor of the National Bank of Romania (BNR). Isarescu noted that the situation is not good for the banks either and that other parts of the market must be encouraged to grow.
The European Commission has asked 11 states, including Romania, to implement the directive regarding the recovery and resolution of banking institutions. The countries have two months to comply in order to avoid appearing before the Court of Justice.
Belgian retailer Mega Image, owner of the biggest retail chain in Romania, has 21 Bucharest supermarkets open around the clock. The chain is now targeting the last remaining niche for corner stores: selling coffee, cigarettes, juice and bread around the clock.
Liviu Tudor, the Romanian entrepreneur who controls the West Gate and Novo Park business parks, announced that he would add a new office building two each of the two projects. The parks are almost fully rented. Tudor's Genesis Development will spend between EUR 10 and 14 million on each new building.
The Senate passed on Wednesday a bill eliminating the rule that forced bar and restaurant owners to put the tips on receipts and also certain amendments that ended the tip taxation experiment. The bills passed 52 to 9. One senator abstained.
The Chamber of Deputies passed a hunting bill featuring many of the amendments proposed by the NGOs, including a ban on the hunting of bean goose. The Ministry of Environment has also reduced the skylark hunting quotas, the aim of the "Stop the Barbarity! Save the Skylark" campaign.
President Klaus Iohannis invited Prime Minister Victor Ponta, Minister of Finance Eugen Teodorovici and BNR Governor Mugur Isarescu to the Cotroceni Palace on Thursday to discuss Romania's accession to the Eurozone. After the meeting, the President announced that he would hold talks with the leading political parties in order to reach a national consensus regarding the accession process. The President wants Romania to join the Eurozone on January 1, 2019.
The European deputies tacked a series of amendments to a bill on healthy eating in schools and the European programs for distributing milk, fruit and vegetables to students. The European Parliament, European Council and European Commission will soon begin the talks for the final version of this bill.