The Foreign Investors Council and the European Roundtable of Industrialists together with the Government of Romania will jointly assess the progress towards a functional market economy

The European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT) is a forum of 43 European industrial leaders aiming at promoting the competitiveness and growth of Europe's economy.

Since its creation in 1983, ERT has contributed significantly to an improved dialogue between industry and governments, at both national and European levels.

A number of companies headed by ERT Members have significant investments in Romania and many of their Romanian affiliates are members of the Foreign Investors Council.

Much of the work of the ERT is done by nine Working Groups, which cover areas such as education, employment, environment, competitiveness, the internal market, taxation, accounting, governance and EU enlargement.

The ERT member companies, who are already major investors in Central and Eastern Europe, believe that enlargement can be a win-win situation for the East and for the West. The objective of the Working Group on Enlargement is to work on further improvement of the investment climate, and to support candidate countries to prepare for EU membership. ERT is committed to dialogue with national governments about investment and enlargement related issues. The Chairman of the Enlargement Working Group is Mr. Antony Burgmans, Chairman of Unilever NV

Mr. Jean Martin a Senior Executive of Unilever and the Convenor of the Working Group on Enlargement, visited Romania during February and June of this year, in order to develop the objectives of the Enlargement Working Group for Romania, in collaboration with the Foreign Investors Council (FIC).

The ERT recognizes the excellent collaboration between the Romanian Government and the FIC and, building on this, would propose to move the current dialogue further in close association with the Enlargement Working Group of the ERT.

The FIC and the ERT representatives met with the Romanian Government (GoR) and share their thoughts on how the ERT could contribute to the Romanian Government’s efforts to progress towards a functional market economy and meet the EU accession criteria in the business area.

The FIC, ERT and the GoR agreed to organize a high level meeting between the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet and CEOs of ERT members with the objective of reviewing the progress made by Romania in meeting the EU accession criteria in the business field and identifying the areas where further improvement would be necessary.

Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, senior GoR officials, CEO-level representatives of the companies of FIC/ERT members (including possibly Carlsberg, Coca-Cola, EBRD, GlaxoSmithKline, Renault, Zoppas and Unilever) and representatives of FIC member companies will attend the meeting. The meeting will be held in Bucharest on September 17, 2003.

This high level meeting would hopefully provide the platform from which the ERT members will be able to convey a positive message on the progress made by Romania to the Governments of the EU member states and to the Commission. It could also be the occasion for the ERT to communicate directly with the national and international media.


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