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Thursday, 15 October

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban attended the ”RoInvest” videoconference, organized by News.ro

Statements by Prime Minister Ludovic Orban at the ”RoInvest” videoconference, organized by News.ro

 

Ludovic Orban: I start by emphasizing the information that Romania is the only EU member state to increase investments in the first half of 2020, compared with the first half of 2019.  Also, the level of public investment, although we are in an economic crisis generated by the health crisis, is the highest in the last 10 years.

We conveyed from investiture that we want to change the "paradigm, the philosophy of government," in order not to support economic growth through an artificial increase in demand, consumption or government levers, i.e. through an increase in revenues ordered by Government, through administrative decisions, and we want to support economic development through investments increased competitiveness, innovation, research, creating a business-friendly environment, a private-sector friendly one by boosting dynamism, including individual one, at the society level, which allows a solid, sustainable economic growth which should not affect the macroeconomic balances.

We released on July 1 the national investment plan called Rebuilding Romania, most of the included measures having been transposed into regulations and many of them are operational, from SME Invest to the state aid scheme for large companies, to guarantee for investment or working capital, both under the SME Invest programme and under the aid scheme for large companies. In terms of European funds, we have used levers to reallocate funds as a result of increased flexibility between funds, established by the European Commission; we have relocated significant funds to support various grant programs. We have also used the outsourcing lever to increase the amounts allocated to investment grants, through Measure 2.1 and Measure 2.2. It was also launched the call for projects for one scheme of three grant schemes set out to be established from the billion euro, namely the scheme of grants for plants without employees, microenterprises and grants are to be launched for working capital, investments, within a week, grants for working capital and two weeks – grants for investment. We have used a set of other state aid schemes. I give, for example, the state aid scheme for large energy consumers, with a percentage of 15% of the amount of CO2 certificates for 2019 and 2020 that have benefited companies in 15 areas, which are in general, large energy consumers. We have also revised state aid schemes: both state aid at the national level and state aid at the regional level, and we have also adopted legislative documents for other support measures, including, for example, Kurzarbeit, the flexible work program, which, of course, we must follow its implementation, to constantly improve it in connection with the business environment. Also, in terms of investments, both in the field of transport and in the field of energy, we try to speed up all procedures, to follow through a rigorous management the development of contracts for large infrastructure projects, to prepare well the projects of infrastructure to be financed either from the multiannual financial year or through the resilience and recovery program that we will bring in a first form by the end of October, to present it later to the European Commission.

We are concerned about the very good preparation of the use of European funds that will benefit Romania, whether it is the money from the EU budget or money from the resilience and recovery facility or the money from the Sure programme or from React –EU.  We try to prepare very well; for the first time we have allocated money from operational programme large investments and the operational programme technical assistance to support beneficiaries, whether ministries, local administrations, companies implementing projects, to prepare their projects for a better absorption of European funds that Romania will enjoy over the next period.

Of course, for the next four years we will have to focus on using all the resources. On the other hand, to capitalize on all the opportunities we have - and here the government I am leading, has widely opened the door to any serious investor in Romania, anyone who wants to invest in Romania is welcome, has a serious partner in the Government. Also, any Romanian company that wants to develop its businesses is treated with respect and through dialogue we try to solve any problems that arise, because the engine of economic development, surely, lies in the Government's ability to allocate public resources, with priority to the investment area, but lies also in the Government's ability to boost investors’ confidence in Romania, to persuade as many investors as possible to develop their businesses, to open new investment projects in Romania, and we use all the levers with a view to supporting this development program. I do not refer to investments in transport, because it is Minister Bode’s area of responsibility, he is ready to answer your questions, but we will invest extremely serious amounts in transport infrastructure, in energy infrastructure, you already see that we are taking important steps concerning the natural gas projects, the electricity projects, the energy production projects, even a few days ago extremely important memoranda were signed, extremely important memoranda were initialed between the Government of the United States and the Government of Romania or between the Government Romania and US EXIM, through which the project for the construction of reactors III and IV at Cernavoda is closer to materialization. Also, during this year, we will complete on the Romanian territory, BRUA, the natural gas pipeline, we have many important projects to ensure the connection with the natural gas resources from the Black Sea through the Podişor-Tuzla pipeline and through the other pipeline made by Transgaz. Extremely important investments in the next period will be in health infrastructure. It is clear that this pandemic has put us to test and highlighted the great needs of the public health system and from both the multiannual financial year and the national recovery and resilience program we will allocate extremely large amounts of over 4 billion euros for the development of health infrastructure, to boost the quality of services in the field of healthcare. Last but not least, this year we also faced a drought. Climate developments indicate a not very optimistic perspective and for this reason, we should ask and use important financial resources for all the projects we have in terms of land improvement works, irrigation works, drying works, drainage works, works to combat soil erosion, to combat desertification, extremely important things to ensure the competitiveness of Romanian agriculture and, especially, the resilience of agriculture to counter adverse climate conditions which might emerge. Surely, important amounts will be granted for research, innovation, smart solutions, both in central and local administration, for digitalization and the implementation of the newest research results. In the present tenure, the European Commission places among priorities: smart Europe and allocation of extremely important resources for research and innovation that we will try to use in projects to allow Romania to be part of research projects likely to really generate development and applications in all areas of activity. I am ready to answer your questions.

(...)

 



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