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
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.