On 17 January 2023, the Foreign Investors Council celebrated 25 years of activity in Romania together with CEOs members, Prime-minister, representatives of the Government, Parliament, regulatory authorities, international institutions and agency dedicated to FDI. On this occasion, the Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă stated that according to official data from the National Bank of Romania, the flow of foreign direct investments had stood at EUR 9.4 billion in the first ten months of 2022 and would reach EUR 11.3 billion for the entire year 2022, nearly EUR 2 billion above the values recorded in 2008, considered the best benchmark. These are record figures, which confirm investors’ confidence in the measures taken by the government, said the Prime Minister, pointing out that investments spending would reach RON 112 billion in the budget for 2023, and would account for about 7.22% of GDP, a record high level for Romania.
Nearly three quarters (73%) of CEOs believe global economic growth will decline in 2023, according to PwC’s 26th Annual Global CEO Survey, a press release indicates. According to the cited source, the bleak CEO outlook is the most pessimistic CEOs have been regarding global economic growth since the question was included in the survey 12 years ago. Moreover, the perception is a significant departure from the optimistic outlooks of 2021 and 2022, when 76% and 77% of respondents, respectively, thought economic growth would improve.
A majority of the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Community of Chief Economists, two thirds to be more exact, believe a global recession is likely in 2023, as announced by the organizer of the forum in Davos (Switzerland), which started on Monday, 16 January. About 18% of the surveyed economists consider global recession to be "extremely likely" – more than twice as many as in the previous survey conducted in September 2022. Only one third of respondents believe recession is unlikely at global level in 2023. There are several definitions of recession worldwide, but it is generally accepted that it includes economic downturn, possibly with high inflation, which generates a "stagflation" scenario.
Investments contributed 3.8% to GDP growth in Q3/2022 year-on-year, compared to a 2.5% contribution from consumption. Economy grew by 3.8% in Q3/2022, compared to Q3/2021, the advance having mainly come from investments and not from consumption, which can be explained through a significant increase in the EU funds entering Romania, a significant inflow of foreign investments (EUR 10 billion in the first 11 months of 2022), but also a reduction in consumption due to inflation and rising bank interest rates. Investments exceeded 30% of GDP in Q3/2022, compared to the average of the past ten years, of 23% of GDP.
Raluca Popescu, who has been Head of Corporate Banking at UniCredit Bulbank - Italian group UniCredit’s bank in Bulgaria - for the past three years, will continue her career in Romania as Executive Vice President in Charge of Corporate at UniCredit Bank Romania. To fill the position thus left vacant by Raluca Popescu, UniCredit Bulbank’s Supervisory Board has nominated Borislav Bangeev as the new Head of Corporate Banking and member of the bank’s Board of Directors.
Banca Transilvania, in collaboration with Visa, has launched the virtual card with animated design in Europe. It is a debit card in RON for individuals, which can be used from the BT Pay app, for online payments exclusively, according to a press release. BT Pay also has a new design, the main novelty consisting in the fact that basic and newly launched functionalities appear on the main screen, making access more intuitive.
Hidroelectrica, the largest energy producer in Romania, will put several investment projects in some of the company’s key units, worth more than RON 1 billion, to a vote during a general meeting of shareholders in mid-February, according to public data. The company thus plans to carry out two projects worth RON 120.5 million and RON 143 million respectively for Porțile de Fier II, but also the technological upgrading of Râul Mare Retezat hydropower plant, a RON 770 million (EUR 156 million) investment project.
Cătălin Mahu, owner of La Mama, has stated that he plans to keep developing the restaurants chain in Bucharest in 2023. In the future, the businessman aims to open new restaurants in other cities of Romania, but for now he believes there is still enough room for expansion in Bucharest. The entrepreneur estimates that he will invest EUR 700,000-800,000 in 2023 for the chain’s development.
The Life Dental Spa network of dental clinics plans to invest over EUR 2 million to open at least five new units and aims to double its turnover, to over EUR 20 million, in 2023. The network has 10 clinics, in Bucharest (Victoriei, Magheru, Unirii), Iasi, Cluj-Napoca, Oradea, Brasov, Arad, Sibiu and Pitesti. The company is considering expanding in cities such as Ploiesti, Timișoara, Constanța, Târgu Mureș, Galați, Craiova, Giurgiu, Bacău or Suceava, based on partnerships with local practices.
The three experts appointed by the National Liberal Party (PNL) to "correct" the draft laws proposed by Education Minister Ligia Deca are Sorin Cîmpeanu, Monica Anisie and Marilen Pirtea. They will amend and complete the draft normative acts, i.e. the higher education law and the pre-university education law, together with a team from the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and another one from the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), plus a representative of the Roma community.
Liberal (PNL) Senator Vlad Pufu has requested that a section dedicated to pre-university pedagogical education should be included in the new education laws, pointing out that the draft law on pre-university education presented by former Education Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu did not contain, in the chapter dedicated to the levels of education, references to pedagogical education and that, although he addressed a question on this issue to the new Minister Ligia Deca, the answer does not clarify the problem at all and leaves room for interpretation.
The European Union needs to reform its electricity market as quickly as possible in order to stabilise prices for consumers and stimulate investment in renewables, EU politicians have stated. In response to soaring energy bills, the European Commission is preparing an overhaul of its electricity market with the objective of spreading the benefits of cheap renewables to all consumers.
20% of teachers surveyed by World Vision Romania in the first week of school in 2023 said they had identified children with flu symptoms at school. Moreover, more than one in ten (12%) said that disinfectant was not provided at all or was ensured for less than a third of the school’s community. On the other hand, 96% of surveyed teachers said they had access to running water and soap in school.
Flu vaccination can now be carried out in pharmacies as well amid the currently ongoing state of epidemiological alert due to influenza, according to the Romanian College of Pharmacists. Vaccination coverage rates in Romania are decreasing and the 2022-2023 flu season is more severe compared to the previous two seasons, which is why the state of epidemiological alert due to influenza has been instituted.