The Foreign Investors Council Celebrates its 11th Anniversary
The Foreign Investors Council (FIC) is widely recognized as one of the most respected and influential lobbying associations in Romania and in Central and Eastern Europe. The OECD has stated that the FIC is the model organization for the entire CEE region in promoting positive change in the business environment through dialog with a government.
The recommendations made by the FIC to improve the business environment have always been consistent with the recommendations and regulations of the EU, and the FIC's contribution supported Romania's accession to the EU in January 2007.
From the FIC's perspective, the existence of: (a) appropriate legislation; (b) the Rule of Law; (c) a predictable, transparent and effective judicial system; and (d) the uniform enforcement of existing laws, are essential to increase FDI in Romania.
On 8 May 2007, the FIC celebrated its 11th anniversary on the occasion of its Annual General Assembly. For the second year in a row, Mr. Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the Prime Minister of Romania participated in such event.
During the Annual General Assembly, the FIC Members elected a new Board of Directors comprised of fifteen persons who will serve for the next year (listed in alphabetical order of their surname):
Dragos DINU Chief Executive Officer, A&D Pharma; David FULLER Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Mariana GHEORGHE Chief Executive Officer, Petrom; Patrick GELIN President & CEO, BRD Societe Generale; Victor KEVEHAZI Senior Partner, KPMG; Olivier LLUANSI Regional Manager, Saint-Gobain Glass; Jose MEDRAN General Manager, Procter & Gamble; Richard MOAT Chief Executive Officer, Orange; Veronica SAVANCIUC President & CEO, Lowe & Partners; Shachar SHAINE President, United Breweries; Sofronis STRINOUPOULOS Vice Chairman & General Manager, Piraeus Bank; Kurt STROHMAYER General Manager, JW Marriott; Jean VALVIS President & General Manager, Dorna Lactate; Markus WIRTH Country Manager, Holcim; and Gilbert WOOD Managing Director, Hall Dickler.
The new Board will elect its officers, consisting of a President, two Vice Presidents and a Treasurer, in its first meeting to be held at the end of May.
The FIC invited Prime Minister Tariceanu to its special event to hear his views regarding the practical impact of Romania's EU integration, and to share his Government's progress in those areas still being monitored by the EU. The audience included FIC Members and representatives of the diplomatic community who wanted to hear the ranking of the new cabinet's priorities and the Government's medium term vision, something that will affect all of us.
Prime Minister Tariceanu made a short presentation of the Government's policies and priorities in the economic field. He detailed the evolution of the economy based on the statistical data published by the European Commission and the National Statistics Institute, which data proves that Romania has a vibrant and fast growing economy with performance much over the European average. Prime Minister Tariceanu highlighted that this is the basis for the generation and increase of the citizens' welfare which the ultimate purpose of the government's actions, i.e. the citizens to have as good a life as possible.
Prime Minister Tariceanu discussed perspectives of the economy stating that: 'I am convinced that the Romanian economy shall have an equally significant growth rate for at least the following three years this is the European Commission's conviction - probably we may refer to an even longer time period. Romania shall continue to benefit from a significant economic growth, and shall continue to attract investments. My commitment and that of the Government is to create a most suitable environment for the economic growth, where companies would feel, I would say, at home, even if they are foreign companies, would participate along with Romanian companies in creating values, and in improving the gross domestic product. In the end, there will be two winners: on the one hand, the companies would make profit, but on the other hand, Romania would too. This would enable the ambitious investment programs in various fields such as infrastructure, education, health, agriculture.'
Prime Minister Tariceanu addressed questions put by the participants, concentrating on issues such as liberalization and privatization of the energy market, legal framework for attracting increased FDI, labor market flexibility, and stability of the fiscal regime.
Mr. Patrick Gelin, the President of the FIC, concluded in his final remarks that the FIC senses that the government is serious about listening to the concerns of the business community. Nevertheless, many businesses have yet to see the impact of this progress on their day-to-day operations. The FIC believes that following up on the implementation of its recommendations is a key challenge in the near future when Romania has to prove its potential as an EU country member, during which the FIC can play an important role.
Mr. Gelin expressed his appreciation for Prime Minister Tariceanu's presence at the FIC event, hoping that this will become a tradition in the dialogue between the foreign community and decision makers.
Pictures from the event are available on the Government website www.gov.ro under:
Întâlnire cu membrii Consiliul Investitorilor Straini 8.05.2007