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Friday, 14 January 2022

Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă met with representatives of the Romanian Association of Banks (ARB)



Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă had today consultations with representatives of the Romanian Association of Banks (ARB), in the context of the Government’s open dialogue with the economic sector and the associative structures.

Operationalization of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, unfolding government funding programs in support of economic sectors and development of de-bureacratization and digitalization projects at the level of public administration were the main discussion topics addressed along with the need for capitalization of the Romanian companies.

We need a real partnership that will capitalize on Romania's economic development potential, access to capital for the business sector and support in addition to the tens of billions of euros that will enter the country in the coming years under PNRR and Operational programmes. In addition to the 30 billion euros - investment to support the PNRR reforms - we have 12 billion to draw from the funds for the years 2014-2020, to which are added funds for the years 2021-2027, for which we must receive approvals for operational programmes. European money will support Romania's economy, along with banking and finance instruments. The business sector, SMEs, Romanian farmers need access to capital. We will create an inter-ministerial department for dialogue with the banks, at the government level, operating under the authority of the prime minister. We want to start together with the banking system a programme of entrepreneurial education, doing business, working with banks, under which Romanian business people can understand and access the development opportunities offered by access to capital” stated Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă.

A complementary topic aimed at developing government funding programmes and state-aid schemes to support small and medium-sized enterprises, and the agri-food industry, with an emphasis on increasing competitiveness and economic performance. The future funding generated for the support of major energy projects were presented as important opportunities for the banking sector to be involved, with special attention being extended to projects for the domestic production of the necessary capacities.

The participants highlighted the need to expand digitalization projects at the level of public administration, both in the relationship between state and the citizen, and in the relationship between state and the business sector.

The fact that electronic signature can play an important role in optimizing access to information streams, was also mentioned during the meeting. As a matter of fact, the digitalization of the administration is an important plank in PNRR for which substantial funding sources are earmarked. At the same time, the support extended especially to small or medium-sized enterprises will be essential both in the area of banking and finance education, as well as for their digitalization.

Attending the meeting, on the part of the Government, were: Finance Minister Adrian Câciu, Minister of Investment and European Projects Dan Vîlceanu, Minister of Energy Virgil Popescu, and the Head of the PM Chancellery Mircea Abrudean.

On the part of the Romanian Association of Banks, the participants were: Bogdan Neacșu, president of CEC Bank and Chairman of ARB Board, Traian Halalai, President of EximBank, Mihaela Bîtu, CEO of ING Bank, Member of ARB Board, Dana Dima, Vice President at the Romanian Commercial Bank, Ömer Tetik, CEO of Transilvania Bank, Ion Stan, First Vice President at Alpha Bank Romania, member of ARB Board, François Bloch, CEO of BRD – Groupe Société Générale, Roxana Hidan, Deputy General Manager of OTP Bank Romania, Răsvan Radu, CEO of UniCredit Bank Romania, Steven van Groningen, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank Romania, Gabriela Folcuț, Executive Director of ARB.

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