Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă met with representatives of the Foreign
Investors Council at Victoria Palace on Tuesday, 31 January. Several
topics related to the tax regime, the digitalization of administration,
the reduction of bureaucracy, the stability and predictability of the
fiscal framework and investment plans in Romania were approached during
the dialog. The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation for foreign
business people’s growing interest in Romania, confirmed by the
"record" volume of direct investments made in 2022, which exceeded EUR
11.3 billion, the highest level of the past 30 years.
The global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market dropped 17% in
volume and 37% in value in 2022, from the record level reached in 2021,
due to recession fears, but will resume growth in the second half of
2023, according to PwC’s Global M&A Industry Trends: 2023 report.
The values recorded last year (25,124 transactions, worth USD 1.03
trillion), however, remain above 2020 and pre-pandemic levels.
The International Monetary Fund presented a more favorable outlook in
its latest World Economic Outlook, estimating that global economy will
not enter recession in 2023, inflation will slow and European economies
have shown greater resilience than expected. After a 3.4% advance in
2022, the world economy is expected to grow by 2.9% in 2022, compared
with a 2.7% expansion forecast in October, when the IMF had warned that
a recession could follow. For 2024, the IMF forecasts that global GDP
could grow by 3.1%, slightly below the October forecast, as demand will
slow down and the impact of the rising interest rates will be felt.
The National Bank of Romania organized an event dedicated to the 50th
anniversary since Romania’s accession to the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (IBRD) - World Bank. The event was attended by
representatives of the IMF and the World Bank, representatives of the
economic and financial environment, as well as of Romanian institutions
that collaborate or have collaborated with the two international
The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a EUR
1.6 billion Romanian measure to set-up the Romanian Investment and
Development Bank. The Bank will be entrusted with addressing market
failures and supporting economic development and investment
opportunities. It will intervene to ensure access to financing in areas
where there is insufficient availability in the market, with a focus on
providing funding to small and medium sized companies, including
micro-enterprises and start-ups.
UniCredit Bank ended 2022 with a EUR 200 million adjusted net profit in
Romania, up by more than 16% year-on-year. The adjusted profit at the
level of the Italian group grew by almost half, to EUR 5.2 billion,
while the unadjusted profit more than tripled, to EUR 6.5 billion,
mainly amid a record result obtained in Q4/2022. UniCredit has reported
an increase in net interest income in Romania by nearly a fifth, to EUR
348 million, and a 10% advance of fee and commission income, to EUR 87
million, while revenues from trading grew by nearly 13%, to EUR 82
million, according to results published by the Italian group in Milan.
Banca Transilvania has obtained the VEKTOR 10 rating for its
communication with investors and shareholders in 2022, according to a
press release. This is the fourth consecutive time BT has received the
top rating and the bank is one of the three companies listed on the
stock exchange to have obtained this result since VEKTOR’s launch in
2019. The bank’s communication includes the Investor Relations
platform, online meetings, general meetings and information published
on Bucharest Stock Exchange’s website. Banca Transilvania has more than
40,000 shareholders, over 70% Romanian capital and 25 years on the
capital market. TLV has been the most extensively traded share on the
main market of Bucharest Stock Exchange in the past few years.
Levente and Alexandru Szell, the entrepreneurs behind Agrosel, a seeds
producer and the owner of a research station in Câmpia Turzii, Cluj
County, have founded Hektar Seeds, a company through which they will
sell professional products for vegetable crops under the Hektar brand
exclusively. Agrosel invests more than EUR 500,000 annually in
research, and Levente Szell has added that they have formed a team of
experts in vegetable seed research and sales, dedicated to professional
products and professional growers, as there is huge potential for
development both in Romania and on external markets, especially in the
Balkan region and the Middle East.
Celco, a building materials manufacturer from Constanta owned by
cousins Ion and Niculae Duşu, invested about EUR 5 million in 2022
mainly in order to reduce energy consumption in its factories and
rendering the latter more efficient, as well as for the acquisition of
an autoclave cellular concrete (ACC) recycling installation plus other
equipment. Celco allocated more than EUR 300,000 for the installation
of metering systems in 2022 in order to reduce energy consumption, in
addition to more than EUR 2.5 million to make the most efficient use of
the energy produced in manufacturing flows.
Minister of Investments and European Projects Marcel Bolos announced on
Tuesday, 31 January, after the Government meeting, that the third
method for making payments from the heating aid, namely online payments
- in addition to payments in post offices or at postal agents - had
been approved through an Ordinance. This national scheme for the
payment of energy aid has four million beneficiaries and a EUR 1
billion budget. He also announced that the money for the payments of
this aid would start being transferred from the Ministry of Investments
to the Romanian Post Company on 15 February and that payments can be
made starting from 20 February.
This year, Ciucă government is expected to draw up a draft law and then
submit the latter to Parliament for adoption, through which the
Romanian state will recognize married gay couples’ right of residence
if one of the partners is a citizen of the European Union. As a result,
the foreign citizen will thus be recognized as a family member of the
EU citizen and will be allowed to live and work in Romania.
The Government approved the draft decision on the governance of the
Government Cloud Platform on Tuesday, 31 January. Research, Innovation
and Digitalization Minister Sebastian Burduja stated that Romanians’
data would be safe in this government cloud and would be protected on
Romania’s territory. He also pointed out that interoperability, another
important element, would allow for a minimum of 30 Romanian state
institutions to be transferred into this cloud by 2026. Therefore,
Romanians will no longer have to go to the aforementioned institutions,
Minister Burduja added.
The Government approved, during the meeting on Tuesday, 31 January, a
draft law on the contracting of two loans from the European Investment
Bank, worth about RON 1,440 million altogether, for investment,
rehabilitation and consolidation works and for equipping related to 26
hospital units in several counties and Bucharest. Another draft law
aims to amend and complete Law 254/2013 on the execution of sentences
and custodial measures ordered by judicial bodies within criminal
A coalition of EU agriculture ministers have joined forces to push back
against a potential ban on live animal transport to third countries,
but the Commission stressed the need to be ambitious on animal welfare.
During the first agriculture council of the year on Monday (30 January)
– the first under the Swedish presidency – animal welfare was a key
topic of discussion for EU ministers. In 2022, the EU executive
evaluated the current EU animal welfare legislation concluding that its
overhaul is actually needed, and a proposal is expected in the second
half of 2023.
The costs of issuing the first five million electronic identity cards
will be covered with funds from the National Recovery and Resilience
Fund (PNRR), and other sources of financing will be subsequently
identified, including from the budget, so that citizens should not have
to pay for the first issuance of such a document, Cătălin Giulescu,
head of the Home Affairs Ministry’s Population Register Directorate,
stated on Tuesday. Moreover, parents will be able to apply for an
electronic identity card for minors from birth.
Most of the counties in Romania have decreased in size in terms of
number of inhabitants, namely 39 out of 42 counties, including
Bucharest, in the past ten years, between the two censuses, according
to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INS). According to
INS, Ilfov County stands out with a particular situation, with an
increase of 153,900 inhabitants, who mostly migrated from Bucharest.
Only two other counties - Bistrița-Năsăud and Suceava – have gained 9.8
thousand and 7.7 thousand inhabitants respectively.