The third edition of the "Leaders for Excellence in Healthcare" project
took place on 13-28 October and was one again supported by the Ministry
of Health in partnership with Maastricht and Sheffield Hallam
Universities. The project was organized with support from the Ministry
of Investments and European Projects, the Romanian Parliament’s Health
Committee, the Presidential Advisor for Public Health, Dr. Loreta Păun
and the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Romania, H.E.
Roelof van EES. The Foreign Investors Council (FIC)’s commitment to
support Romania’s healthcare system, assumed since 2013, continues
through the "Leaders for Excellence in Healthcare" (LEH) project, which
consists of courses dedicated to medical personnel in the top
management of Romanian hospitals.
Nearly half of multinational companies worldwide (47%) expect a
significant increase in their group’s global effective tax rate
following the implementation of the two-pillars global tax reform
coordinated by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD), while a similar proportion (50%) anticipate an
increase in taxes due to high government debts accumulated during the
COVID-19 pandemic, in jurisdictions where they are tax resident,
according to the Deloitte 2022 Global Tax Survey: Beyond BEPS.
Moreover, 90% of participating companies estimate that more tax
disputes may arise out of the growing government deficits recorded over
the past few years.
Inflation has already changed consumer behavior and is affecting
demand, according to eToro analyst Bogdan Maioreanu, who has argued
that in companies’ efforts to reduce costs, it is usually labor that is
cut first. In Romania, the unemployment rate grew slightly, to 5.2%, in
September 2022, from a nearly two-year low of 5.1% the previous month.
The number of unemployed rose by 10,200 compared to the previous month,
to 432,700. Individual investors are also starting to feel the pressure
as markets have been hit by rising interest rates, while many may see
declines in income from their regular jobs.
Romania will have a better economic evolution than the rest of
countries in the region thanks to its energy resources and the
liquidity available on the market, but at higher financing costs than
in the past, according to Wood&Company analysts. The company
estimates 0.5% GDP growth in 2023, in real terms, and an 8.50% monetary
policy rate peak in the spring of 2023, up from 6.25% at present.
Energy problems continued to affect Romanian economy in the second
month of autumn, despite the emergency ordinance approved by Ciucă
government two months ago, which established that the energy price
capping and compensation measures would remain in force until the end
of August 2023. The economic crisis, the war in Ukraine and energy
prices continued to deepen the inflation that European and national
economies are facing, which is why, at local level, the National Bank
of Romania (NBR)’s Board of Directors decided on 5 October to raise the
key rate by 0.75%, from 5.5% to 6.25% per year. This decision also had
an impact on the Robor and IRCC indices. NBR’s decision anticipated
that of the European Central Bank, which also increased the interest
rate by 0.75% on 27 October.
CEC Bank, the financial institution with the most extensive network in
Romania, has been accepting applications for loans within the Student
Invest and Family Start governmental programs since 7 November 2022.
Financing of up to RON 50,000 (Student Invest) and RON 75,000 (Family
Start) with state guarantees and subsidized interest rates and fees can
be obtained through the two programs. The maximum duration of Family
Start and Student Invest loans is of 10 years, with a period of grace
of up to 5 years.
Analysts expect the National Bank of Romania (NBR) to raise the key
rate again during its monetary policy meeting on Tuesday, 8 October.
NBR has the lowest monetary policy rate in the region and needs to
catch up with other central banks, which have already broken the cycle
of interest rate hikes. NBR will most likely revise its inflation
forecast upwards. Bank economists expect the central bank to raise its
monetary policy rate by 0.5%, to 6.75%, a new record high since the
spring of 2010, according to a Bloomberg survey. During its previous
meeting in October, NBR had taken the market by surprise with a 0.75%
key rate increase.
The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) has granted a EUR 7
million Basel III-compliant Tier 2 subordinated loan to Patria Bank.
The loan is part of the EFSE crisis response package and targets the
financing of microenterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises
(SMEs) in critical industries, in the agricultural sector, affected by
the war between Russia and Ukraine. The loan will help Patria Bank
provide long-term financing to micro-enterprises and SMEs and
contribute to increasing local production and food security, as well as
business resilience and inclusion.
Raiffeisen Bank has increased interest rates on RON-denominated
deposits to 7.50% per year, those on euro-denominated deposits to 1.50%
and those on deposits in US dollars to 2.50%. Apart from the standard
deposits, of 3, 12 and 24 months for RON and of 3, 6 and 12 months for
foreign currency, clients can also opt for Flexidepozit, a six-month
deposit in RON, with 7% annual interest which allows subsequent
top-ups, but also a partial withdrawal if necessary.
Family Minister Gabriela Firea has announced the launch of the call for
projects under the "Social Reforms Part of the National Recovery and
Resilience Plan" component, through which EUR 50 million will be
invested in 150 day centers for children from poor families, and has
invited mayors to get involved and submit projects. She had announced
that projects are expected from local authorities in municipalities,
towns and communes, which can set up such day centers individually or
in partnership with accredited private social service providers.
Finas Group, a company from Cluj operating on the green energy market,
has become a partner in a joint venture with DTEK Renewables
International, aiming to develop several renewable energy projects
worth EUR 150 million, according to a press release. The cited source
also indicates that the collaboration between the two companies had
started in December 2021, with the joint development of a 60 MW wind
farm in Ruginoasa locality, Iasi County, on a 25 hectare area. The EUR
90 million investment is currently in the design and equipment
tendering stage and is due to be completed in 2024. In June 2022, Finas
Group and DTEK Renewables International started a new EUR 60 million
Atu Tech (a2t.ro), an online security systems store in Romania, has
included, for the first time in Romania, photovoltaic systems in its
Black Friday 2022 sales campaign. As a result, 5KW inverters can be
purchased for prices starting from RON 5,999.99 or 3.15 KW solar panel
packages for only RON 6,599.99, but also complete 5KW photovoltaic
systems, ONGRID, available at RON 21,999.99. Atu Tech (a2t.ro) has
invested EUR 3.5 million in stocks of products for the Black Friday
event to support the anticipated growing demand in November.
On Monday, 7 November, Social Democratic (PSD) MPs re-submitted the
draft law on the construction of hydropower plants in protected areas,
after the first version had been declared unconstitutional, according
to Social Democrat Senator Daniel Zamfir. The draft law allows
continuing works on hydrotechnical investments started before 2007, the
year of Romania’s accession to the EU and the year in which the
protected areas were designated, he added.
On Monday, 7 November, the Senate tacitly adopted Government Emergency
Ordinance (OUG) 134/2022 capping the price of firewood until 31 March
2023. On 5 October, the government had approved an emergency ordinance
capping the price of firewood at RON 400 per cubic meter. According to
the normative act, the price of firewood, wood chips, sawdust and wood
waste has been set at RON 400 per cubic meter, VAT included, the
maximum price for wood briquettes is RON 1,500 per ton, VAT included,
and a maximum price of RON 2,000 per ton, including VAT, is set for
The Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization has put up for
public consultation the draft law on Romania’s cybersecurity and
cyberdefense, one of the draft laws included in the package regarding
national security. The draft law stipulates the establishment of the
National Cybersecurity System (SNCSC), whose activity would be
coordinated by the Cybersecurity Operations Council (COSC). The Council
would be led by the presidential adviser on national security issues.
According to the draft law, the Romanian Intelligence Service is the
competent authority in the field of cyber intelligence at national
level. The draft law also stipulates that legal persons in charge of
networks and information systems have the obligation to report
cybersecurity incidents immediately, but no later than 24 hours after
the incident is detected.
Euro zone finance ministers will discuss on Monday (7 November) how to
better coordinate support for economies against soaring energy prices
to reduce the uncertainty such schemes create for their 2023 budgets
and to better prepare for a looming recession. Germany angered its
European Union peers in September by announcing a plan to support
households and businesses worth up to €200 billion – an amount few
countries can match and which critics say threatens fair competition
within the EU’s single market. Other EU countries have also announced
support plans, but smaller. Such schemes, which act like a fiscal
stimulus, not only increase already large public debt in the 19-country
euro zone, but also make it difficult for the European Central Bank to
fight inflation which hit an annual 10.7% in October.
More than eight out of ten mothers and pregnant women under the age of
18 do not go to school, and four out of ten access only family medicine
during pregnancy, according to a study conducted by Save the Children
Organization on the situation of teenage mothers/pregnant teenage girls
in Romania presented on Monday, 7 November, at the Senate, in a debate
on this topic. The analysis also shows that two out of ten underage
mothers have more than one child, and 32% of them said their mother had
been underage when she had given birth to them.
The National Prognosis Commission (CNP), the institution that issues
the forecasts the government’s revenues and expenditure budgets are
based on, has published its autumn forecast showing that the labor
market is expected to have a positive evolution. Thus, the only
indicator that will have a negative value at the end of 2022 is real
earnings, which will be -2% overall in 2022, according to CNP’s
forecast. This means that overall wage increases will be 2% lower than
the inflation rate at 2022 level. The National Prognosis Commission
sees a real wage gain of 1.7% for 2023, and of 4.7% for 2024.
The National Trade Union Bloc (BNS) warned on Monday, 7 November that
there were less than two months left until the Government and
Parliament must adopt the new Social Dialog Law, given that the
inclusion of certain measures represents a milestone in the National
Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). The trade unionists also indicated
that Romania ranked last in Europe in terms of number of collective
labor agreements concluded. They pointed out that in any economy there
were two ways in which economic growth can be redistributed between
capital and labor.