Romanian Government

Wednesday, 09 September

Address by Prime Minister Ludovic Orban at the "Celebrating 70 Years" event, organised by the Austrian Embassy in Romania, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the opening, in our country, of the Advantage Austria Bucharest trade section

Address by Prime Minister Ludovic Orban at  the "Celebrating 70 Years" event, organised by the Austrian Embassy in Romania

[Check against delivery]


Ludovic Orban: I will address you in Romanian, I am sure that most of you understand it.

The Romanian economy needs Red Bull further on, of a greater amount of Red Bull. The transport infrastructure needs serious companies to modernize it. In this respect, I need to tell you that Austria was a pioneer in terms of foreign investment in Romania, being among the first countries that came to our country in 1990, with great courage. The first section of a motorway that crosses the mountains is made by an Austrian company, Porr. Although Austria is not a very big country, I think it has almost 12 per cent of the foreign investments made in Romania after the 1990s, an extremely high percentage. I think that Austria ranks 3rd in Romania in terms of the volume of investments, after Germany, for example, which is an economic force, and after the Netherlands, which largely benefits from many companies running on American capital, a large share of the invested capital is the American capital. The volume of trade exchanges also places Austria in one of the most important positions in the ranking.

The trade volume, amounting to over 4.2 billion annually, shows an extremely strong economic link between Austria and Romania. It is interesting that a lot of the Austrian companies are top companies - such as OMV, BCR, transport companies, insurance companies, companies operating in various services areas, companies that have never left Romania once they came here. They made the investments, they remained here, they continued their investments, which were localized, and have largely become more and more Romanian, if the investors do not mind me saying that.

As for us, as a Government, I like to say simple things: anyone who invests in Romania takes some risks, brings some money that is mostly borrowed, takes some responsibilities, generates jobs, generates added value, creates, after all, prosperity.

In my opinion, any investor must be treated with hospitality and I believe that hospitality should be a Romanian brand because, literally, Romanians are hospitable and very friendly, and the investors should be treated as friendly as possible because, after all, they risk their money and try to generate production capacity or a service delivery system that ultimately helps the country where that investment is localized. Even these weeks, a company with Austrian involvement decided to build one more factory in Timisoara, in the medical sector. I also know of other investment intentions which we treat with the utmost seriousness. In general, the managers of Austrian companies know that we have a communication system, we meet regularly whenever there are important issues to discuss.  And we always try to find solutions to facilitate certain investments, certain developments. I am sure that along with OMV, we will ultimately find the best solution to make the investment at the Black Sea, I see Christina Verchere looking hopefully. But you know the terms. And the investments we want will be ultimately made.

The message I want to convey is that we appreciate you, that you can rely on a loyal partnership with the representatives of the Government, that we try to simplify things, to digitalize them, to cut short the path from an idea or intention to the effective implementation of a plan, objective, and that we are trying to develop a friendly business environment in which the state authorities will be your partners, people that would provide support to businesses, and who would indeed help generate an environment in which businesses can naturally unfold, generate profit and development.

Happy Anniversary! Of course, 70 years ago, Romania was not a democracy. But I noted that Austria has always been an interesting country – during the Communist period, Vienna was some sort of meeting place where different negotiations were taking place between the two blocs. In general, the Austrians are extremely enterprising people. I think I have rarely seen such brave people, with an entrepreneurial spirit, with a desire for adventure, with the ability to go to lesser-known lands and to succeed effectively.

I conclude by telling you that my son learned to ski on the slopes in Austria, at the age 5, and he learned it very quickly, with a ski instructor who didn't even know Romanian, but my son learned to ski very easily. And I hope that my nephew will learn to ski at the age 5, on a slope in Romania - of course, with the Austrian support and expertise too- because we too have the potential to develop the ski area.

Happy Anniversary! Good luck, good health and may you prosper!