The European Union recorded a EUR 42.3 billion deficit in trade in
goods with the rest of the world in July, compared with a surplus of
EUR 15.6 billion in the same period of 2021, mainly due to higher
energy imports, according to data published by the European Union’s
Statistical Office (Eurostat) on Thursday, 15 September. Extra-EU
exports of goods thus stood at EUR 211.6 billion, up by 12.8% compared
with July 2021, while EU imports from the rest of the world grew by
47.6%, to EUR 253.8 billion.
Most Romanian employees (80%) have started taking measures to protect
their budget in anticipation of the incoming winter’s costs, according
to the results of a survey published by BestJobs recruitment platform
and conducted during the period 27 August - 11 September 2022. A
quarter of respondents thus said they had started saving money to cover
expenses in the coming period more easily, 13% said they were investing
to diversify their sources of income, and 10% planned to take on
additional part-time or project-based work to increase their income,
the survey indicates.
The ranking of cities in terms of attractiveness index indicates that
Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Iași, Timișoara, Craiova, Constanța, Galați,
Brașov, Oradea and Ploiești continue to be the most attractive cities,
according to a World Bank report. In most cases, a positive correlation
can be noticed between the attractiveness index and the amount of
foreign capital attracted by a particular city (for example, Brașov
ranks 8th in terms of both attractiveness index and attracted foreign
capital), the document indicates. Proximity to the western border
offers clear advantages, as the western area is generally preferred by
investors due to its location close to western European markets.
Geographical location is clearly an attractive factor, especially for
Global debt fell by USD 5.5 trillion in Q2 of 2022, to USD 300.1
trillion. This is the first decline after 14 consecutive quarterly
increases. Emerging markets contributed USD 0.6 trillion and advanced
economies USD 4.9 trillion to the USD 5.5 trillion decline, amid the
sharp depreciation of G10 currencies against the US dollar. The global
debt burden, expressed as a share of global Gross Domestic Product,
grew by 1% quarter-on-quarter, to 349.1%, according to the latest
Global Debt Monitor (GDM) report published by the Institute of
International Finance (IIF).
The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) investment fund has
extended the EUR 8 million credit line granted to Libra Internet Bank.
The funds will be used to support the bank’s capitalization and ensure
funding for SMEs. Libra wants to allocate 40% of the funds to
businesses in the sustainable agriculture sector and in particular to
those owned by women entrepreneurs. EFSE was established in 2005 and
supports economic development in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.
Banca Comercială Română has started implementing the contactless cash
withdrawal functionality at its ATMs and multifunctional ATM machines.
The service will be available for cards issued both by BCR and by other
banking institutions. Clients will thus be able to perform transactions
at BCR’s ATMs and multifunctional ATM machines using bank cards, but
also smartphones, smartwatches, smart bracelets or other smart devices
equipped with the NFC technology.
ING Bank, the fourth biggest bank on the local market asset-wise, has
reported a RON 535 million net profit for H1 of 2022, up by 39%
year-on-year. The bank’s revenues grew by 20%, to RON 1.33 billion,
given that lending was also up 20%, to a balance of over RON 36.5
billion. The bank’s strategy also continues to adapt to customers’ need
for simple and transparent services that are easy to access anywhere
and anytime, according to ING Bank CEO Mihaela Bîtu.
Raiffeisen Bank has joined Transfond’s Instant Payments service in
September 2022, according to a press release. To achieve this
integration, Raiffeisen Bank chose the Instant Payments service
connection solution provided by Allevo. According to the cited source,
the Instant Payments service ensures the transfer of money between
banks in less than 10 seconds, the maximum accepted value of a payment
being RON 50,000. Such a payment can be made at any time (24/7/365)
between clients of banks participating in the Instant Payments service.
Theodor Ichim, owner of Unigrains Trading, which grows cereals on over
2,000 hectares in Constanţa, is to invest in an irrigation project to
water a quarter of the aforementioned area, according to a statement
made by the entrepreneur during the conference Irrigable Romania, a
project implemented by ZF in partnership with Banca Transilvania. Mr.
Ichim did not provide any numbers regarding the value of the
investment, as the project is still ongoing.
Stay Fit Gym, the second largest chain of fitness gyms in Romania in
terms of number of open centers, controlled by Morphosis Capital
investment fund, has announced the integral acquisition of two fitness
centers in Sibiu and Galaţi. Moreover, Stay Fit Gym will open a second
fitness center in Sibiu, in Promenada Mall, in October. The two centers
will have a total area of about 1,500 square meters and the investments
made by Stay Fit Gym in Sibiu for the renovation of the acquired
fitness center and the opening of the new center amount to
approximately RON 5 million.
Libris owns, in Braşov, the largest book warehouse in Romania dedicated
to an online bookstore, with an area of 5,000 square meters and a
storage capacity of over 1 million books, according to a press release.
The cited source indicates that the company continues to invest in the
development of technologies and announces the transformation of the
storage unit into a "green warehouse", by installing 835 photovoltaic
panels on an area of 4,000 square meters, estimating an annual
production of 330,000 kWh. As a result, more than 95% of the annual
consumption will be covered by its own energy production system.
On Wednesday, 14 September, the Alliance for Romanians’ Unity (AUR)
submitted a draft law in Parliament banning the use of insects in food
production for the population. The draft law submitted to the Standing
Bureau of the Senate had been initiated by MPs George Simion, Lilian
Scripnic and Sorin Muncaciu and by Senator Claudiu Târziu. About 2,000
species of insects are currently part of the daily diet of around two
billion people around the world.
On Thursday, 15 September, Save Romania Union (USR) MPs Cristina Prună
and Claudiu Năsui submitted two draft laws aimed at supporting the
Romanian population and industry, amid the failure of the capping
scheme and the energy crisis at European level, and the explosion of
prices of goods and services on the market. The first draft law
contains a set of solutions to reduce energy and gas bills, including
the reduction of VAT on energy and gas from 19% to 5%, the elimination
of excise duty, green certificates and the cogeneration contribution
from the bill and the provision of vouchers to every household. The
second draft law targets the gradual reduction of labor taxation to
zero taxes. Given the accelerated increase in prices of goods and
services purchased by the population, reducing taxation is the only
real measure to protect low-wage workers from the current crisis.
The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly’s monitoring report on
Romania emphasizes progress made by the country in key areas, but
expresses concerns about non-compliance with Venice Commission’s
opinions on justice reform and the fight against corruption. The report
also calls for the de-classification of parties’ major contracts with
the media and formally asks the Venice Commission to issue an opinion
on the three draft justice laws initiated by Minister Cătălin Predoiu.
The Ministry of Education has put up for public consultation several
amendments to the Education Law, targeting the provision of lump sums
to all pupils who study in other localities than the ones they reside
in. The amendments also stipulate the setting up of play centers in
localities where there are not enough places in nurseries or
kindergartens and the expansion of dual education. Education Minister
Sorin Cîmpeanu announced on Thursday, 15 September 2022, that the
Ministry of Education had initiated the draft Emergency Ordinance
amending and completing the National Education Law 1/2011.
Romania wants a European Union-wide cap for all natural gas prices, to
avoid another market imbalance, Energy Minister Virgil Popescu said.
Asked why Romania opposed the capping of the price of natural gas
imported from Russia, the minister said Romania favored a wider cap for
all sources, not only for Russian gas. Virgil Popescu said the EU would
come up with a system to protect and reform the European natural gas
market, and the prices would fall from the current high,
The Social Democratic Party (PSD) will call on the ruling coalition to
adopt the provisions of the European Directive recently adopted by the
European Parliament regarding adequate minimum wages in the European
Union in 2022, so that they should apply starting from 1 January 2023.
The introduction in Romania of the mechanism recommended in the
Directive, through which the minimum wage is set at 50% of the gross
average wage in economy, would lead to an increase in the gross minimum
income to nearly RON 3,000 as of 1 January 2023, PSD indicated in a
The highest share of the population at risk of poverty and social
exclusion in the European Union was recorded in Romania (34%), followed
by Bulgaria (32%), Greece and Spain (both 28%) in 2021, according to
data presented by the European Union’s Statistical Office (Eurostat).
At the other end of the classification, the lowest proportion of people
at risk of poverty and social exclusion in 2021 was reported in the
Czech Republic (11%), followed by Slovenia (13%) and Finland (14%).