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The Government of Romania met with Top European Industrialists and members of the Foreign Investors Council

The Government of Romania (GOR) met with a delegation of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) and the Foreign Investors Council (FIC) on January 16 to discuss specific actions to accelerate the improvement of the business environment and how the ERT may support the GOR in its efforts to conclude the negotiations with the EU and achieving full membership in 2007.

Mr. Antony Burgmans, Chairman of Unilever, led the ERT delegation. The meeting was attended by the Prime Minister, Adrian Nastase, senior GOR officials, CEOs of the members companies of FIC/ERT (including Carlsberg, Coca-Cola, Delta, OMV, Renault, Unilever and Zoppas) and representatives of FIC member companies.

The ERT is an independent business organization headquartered in Brussels. It has 47 members consisting of leading industrial companies with a combined total turnover of more than EURO 1,000 billion. This is the first meeting of the ERT with the GOR.

Certain ERT member companies have significant investments in Romania and many of their affiliates are members of Romania’s FIC.

ERT member companies, who are already major investors in Central and Eastern Europe, believe that EU enlargement can be a win-win situation for the East and for the West.

The objective of the ERT Working Group on Enlargement, chaired by Mr. Burgmans, is to work on further improvement of the investment climate, and to support candidate countries to prepare for EU membership. The ERT is committed to dialogue with national governments regarding investment and EU enlargement related issues.

There have been many positive developments in the investment climate in Romania resulting in Romania's economic growth and financial stability. Positive examples include the enactment of the Tax Code and Tax Procedure Code, the ‘silent approval’ granted for the issuing of certain permits and the law on transparency in public administration.

The ERT is aware that on-going challenges remain for Romania, but acknowledges that Romania continues progress to achieve functioning market economy status and to increase the level of FDI.

The ERT industrialists presented their recommendations in three areas that will lead to an improvement of the business environment as detailed in the FIC White Book supplement: (a) labor market flexibility, (b) level playing field and The Rule of Law and (c) fiscal regime.

Since the publication of the White Book supplement, some progress has been made in strengthening the Rule of Law and implementing an impartial judicial system. The FIC and the ERT believe that there is a commitment by the Ministry of Justice to carry out the necessary judicial reforms to establish a level playing field for business competitors.

Communication of issues regarding the tax regime has been successful, and two out of the three recommendations by the FIC and ERT were actioned. More progress is required to implement existing legislation, as recommended by the FIC and ERT

Romania is steadily enhancing its international credibility. Actions already taken and proposals in the course of implementation are positive indicators that the improvement of the investment climate is a high priority for the GOR. Furthermore, the ERT and the FIC acknowledge the continuing efforts of the GOR to improve Romania’s macroeconomic situation and to conclude the privatization process.

The ERT believes that Romania has significantly reformed and improved its economy in preparation to join the EU. The ERT looks forward to continuing to actively support Romania's bid to join the EU in 2007.


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