Daily Newsletter - 21 November 2022


FIC (1)
Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (2)
Investment (3)
Legislative (3)
European News (1)
Social (4)
FIC Coordination: CDR press conference regarding Romania’s accession to Schengen area

FIC Board members, Daniel Anghel (CDR Coordinator) and Ramona Jurubita (FIC Vice-President) had interventions during the Coalition for the Development of Romania press conference - "Merităm în Schengen" held on 17 November. Daniel Anghel, Coordinator of the Coalition for the Development of Romania (CDR): "I want to emphasize that only by being part of Schengen, Romania can fully benefit from its advantages as an EU member state. Only being part of Schengen, Romania would genuinely participate in the European “Area of Freedom, Security and Justice”. Without this status, Romania loses time and money and will not be able to recover the gaps to reach the objective of convergence with the EU average (a gradual increase of real income towards the average of the community block). Thus, from 2004, the year before the signing of the Accession Treaty until 2021, Romania recovered from the development gap, according to the GDP/capita indicator at purchasing power parities, reaching approximative 72% of the EU average in 2021, from approximative 34%, 17 years ago. Historically, economic gaps have been shown to recover due to inflows of foreign investment, technology and know-how. Accession to NATO and the EU were two decisive stages in Romania's development. The free movement of goods and services represents significant economic benefits by facilitating the integration of cross-border trade, advantages for transporters, advantages for foreign investment. Accession to Schengen area will eliminate additional verifications at internal borders unrelated to customs clearance of goods that cause delays.” Ramona Jurubita, Vice-president of the Foreign Investors Council (FIC): "Increasing the attractiveness for FDI has been a constant priority on the agenda of the Foreign Investors Council for 25 years and continues to occupy a central place on our agenda. We consider that an essential element in attracting foreign investments is Romania's accession to international structures. We can clearly observe how both the accession to NATO and later to the EU were events that boosted the growth of FDI in the states of Central and Eastern Europe. In the case of Romania, looking at the last 2 decades, we can note that the share of FDI stocks as a percentage of GDP was approx. 21% in 2003 before joining NATO, then it increased to approx. 42% GDP in 2021. Investments are always based on trust between the parties, and Romania's accession to the Schengen area is a test of trust between EU member states as partners of the same European economy. We believe that Romania has passed the test of trust. We still need the grade to be formally marked in the grade book."

Top business organizations have united behind Romania’s offer to join Schengen

Romanian companies and commercial partners have united behind Romania’s offer to join Schengen

The business environment in Romania, about the entry into Schengen: The economy, exports and investments will grow strongly

The business environment in Romania, about the entry into Schengen: The economy, exports and investments will grow strongly

Dutch companies in Romania say that there is no opposition to our country’s accession to Schengen

The latest retail sales data were better than analysts had expected
The latest retail sales data were better than analysts had expected, which contradicted market expectations that central banks would halt interest rate hikes. The latest data from Romania shows that GDP in Q3/2022 was 4% higher year-on-year, according to eToro analyst Bogdan Maioreanu, who has recalled that while this year, by the end of September, GDP had grown 5% more than in the same period of 2021, in Q3 it was up 1.3% against the previous quarter. In 2021, over 58% of GDP was generated by the service sectors and 28% by industry. The World Bank sees Romania on a strong upward trend this year, but warns that a global slowdown and possible recession in the case of key trading partners could have an impact on growth in 2023.
Wholesale trade turnover, except for trade in motor vehicles and motorcycles, has grown
Wholesale trade turnover, except for trade in motor vehicles and motorcycles, grew by 2.3% as a gross series, and by 0.5% as a working-day and seasonally adjusted series in September, compared to August. According to the National Institute of Statistic (INS), the 2.3% advance of the overall wholesale trade turnover in September 2022 compared to the previous month was due to an increase in turnover in wholesale of electronic and telecommunications equipment (+19, 0%), wholesale of other machinery, equipment and supplies (+8.9%), wholesale of non-food consumer products (+7.3%), wholesale on a fee or contract basis (+6.6%) and other specialized wholesale (+4.5%).
Overall turnover from market services provided to businesses has grown
All activities provided as market services for businesses contributed to the 27.9% increase in turnover in this segment in the first nine months of 2022 year-on-year, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Friday, 18 November. At the end of September 2022, in nominal terms, turnover grew in computer and information technology service activities (+43%), other business activities (+29.4%), transport activities (+25.6%), motion picture, video and television program production; broadcasting and transmission activities (+17.8%) and communication activities (+9.6%).
Banca Transilvania ended the first nine months of 2022 with a net profit of RON 1.44 billion
Banca Transilvania, the biggest bank on the Romanian market asset-wise, posted a net profit of RON 1.44 billion at the end of the first nine months of 2022, down by 2% year-on-year, according to the bank’s report. Even though Banca Transilvania’s gain in the first nine months of 2022 slightly decreased, it remained at a significant level compared to the profit obtained in the first nine months in the past decade.
Omniasig has recorded an 87% increase in gross written premiums in the past eight years
Omniasig has recorded an 87% increase in gross written premiums in the past eight years, having reached RON 1.6 billion at the end of 2021. Given that the volume of premiums underwritten by the company in 2022 is already close to the level recorded at the end of 2021, the result at the end of 2022 will certainly be at least 15% higher than in the previous year, if a relatively similar growth rate is maintained.
Artemis is developing 10,000 sqm building near Timisoara, with a EUR 10 million investment
Swiss real estate developer Artemis, whose portfolio contains several logistics properties in Romania, has started works on a fourth building with the same profile in the Sânandrei Industrial Park near Timișoara. The fourth building will thus be fully occupied by Mondo Style, a manufacturer of PVC and aluminum double glazed windows. The company already has a factory in Timişoara, but the land it is located on was bought by Artemis three and a half years ago to develop a residential project.
Fish Fountain, a symbol of Timisoara, has been rehabilitated following an investment
Rehabilitation works on the Fish Fountain in Victoriei Square in Timişoara, a symbol of the city, have been finalized after about a year. The investment amounted to EUR 130,000, which was ensured from the City Hall’s budget. Deputy Mayor of Timisoara Ruben Lațcău announced on his Facebook page that the project had been taken over by the current administration "in a state of abandonment" from the former city administration.
Feasibility study for the expansion of passenger terminal at Oradea Airport has been approved
Bihor County Council (CJ) President Ilie Bolojan (PNL) has announced that the feasibility study for the expansion of the passenger terminal at Oradea Airport has been approved, and its capacity will be increased to 350 passengers per hour. The investment amounts to over EUR 43 million, of which the County Council’s contribution is EUR 3 million. Ilie Bolojan announced on his Facebook page on Thursday evening that expansion works on the new terminal of Oradea Airport should be finalized by the end of 2023.
A PSD senator will resume the initiative to amend the law against drunk drivers
Social Democratic (PSD) Senator Robert Cazanciuc announced on Sunday, on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, that he would resume the initiative to amend the law against drivers who got behind the wheel without having the right to drive and who caused fatal road accidents. He added that, through the new draft law, all those who thought they can drive a car without a license, drunk or drugged should know that they would end up in prison if they caused a road accident resulting in victims.
Government has adopted new equipping programs for the Romanian Army
The Government has adopted a decision approving the circumstances and the specific procedure for awarding the contract for the procurement of products corresponding to Phase 1 of the "Integrated Communications and Information System for Battalion" (SICIB) equipping program and to Phase 1 of the "Command Point - Brigade Type" (PC Bg) equipping program. The manufacturing and maintenance, on national territory, of SICIB and PC Bg systems and equipment will ensure interoperability with other similar military capabilities of NATO member states, the Romanian state’s participation in the development and support of the European Union’s Defense Technological and Industrial Base, based on capabilities, competence, competitiveness and the shortening of the supply chain.
Two USR MPs want to ban gambling halls near schools
Two MPs from Save Romania Union (USR) want to ban gambling halls within 300 meters of schools, children’s playgrounds, cultural centers, hospitals and churches. USR says the initiative comes in response to the growing number of people addicted to gambling, especially among minors. The legislation in force (Government Emergency Ordinance 77/2009) only bans gambling halls inside educational establishments, their campuses, cultural centers, hospitals and churches.
European News 
European Commission has approved a EUR 500 million aid scheme for Romania
A €500 million scheme to support Romanian companies affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was approved by the European Commission. Romania notified the Commission, under the Temporary Crisis Framework, that it plans to grant companies across sectors state aid in the form of guarantees on loans or subsidized loans. In light of the economic uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine, the scheme aims at ensuring that companies in need can access enough financial resources. The measures are open to small and medium-sized enterprises (with an annual turnover above €4 million) and large companies across sectors with some exceptions, such as gambling and betting activities, insurance, real estate activities, energy and fuel distribution and trade. Financial and credit institutions will also be excluded, the Commission noted.
Children in underprivileged communities say teachers ask them for money for the class fund
More than half of children in underprivileged communities say that teachers ask them for money for the class fund, used to purchase various materials, according to a survey conducted by World Vision Romania, which recalls that the Education Law and the Constitution of Romania state that access to education is free and mandatory. A third of children say that teachers discriminate against students in their class based on their intellectual capacity, physical appearance, religion, clothing or disability, while 45% say they have classmates who discriminate against other students.
College of Physicians to streamline civil and disciplinary liability mechanisms for malpractice
The Romanian College of Physicians has announced that it aims to streamline civil and disciplinary liability mechanisms in malpractice cases. To this end, it is considering setting up a body of medical experts to provide legal expertise to civil courts, in order to unblock lawsuits. The College of Physicians has indicated that accredited doctors from all specialities who are very familiar with medical practice (including medical guidelines and protocols) will offer medical expertise to civil courts in order to clarify whether or not there is a case of malpractice.
Romania received assurances that all social programs for 2021-2027 would be approved in 2022
Romania has received assurances that all social programs corresponding to the period 2021-2027 will be approved this year. The risk for Romania to lose about EUR 5.2 billion of the total allocation of over EUR 30 billion has thus been eliminated, the Ministry of European Projects and Investments indicated in a press release issued on Friday evening. According to the cited source, the European Commission has agreed to the possibility of allocating funds to support the vulnerable population by bearing part of the costs of energy bills (heating, gas, electricity). Moreover, following the talks, the "Support for Romania" program, through which social vouchers worth RON 250 are offered every two months to vulnerable people for the purchase of food and warm meals, will be extended.
Nearly 18,000 people attended vocational training courses in the first 10 months of 2022
The National Employment Agency (ANOFM) included 17,875 people in vocational training programs in the first ten months of the year, the unemployed accounting for over 82% of the total. According to the institution’s data, published on Friday, of the total number of people participating in these courses, 14,717 are unemployed, 437 people - other than the unemployed - benefit from free services, and 781 benefit from on-the-job training through apprenticeship programs.