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AVRIG IS AT THE CENTER OF AN INNOVATIVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAM, P18 ENTREPRENEUR

MONEY

BALANCE

Tiberiu Banica of menswear retailer

Georgeta Bora, corporate responsibility

A life on the open wave awaits recruits

Barotti is hoping to fashion a network

coordinator at RBS Romania, tells BR

to the Romanian Nautical College, set

out of his existing store in Unirea Shop-

how local lenders are stepping up to

up by the Marcu brothers and Stelian

ping Center

the plate with some CSR projects

Cojocaru

BUSINESS REVIEW See page 10

See pages 12-13

See page 19

www.business-review.ro

ROMANIA’S PREMIERE BUSINESS WEEKLY

JUNE 7 - 13, 2010 / VOLUME 14, NUMBER 21

PIPELINE PLANS LAURENTIU OBAE

Saduokhas Meraliyev, CEO of the Rompetrol Group, used last week’s Kazakh Business Forum, organized by Business Review,º to announce his preference for the much touted oil pipeline to run from Navodari to Trieste, rather than from Constanta See page 4


IN TOUCH

BUSINESS REVIEW

FORUM

BIG STRIKE STRIKES OUT

Business Review brings renewed energy to power arena discussion will include the regulatory framework, financing energy projects and the problems that developers are facing, backed up with case studies on developing and selling a renewable energy project. The list of speakers includes Mircea-Ioan Cotosman, state secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forests; and Silvia Vlasceanu, counselor in the Romanian Parliament & executive director of the Association of Companies for Energy Utilities in Romania, from the authorities’ side. Partners in this event are Gamesa, Schonherr , Schneider Electric, Konica Minolta, White&Case.

After threatening to paralyze the country, last week’s general strike did not live up to the hype. The series of walkouts were intended as a protest against the 25 percent cut in public sector salaries and the 15 percent reduction in pensions. Teachers, public servants, prison, health and RATB transportation workers were set to take to the streets, with Metrorex employees downing tools in solidarity. However, the huge numbers failed to materialize and the government has not capitulated to the strikers’ demands. TALK TO US !

IN TOUCH Sloppy service I’ve been visiting Bucharest now for the best part of a decade. During that time I’ve enjoyed many excellent meals in local restaurants – particularly in more recent years. However , nobody who lives here will be shocked when I say that I’ve also endured some absolutely appalling service from waiters and waitresses, who, at their worst, can be uninterested, slow , inef ficient and downright rude. So I was surprised and pleased when I read your article last week on the firm that provides mystery customer services (A drian B arbu of theCON SULTA NTS, N o m ystery in con-

sultancy firm’s expansion, issue 20 ). I had no idea the mystery customer concept had reached Romania. In case anyone is unfamiliar with it, customer -spies use a business’s services undercover then report back on the level of service they received. This gets around the age old problem of staf f members working hard when the boss is there then slacking of f as soon as he or she leaves. I ur ge more local companies to make use of this excellent tool. Ken Monroe, UK A diverting store I am sorry that Diverta is

LAURENTIU OBAE

Business Review is organizing on June 9 the first event in a series dedicated to the energy sector which will focus on alternative energy. The event, Alternative Energy – Investments in Renewable Ener gy, aims to of fer a business perspective on topics related to investing in renewable energy, moving a step further to offer specific insights on the challenges that providers of services and equipment have to face in the Romanian ener gy sector.The focus of the event is also to introduce new players that are suited to the present degree of maturity of wind power projects in Romania. Topics of

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having problems (Diverta files f or insolv ency, issue 20). It is a nice store, arranged in a pleasant and inviting way. I hope they can pass over this dif ficult period. Ileana Danciulescu, Bucharest Hard times for software Good to read that Romania is getting a handle on software piracy ( Romania bucks world trend by taking a cutlass to sof tware piracy, issue 20). This so-called victimless crime is going to seriously threaten our IT provision in the future. Nick Muresan, US and Romania

Please send y our letters to editorial@business-review.ro, including y our name and location. For consideration

LinkedIn - Business Review group Facebook - Business Review Twitter - BR_RO or connect via www.business-review.ro

B USINESS R EVIEW JUNE 7 - 13, 2010 / VOLUME 14, NUMBER 21

Founding Editor BILL AVERY Editor-in-Chief SIMONA FODOR Senior Journalists DANA CIURARU ANDA SEBESI OTILIA HARAGA Journalists SIMONA BAZAVAN CORINA DUMITRESCU Copy Editor DEBBIE STOWE Photographer LAURENTIU OBAE Layout BEATRICE GHEORGHIU

Executive Director GEORGE MOISE Sales & Events Director OANA MOLODOI Marketing Manager ADINA MILEA Sales & Events IULIAN BABEANU CLAUDIA MUNTEANU Research & Subscription ALEXANDRA TOADER Production DAN MITROI Distribution EUGEN MU{AT

No.10 Italiana St, 2nd Floor, Ap.3 Bucharest - Romania Tel. Office: 031.040.09.31 Tel. Editorial: 031.040.09.32 Fax: 031.040.09.34 E-mails: firstname.lastname@business-review.ro; Audited 1H 2007

for inclusion in the next edition, letters must be received by noon on Thursday. Letters may be edited for length, clarity and accuracy. BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010

ISSN No. 1453 - 729X Printed at: MASTER PRINT SUPER OFFSET

Business Review is a founding member of the Romanian Audit Bureau for Circulation (BRAT)

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NEWS

BRIEFS UNICREDIT TIRIAC BANK LAUNCHES FOUR NEW CORPORATE PRODUCTS é UniCredit Tiriac Bank has launched four packages of products for corporate customers with more than EUR 3 million in turnover, the lender’s representatives have announced. They include all necessary products for the users to manage The much lower unique price (for subscription) compared with the cost of the products if acquired separately and the BusinessNet application offered to customers in order to help them carry out current operations are among the selling points. “We continue to innovate in order to be a preferred banking partner for the entrepreneurs in Romania,” said Antoaneta Curteau, executive director of the corporate division at UniCredit Tiriac Bank. RAIFFEISEN INTERNATIONAL SETS UP ZUNO BANK IN CEE é Raiffeisen International Direct Bank AG, the direct bank that was recently set up by Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG, will operate under the name Zuno Bank in Central and Eastern Europe, with Slovakia being the first country where it will be launched at the end of the year, the lender’s representatives have most recent entity of the network of banks of Raiffeisen International and will offer its retail customers a new and modern method of banking,” said Herbert Stepic, president of Raiffeisen International. The new bank targets in particular individuals that prefer to use the internet as their main means of communication with their lender. 4

CEZ Wind Farm starts to deliver energy to national grid The first of the 240 wind turbines to operate inside the CEZ Wind Farm in Fantanele and Cogealac started to send electricity into the national electricity grid last week. The main transformer station in Tariverde was connected by Transelectrica to the Romanian national grid last week, while at the beginning of this week the first of the four 110/33 kV transformer substations together with the 1 10 and 33 kV cables linking it to the wind turbines located in Fantanele East was also put online. “The Fantanele and Cogealac wind farm is on time and we do not expect any delays,” said Martin Zmelik, CEZ Romania COO. The first part of CEZ Wind Farm’s project in Fantanele and Cogealac comprises 139 wind turbines with an installed capacity of 2.5

COURTESY OF CEZ

announced. “Zuno Bank is the

als by 2011. Recently, Romanian politicians opened the subject of Rompetrol’ s historic debt. The CEO said talks with the Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Finance were ongoing in order to identify solutions to clear Petromidia’s USD 603 million of debt. “There is no final solution, negotiations are continuing. We hope to solve this issue soon,” said Meraliyev. The Rompetrol Group has to date paid USD 8 billion to the state budget since 2000, of which USD 3.5 billion was handed over in 2007, when the majority stake in the oil Saduokhas Meraliyev, CEO of Rompetrol Group, speaking at BR’s Kazakh Business Forum company was acquired by state-run Saduokhas Meraliyev , Business Review . Authorities from KazMunaiGaz from Kazakhstan. Rompetrol Group CEO, has said Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have ex“The group’ s total investment that his preference is for an oil pressed on several occasions their from 2007-2009 reached USD 700 pipeline between Navodari (Petrointerest in this project. Romania, million, and for this year Rompetrol midia platform) and Trieste in Italy, Serbia and Croatia inked in April has e armarked a round U SD 24 0 to transport the refined oil for the re- 2008 an agreement for the formamillion, of which USD 170 will be finery to Western Europe, rather tion of the project company for the used to continue the development than the alternative proposition. Pan European Oil Pipeline (PEOP) plans of the Petromidia refinery ,” “If the PEOP project is impleConstanta-Trieste pipeline. Italy, the said Meraliyev. mented, we are interested in partici- fourth country which could be inRomanian businessman Dinu pating. We would like the Petro- volved in the project, has not anPatriciu sold 75 percent of the midia refinery in Navodari to be the nounced its position regarding Rompetrol Group to state-owned end of the pipeline. It is my person- PEOP. KazMunaiGaz in Kazakhstan. In al dream to have a Navodari-Trieste According to Meraliyev , the June last year he said he had sold pipeline, not Constanta-T rieste,” company plans to increase capacity the Kazakh company the remaining said Meraliyev at the Kazakh Busi- at the Petromidia refinery by 25 per- 25 percent. ness Forum event or ganized by cent to 5 million tons of raw materiDana Ciuraru LAURENTIU OBAE

their operations, says the bank.

Rompetrol CEO hopes for Navodari-Trieste pipeline, not Constanta-Trieste

Martin Zmelik, CEZ Romania COO

MW each, and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. More than 100 of the total 240 turbines to be built in Fantanele and Cogealac are already fully constructed, and the installation works are continuing on a daily basis. In parallel with the construction

works, the already built wind turbines will keep being tested and put into operation, with CEZ estimating that by the end of 2010 all 139 turbines of the Fantanele stage of the project will be producing and delivering green ener gy to the national grid. CEZ Group is building in Dobrogea the lar gest onshore wind farm in Europe, with a total capacity of 600 MW , approximately double the size of of the lar gest current operational wind farm in Europe, which is in Whitelee, Scotland. The first stage of the Fantanele project will become operational by the end of 2010, and the second stage, in Cogealac, is expected to be finished in 2011. The CEZ Group’s total investment in the project will reach EUR 1.1 billion. Staff BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010


NEWS

Piraeus Bank Romania makes EUR 10.3 million gross profit in Q1

Piraeus Bank Romania made a EUR 10.3 million gross profit at the end of Q1 2010, the bank’ s representatives have announced. The lender’s managed assets at the end of March grew by 2 percent on March 2009 to over EUR 2 billion. The level of attracted deposits also increased by 7 percent in the same

BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010

COURTESY OF DOOSAN IMGB

Piraeus Bank Romania has 187 branches

period, with the total volume of deposits attracted by the lender exceeding EUR 1.19 billion in March 2010. The volume of credits offered by the bank dropped by 1 percent on March 2009, reaching EUR 1.6 billion. It also posted an increase of 3 percent on corporate loans. The number of issued cards reached 102,498 at the end of Q1 2010, a rise of 12 percent on the same period of last year . Piraeus Bank Romania had a branch network of 187 units nationwide at the end of March 2010, 2 percent higher than a year earlier , and 256 ATMs. The lender also posted a ROE of 13.3 percent in Q1 2010 with a cost-income ratio of 38.2 percent. In addition, the weight of unperforming loans was 6.7 percent, below the market average, with the lender having over 300,000 customers. All the results posted by the bank at the end of Q1 are according to RAS accounting standards. A nda Sebesi

Doosan IMGB delivers equipment to Korea, estimates net profit by year end

Doosan IMGB expects to be in profit by the end of the year

Heavy equipment producer Doosan IMGB has delivered the first specialized equipment for a nuclear power plant currently under construction in South Korea. “The need for cheap and clean energy with low carbon dioxide emissions has persuaded an increasing number of countries to reconsider nuclear ener gy,” said Jeog Jeon, Doosan IMGB CEO. According to company information, preparations for the production of the equipment started a year ago and this

first delivery is part of an ongoing contract. The equipment is five meters in diameter, one meter high and weighs 60 tons. “Currently we are working on another contract for similar equipment,” Florin Antonescu, chief management officer at Doosan IMGB, told BR. Antonescu said that the company was expecting to make a post-tax profit at the end of the year. Dana Ciuraru

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NEWS

Happy Tour acquires majority stake in Travel House

Bosch Group expects similar turnover to 2007

Hodlmayr wins logistics contract with Dacia

Corporate travel company Happy Tour has acquired a majority stake in Travel House for an undisclosed sum, the company’ s representatives have announced. Happy Tour is 100 percent owned by the private equity fund GED. Travel House is specialized in providing business travel services and national and international deluxe leisure travel, thus complementing the range of services provided by Happy Tour. The transaction follows the build-up strategy of Happy Tour in Romania, which is aiming to become the largest tour operator company in the country able to of fer corporate, online, MICE and leisure services. Travel House exceeded EUR 6 million in turnover last year and posted more than EUR 110,000 in net profit in 2009. The transaction is subject to Competition Council approval, with expected completion later this month. A nda Sebesi

Austrian logistics company Hodlmayr International has recently inked a contract with Romanian car manufacturer Dacia for the transportation of 56,000 Dacia cars to Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Serbia, Montenegro and France. According to information from the Austrian firm, the contract will be implemented with the aid of several partners including French company Touax, Hungarian logistics specialist Raabersped,

6

COURTESY OF HODLMAYR

Seasons in the sun: Happy Tour is branching out

COURTESY OF BOSCH GROUP

German group Bosch has announced that it is expecting a similar business level as in 2007. The company reported a turnover last year of EUR 134 million, 17 percent lower than the previous year, a level recorded by the company in 2007. “The main factors which reduced last year ’s business even further were the significant evolution of automotive technologies and Bosch Communication Center,” said Brigitte Eble, Robert Bosch GM. The Bosch Rexroth factory in Blaj was significantly af fected by the economic crisis. The company registered a lower number of orders, and so was not Brigitte Eble, general manager of Robert Bosch able to keep its staff in full employment. As a result it decided to reduce its total 344 workers. number of factory employees by 40, to Bosch’s electrical instrument divi-

The Dacia is being exported around Europe

sion was severely impacted by the real estate segment. Last year ’s turnover for this division was lower than the 2008 level. According to company of ficials, the firm is continuing its local investments, creating new jobs. At the end of last year, the German company had 948 employees, up 109 from 2008. Bosch’s management expects to be able to recoup some of the losses registered in 2009 this year . “Our tar get for 2010 is to come back to a positive evolution,” said Eble. Bosch Group has been present on the local market since 1994 and controls five companies in three cities. Last year the company took over local thermo equipment provider Buderus. Dana Ciuraru

part of the Rail Cargo Austria group and Austrian company Wiener Lokalbahnen Cargo.Of the total 56,000 cars to be delivered to these destinations, approximately 27,000 will be transported by rail, an option chosen in order to reduce the delivery time and pollution. The Hodlmayr network has logistics centers in 13 countries and transports some 750,000 cars annually . Business reached EUR 150 million in 2009. Dana Ciuraru

Romania attracted 48 percent fewer FDI projects in 2009, says Ernst & Young Romania recorded a significant decrease both in terms of the number of FDI (foreign direct investments) projects (-48 percent) and jobs created (-44 percent) in 2009 on the previous year, according to the latest Ernst & Young Annual European Attractiveness Survey. The country attracted 75 FDI projects in 2009, 2 percent of the total in Europe, but reaped 6,384 jobs, 5 percent of the European total. “Despite both the number of projects and job creation falling

by more than 40 percent, Romania remained highly attractive for industrial projects, stable at around 7 percent of the European total,” according to the report. FDI projects in Europe were down by 11 percent in 2009, found the company. The finding is one of a series of contrasting conclusions related to inward investment projects announced across the continent last year . The big European countries continued to attract inward FDI. Projects numbers in the UK were

down only 1 percent, while in France, Italy and Germany they were up 1 percent, 4 percent and 7 percent respectively. Russia, Ukraine and Turkey also posted increases but “the impact of the recession was most dramatic in countries like Poland, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic where project numbers fell collectively by 40 percent as investors sought the stability of the lar ger Western economies,” reads the report. Simona Bazavan

BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010


"We MUST cross sell!" (But what?)

TAX&LAW

by Sandy Vaci Cross selling is good. It is cheaper than getting new customers. It increases loyalty. But how to do it? Too many companies still try to cross sell the product or service that immediately makes them the most money. This is wrong. Not only does it ignore customer needs, it i s also not the most profitable approach. To make the most profit, remember these simple rule s of cross selling: 1.Sell like to like 2.Up sell 3.Buy time 4.Get information What do they mean? "Like-to-like": Sell cigarettes to those who smoke, loans to those who are not afraid of credit, bicycles to those who can ride one. That way you h ave a c aptive a udience a nd better chance of making a sale. "Up s ell": A lways l ook f or t he next level o f customer need. It is usually more complex and requires a h igher pr iced s olution. B ut b ecause it also satisfies a real need up selling is much appreciated by consumers. "Buy t ime": T ry t o t ie u p y our customers for enough time to learn about th eir n eeds a nd c ross s elling products a nd s ervices. Ta rget y our credit ca rd c ustomers w ith a t erm loan, your pre-paid m obile phone users with a subscription. "Get information": If you sold a car you don't know about your buyer's l ater n eeds. B ut i f y ou s old a maintenance p lan w ith i t, y ou w ill see h im ov er a nd o ver a nd l earn about his emerging needs. By cross selling an "interactive" product you bought in formation fo r m ore s ales later. If y ou f ollow t hese f our s imple rules you will be more successful and your customers will even thank you for it!

Business Review is organizing two full day seminars on global best practices in sales management with Sandy Vaci. More details on www.business-review.ro/events 8

Renewable energy – an investment opportunity in Romania TAX&LAW

percent. In order to achieve the overall national target by 2020, Romania has to develop approximately two thirds of By Delia Pachiu the total potential of its renewable enerPartner, White & Case gy sources. Despite the significant efforts needed, Romania is of the view Renewable sources of energy are that it can just reach the overall tar get essential alternatives to fossils fuels as by relying exclusively on domestic protheir use reduces greenhouse gas emis- duction without taking recourse sions, diversifies energy supply and re- to transfers from other member duces dependence on unreliable and states. volatile fossil fuel markets, such as oil Romania has recently implemented and gas. incentives to help generate enough moThe integrated climate and ener gy mentum in the market and encourage policy adopted by the European Union consumers to shift to renewable energy committed Europe to transforming it- sources. A turning point has been self into a highly ener gy-efficient, low marked by the enactment of the Law carbon economy . Consequently , a seNo. 220/2008 on 27 October 2008, ries of demanding climate and ener gy which introduced several incentives to targets to be met by 2020, known as the producing electricity from renewable 20-20-20 targets, have been set: the re- energy sources (“E-RES”). Aiming to encourage small and duction in EU greenhouse gas emissions of at least 20 percent below 1990 medium-sized enterprises and lar ge levels; 20 percent of the EU ener gy companies from the industrial sector to invest in the field of E-RES, Law No. consumption to come from renewable 220/2008 sets forth several incentives sources; a 20 percent reduction in prito be granted to investors for strategic mary ener gy use compared with projected levels, to be achieved by improv- projects in the field. Among these, the development of loan programs that ing energy efficiency. In line with the European trend, on stimulate renewable favouring market the Romanian market, renewable ener- forces with an attractive guarantee of gy is gaining credibility among private up to 50 percent of t he value of the investors as having the potential to be- medium- and long-term loans may come the next big industry . Although buffer initial deployment costs. Furrecent forecasts have shown that the thermore, ensuring the transport infracurrent economic crisis has slown structure and utilities necessary to initiate and develop investments and ensurdown the initial optimism concerning Romania’s long-term economic devel- ing access to and the refurbishment of opment, including as concerns the level the existing infrastructure also entice of present and future ener gy consump- investors to consider renewable technology. The Law No. 220/2008 also estion, Romania still retains important competitive advantages on the Euro- tablishes tax and fee exemptions or repean renewable energy market: it has a ductions for the reinvested profit for a balanced mix of available energy and a period of three years from the start of the investment, as well as financial consignificant potential of renewable tributions from the state budget to be sources, as well as relatively sophisticated energy markets for both electrici- granted for newly created jobs. However, the conditions and the ty and green certificates which are operational. period for granting such incentives are The recent adopted Directive still subject to approval by secondary 2009/28/EC of the European Parlialegislation. A consequential drawback ment and of the Council of 23 April in effectively implementing the incentives set forth by the Law 220/2008 re2009 on the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources estab- sults from the requirements to comply lishes a specific binding tar get of a 24 with the measures set forth by the Law percent share of renewable ener gy No. 220/2008 and the secondary legissources in final consumption of ener gy lation with state aid rules. The Euroin Romania by 2020, whereas the over- pean Commission has been notified in all binding target in the EU is set to 20 this respect and its approval is still

pending. Through a Government Decision passed in December 2009, Romania has chosen to apply the mandatory quota system, combined with the trading of green certificates having the advantage that it allows a fast growth of renewable energy, despite higher costs. Electricity suppliers are compelled to purchase a certain number of green certificates corresponding to the amount of electricity annually supplied by them to their consumers. E-RES producers which obtain green certificates based on the quantity of E-RES delivered to the grid are able to sell them in a competitive system, and obtain extra income, in addition to the income generated by the sale of electricity. Purchase prices for green certificates are regulated between minimum and maximum trading values: from EUR 27/certificate to EUR 55/certificate for the period 2008-2014, whereas from 2015-2030, the minimum trading value may not be lower than the minimum trading value applied in the year 2014. For each MWh delivered to the electricity grid, wind ener gy producers will receive two green certificates until 2015 and one green certificate as of 2016, while solar energy producers will receive four green certificates. A legislative proposal to amend the provisions of the Law No. 220/2008 is currently under debate in the Romanian Parliament. One of the proposed amendments aims to increase the mentioned periods to (i) 2017 for granting two green certificates and (ii) granting one green certificate starting from 2018. The Romanian Government’ s constant concern for improving the regulatory environment and the strong interest in supporting investments in renewable ener gy enhances Romania’ s prospects of sustainability and security of power supply. The legal framework recently adopted or under preparation is designed to allow Romania to support the specific EU commitments and take an active part in the trading of green certificates and green electricity guarantees of origin on the Internal Market.

BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010


CALENDAR/NEWS

EVENTS, BUSINESS AND POLITICAL AGENDA JUNE 8 é 09:00 United Marketing Partner in partnership with King Stur ge organ-

izes The Logistics Conference at Radisson BLU Bucharest. By invitation only. é 10:00 The Post-Privatization Foundation and Curtea Veche Publishing together with AmCham organize the Business Ethics 360: The Leadership Test – How to Build Sustainable Or ganization at InterContinental Hotel. By invitation only.

JUNE 9 é Business Review organizes the Investments in Renewable Ener gy

event. For more information, please go to www .business-review.ro.

JUNE 10 é 09:00-18:00 HR Club organizes the National Conference for the Dis-

semination of the project Partnership for the Development of Human Resources Field, co-financed by the European Social Fund through the Sectoral Programme Human Resources Development. Free entrance for the target audience, 300 places.

JUNE 15 é ICAP Romania and CYCLE European or ganize the first Credit Risk

Management Conference at Athenee Palace Hilton. By invitation only.

JUNE 16 é Business Review organizes the Beat the Recession, Beat the Competi-

tion – Global Best Practices in Sales Management seminar with Sandy Vaci, adjunct senior professor at Central European University’ s Business School (MBA Studies). By invitation only.

BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010

WHO’S COSTIN RADU has stepped down as head of Blue Idea to become managing partner at Geek, an agency that is part of the Leo Burnett group. He has been part of the IQads project for seven years and in the past three years has held the position of managing partner. Along with F5 Blue Idea owns the IQads and SMARK brands. MARIUS CRISTEA is the new managing director of Blue Idea after Costin Radu stepped down from the position. He is the founder of IQads and new business manager of F5. SILVIA VOICHITA, 28, has joined the HR department of CallPoint Romania as

NEWS HR specialist. She has professional experience in the field of HR and previously worked for Teleperformance for four years. In her new position, Voichita will be mainly in charge of recruiting multilingual customer care representatives. MARIUS MATEI was appointed copywriter at Senior Interactive. For the past three years he has worked for the agencies Scala J. Walter Thompson and DDB Bucharest. During this time, Matei was involved in the management of accounts such as Nokia, Nestle, Vodafone, Kraft, Greenpeace and Smurd. He is a graduate of the Polytechnic University in Bucharest.

Business Review welcomes information for Who’s News from readers. Submissions may be edited for length and clarity. Feel free to contact us at editorial@business-review.ro

9


ENTREPRENEUR

Passion for fashion leads to suitable business brand instead of the competition. “It is not an easy time to enter on a market considering the current economic context but we have now found the necessary financial and human resources,” says Banica. The Romanian menswear market is very crowded at the moment, but despite this Banica says there is plenty of space for new players, especially on the mainstream segment. Romania is also an emer ging market because fashion for men is no longer an uninteresting game but an attractive and challenging one. “The local menswear market has undergone some changes as a result of variations in Romanians’ purchasing power , level of education and lifestyle,” says Banica. According to him, refinement, diversity , high quality of materials and style are the attributes of Barotti brand. “Barotti man pays a lot of attention to detail, keeps in step with the latAnda Sebesi est clothing trends and wants a garment that gives him a lot of comfort. Tiberiu B anica t ook h is f irst Our classic line of garments adsteps in the business world back in dresses men for whom elegance is a 1997, and founded Barotti Internamust in their professional environtional in 2009. The company is the ment,” says the managing partner. exclusive importer and distributor Going forward, Banica says that of the Barotti menswear brand and he intends to open at least one more opened its first store in Unirea stand-alone location, but has not yet Shopping Center in October last decided whether it should be in over time and participated in some The idea to set up the business year. For the entrepreneur , Barotti Bucharest or elsewhere. “We intend was born from frustrating shopping domestic and international trade has a special personal and profesfairs to try and satisfy the needs of to diversify our plans for territorial trips. Whenever Banica wanted to sional significance. “It is the brand expansion and start to aggressively buy an outfit – business or occasion the stylish gentleman through the from which I learned everything I enter malls and shopping centers naBarotti brand. know now,” says Banica, managing wear – he traipsed through many Asked to specify the most dif fi- tionwide,” says the businessman. stores both in Romania and abroad partner of the company . He adds in order to find something suited to cult moment his business has faced, According to him the store in that he was infused with the entrepreneurial spirit since the beginning his style. “Visiting many stores and Banica says that it comes every time Unirea Shopping Center needed an investment of about EUR 60,000 the firm has to come up with new of the business. “I offered all my en- seeing many items of clothing, the and he estimates that the investment spring-summer or fall-winter colidea came to launch a clothing ergy and dedication to this brand,” says the young entrepreneur. He be- brand with styles that I would like to lections for men. “Every such occa- for each unit the company intends to lieves that any start-up is exposed to have in my wardrobe. I also thought sion is difficult and involves a tough open will be between EUR 30,000certain risks and so an entrepreneur that I would find a target of men that decision for us,” says the young en- 40,000. “W e could also focus on high street commercial locations,” trepreneur. He believes that each should find the right positioning and share the same taste in suits as me. concludes Banica. And I wasn’t wrong,” says the man- business has its hard moments that communication for his or her company. Banica’s business ethos is that aging partner. “I can say that I have should be forgotten such as those rea brand’s stated promise must infuse the Barotti brand in my heart; I al- lated to the current bureaucratic requirements. But thinking solely of ways wanted to create and develop the products or services sold to the his own company , he wouldn’ t final consumer. “When we decided it.” é 2009 estimated turnover: EUR change anything. “I think that The main objective of the busito set up this business we thought 120,000 about it and analyzed a set of factors ness was to offer a special brand for Barotti has evolved in a natural é 2010 estimated turnover: EUR manner and has always tried to men that can give them a sartorial that were linked both with the eco140,000 adapt to international trends, espeexperience that makes them feel nomic context and the purchasing é Number of employees: 4 in the cially t o m en’s s artorial r equiredecision,” says Banica. According unique and special. “Barotti prostore from Unirea Shopping Cenments,” says Banica. to him, price, offered benefits in motes a range of clothing with a ter Challenges have included findstyle born of elegance, making men time, brand awareness, the certificate of a uthenticity fo r imported stand out through the quality and di- ing the right approach, the under-deé Initial investment: EUR 40,000 veloped market niche and coming versity of the products it encomproducts, textile composition and é Total investment (estimation): up with the funds and people to conadvertising were some of these fac- passes,” says Banica. He adds that about EUR 60,000 vince the customer to choose his he studied many types of clothing tors.

With an investment of about EUR

60,000 in his first store, BAROTTI in Unirea Shopping Center, TIBERIU BANICA intends to extend his

clothing business nationwide in the medium and long term, with the

investment in each unit being from EUR 30,000-40,000.

COURTESY OF BAROTTI

BAROTTI

10

BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010


MONEY

Businesses put a bit back GEORGETA BORA, corporate responsibility coordinator at RBS Romania, gives Business Review the lowdown on CSR projects in the banking system and the main trends on the market, and explains the lender’s CSR strategy.

Anda Sebesi What CSR issu es are of con cern to banks in Romania? Although the banking industry is not perceived as being a polluting one in Romania lenders have a significant impact on the environment because they finance customers from all industries. The role of lenders is to look at and analyze whether their customers have environmental policies or risk management systems to prevent accidents. Another very important issue, though apparently insignificant, is the direct impact of lenders on the environment through their operational activities: used PETs and paper, the consumption of ener gy and water, their car park and what kind of building they use. What ty pes of CSR pr ojects a re banks rolling out? The environment is an important concern, followed by education, with culture and art being other natural domains of lenders. Recently financial 12

education has become part of many banks’ CSR strategies. This is normal because a lender has to educate its current and potential customers and so this is part of its responsibility . Many lenders have realized this and sooner or later moved into this area. I think that the financial crisis has helped us to structure some of our projects and activities and consolidated long-term partnerships. In addition, the current downturn has “polished” all CSR activities, with companies paying more attention to those projects that involve employees and keep their spirits up. What is th e dif ference betw een the CSR a ctivities of len ders in Romania and those practiced in Central and Eastern Europe? I think the Romanian market is similar to Poland and Turkey from the CSR strategy perspective. There is an obvious gap between Western countries and Romania, especially in terms of mindset. We always have to explain concepts like CSR and sustainBUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010


MONEY able development. But multinationals are closing the gap because they come with CSR policies and impose a trend on the market. However, Romania has an advantage: that of doing things in an easier manner . In Western countries I noticed a stronger link with business. CSR consultancy is more developed than in Romania, there is social entrepreneurship and there are sustainability training companies. I think that in five years the situation will be dif ferent, with some areas of the local CSR market being more developed than now. There will be more CSR consultancy companies and everything will be more structured.

BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010

ships involves RBS employees as volunteers. Last but not least, the financial education program MoneySense has two pillars – financial education for young people and for adults. We have invested about EUR 70,000 in implementing this project this year. Many compa nies h ave cu t th eir marketing and CSR budgets since the current downturn began. What is your take on this? From a company’ s perspective it is understandable to cut some budgets in order for the or ganization to survive. I think it is important to choose those CSR projects that are really linked with the business. Plus, CSR is very often similar to sponsorship in Romania. In other words if you give some money and are involved in volunteering it means you’re doing CSR. I think CSR should be carried out through the business. For example,

we have an e-banking platform and we are trying to encourage our customers to give up paper bank statements and use electronic ones. This action helps the environment on the long term. Companies should be wiser and if they don’ t have enough financial resources to be a sponsor they should try to make their products more environmentally friendly , or make customers more aware of their choices. What can y ou tell u s about product and services development in times of crisis on an emerging market such as Romania, and in a context of th e pressure of th e public’s reduced purchasing power? We need to adapt. Customers will always have financial needs. But it is important that the financial education is present around each category of bank products and services.

Results of the recycling program of paper, PET and cartons at RBS Romania Quantities (tons)

2006

2007

2008

2009

Total

Carton

2.3

1.5

2.9

1.8

8.5

PET

2.2

2.0

2.2

0.9

7.4

Paper

10.8

13.3

38.4

28.8

91.3

SOURCE: RBS ROMANIA

How has RBS got involved on the local CSR market? Our CSR strategy has covered four areas in the last two years: environmental protection, employee engagement, community investment and financial education. For the first one we have some procedures that help us to evaluate customers from sectors more exposed to environmental and social risks such as mining, metal and wood work, and hydraulic power plant building. For those companies from “heavy industry” we have a special procedure to evaluate

them. The second aspect of environmental protection has been to develop products and as an example we have launched carbon emission trading products. Customers can trade certificates to ensure they keep within the law regarding the quantity of their emissions and comply with the EU emissions trading scheme. If their emissions are high they can buy more certificates while they are low they can sell them. The third component of environmental protection is to minimize our direct impact, which means that we have been recycling paper , PET and carton since 2006. As for employee engagement at RBS Romania, all new recruits participate in an “on boarding program”, of which sustainable development is part. We also involve them in different awareness campaigns such as donations at Easter and Christmas, volunteering, etc. Elsewhere our strategy for community involvement is to work with partners on dif ferent community issues, such as AIESEC on sustainable development and education, Habitat on building houses for needy people, United Way on social problems, Viitor Plus on environmental projects and NESsT on social entrepreneurship. Each of these partner-

13


FOCUS

Romanian government’s action plan just pie in the sky, say experts Dismissed by specialists as a mere wish list, the Romanian’s government’s action plan lacks the clout to lift the Romanian

doldrums. Dana Ciuraru General aims like fighting tax evasion and promoting exports aren’t supported by more concrete measures to revitalize the economy. Improvement is even less likely as public servants have been out on strike and with the salary cuts announced by the government they also lack motivation. EU of ficials have expressed their doubts that Romanian authorities can implement the announced measures, as they have already pushed back the June 1 start date. The government has said that it will assume responsibility for this action plan and at the end of June the IMF will see how much progress has been made in the actual implementation of the plan. 14

LAURENTIU OBAE

economy out of the IMF and Romanian government scenarios Romania needs to take measures to reduce the public deficit as decided with the IMF in an agreement that will be reviewed at the end of this month and for which the government states that it is ready to assume responsibility before Parliament. é 2010 deficit with reduction

measures - 6.8 percent

é 2010 deficit without reduc-

tion measures - 9.1 percent

IMF version

é VAT increase to 24 percent é Flat tax up to 20 percent é Public sector salaries cut

by 20 percent

Romanian government version é Public sector salaries cut by 25 percent é Pensions and other forms of social aid reduced by 15 percent

Local economy resuscitation plan é To pay the debt to companies – EUR 1 billion é Implement a program to support public investments from na-

tional and European funds é Support SMEs by extending government guarantees é Fight tax evasion é Promote exports é Impose cost standards for infrastructure works é Change public procurement legislation é Finalize the public-private partnership (PPP) law é Increase transparency through public auctions by running at least 40 percent of procedures electronically é Encourage the establishment and development of micro enterprises belonging to young entrepreneurs by of fering incentives and tax exemptions (start-ups) é Continue and support ongoing government programs such as the first house program (20,486 guarantees worth EUR 851 million), the car renewal program (109,246 scrapped cars, 20,000 new cars bought); the first silo program. é Maintain facilities provided by government: firms that hire the unemployed, by accepting payment by state social security; on technical unemployment (200,000 beneficiaries in 2010) BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010


FOCUS

Austerity measures in the European Union

Public sector salaries hiked y-o-y

Greece

19 to 23 percent;

é The average salary was re-

duced by up to 20 percent;

é Pensions were cut by 10

percent;

é Retirement age for women

was raised from 60 to 65 years, in line with men.

SOURCE: ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT

é VAT was increased from

Public salaries have increased constantly over the past five years and there are anomalies in the calculation system. For instance, in the Economy Ministry state secretaries are paid RON 840, while a cabinet head makes RON 19,750 monthly. In the Health Ministry the salary of a driver is RON 2,801, while a general manager earns RON 2,899. Specialists say that simply trying to trim the state because it is expensive is inefficient in the long run and the system must be fundamentally rethought.

Lithuania

é Public expenditure was cut

by 30 percent;

é Public wages decreased by

20 to 30 percent;

é The number of public sec-

tor employees reduced by 20 percent; é Pensions were reduced by 11 percent from the beginning of the year; é Profit tax increased from 15 to 20 percent; é VAT increased from 18 to 21 percent. Latvia

é Public sector salaries were

cut by an average of 28 percent; é Income tax was increased from 16 to 23 percent; é VAT was increased from 18 to 21 percent. Great Britain

é The government decided

to reduce public expenditure by GBP 6.24 billion.

Italy

é Italian authorities have de-

cided to cut public expenses by EUR 24 billion in the next two years, in order to get the budgetary deficit down to 2.7 percent from 5.3 percent currently.

France

é The government decided

to reduce public expenditure by EUR 5 billion.

Germany

é The Berlin-based execu-

tive is preparing to cut annual public expenses by EUR 10 million by 2016.

BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010

15


PROPERTY

Retailer Cora buys land for new outlet in Brasov

LAURENTIU OBAE

area and changed hands for EUR 325 per sqm. It was sold to free up funds to repay Hidromecanica’ s debts to the Romanian state, with the sale price covering almost the entire sum it owes the tax authorities a nd ot her cr editors. P rovera Rom has already paid 10 percent of the acquisition price. Provera Rom is owned by Dutch company Delparo BV, which holds 99.9 percent of Romania Hypermarche, owner of the Cora hypermarket network locally . The Hidromecanica plant has been up for privatization twice. The first Cora has three stores in the capital time was in 2001, when it was Provera Rom, the developer of bought by Alexander & Co SRL Cora hypermarkets in Romania, has Brasov, and the second was in 2005, spent RON 54 million (EUR 13 mil- when the buyer was businessman lion) buying the Hidromecanica in- Alexandru Garbacea. dustrial platform in Brasov to build Cora owns three stores in a new outlet for the French retailer, Bucharest, one in Cluj, and plans to according to media reports. The open another in Drobeta Turnu platform has a 39,134-sqm surface Serverin. ■

Bucharest office rentals go up 65 percent in Q1, DTZ says

LAURENTIU OBAE

Bucharest office rentals were up in the first quarter, as prime headline rents fell

Bucharest office rentals were up 65 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period of 2009, according to DTZ Echinox. Around 68,000 sqm of office space was delivered in Q1 of 2010, 24 percent of the forecasted annual volume. Most of the of fice buildings delivered in Q1 are located in central and north Bucharest and include City Gate (the B tower – 21,000 sqm), Euro Tower (16,500 sqm), and Platinum Center (8,750 sqm). The total estimated of fice space to be delivered in 2010 stands at 288,000 sqm, 12.7 percent down on last year. The volume still to be delivered this year stands at 220,000 sqm and includes lar gely A type office buildings and only a few B type. The limited access to financing and high vacancy levels will lead to a decrease in delivered of fice space in 201 1, when DTZ estimates that 135,000 sqm at most will be delivered by year end, down 53 percent compared with 2010. Q4 2009 was the highest quarter for take-up last year with 60,000 sqm. Take-up for Q1 2010 was lower but supported the general sentiment that the market was strength16

ening. Take-up in Q1 2010 compared to Q4 2009 saw a 30 percent decrease quarter -on-quarter and a 65 percent increase year -on-year (versus Q1 2009). Relocations represented 85 percent of the total takeup. The lar gest transaction was a 11,735-sqm letting by Sanador within Sevastopol Of fice Building. Space requirements for the center ranged from 200-1,200 sqm whilst in peripheral locations they varied from 400-1,000 sqm. DTZ forecasts that total take-up for 2010 could reach 190,000 sqm, a 46 percent increase from the previous year. Prime headline rents during Q1 2010 fell by 5 percent quarter -onquarter. Prime rental levels are EUR 1920 per sqm per month for buildings located in the city center, EUR 1417 for semi central locations whilst rents in outlying areas were in the range of EUR 9-13. According to DTZ estimations, rents have further to fall in the short term with the market expected to reach the bottom of its current cycle in the second half of 2010. ■ BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010


PROPERTY Immofinanz completes Polus Center UPS Romania opens new facility at Constanta takeover from TriGranit Otopeni airport

Polus Center is the biggest mall in Constanta

Austrian group Immofinanz has taken over the Polus Center Constanta project from TriGranit, the Hungarianbased developer. Polus Center is the biggest mall in Constanta with a projected rentable space of 48,000 sqm, and a total built area of 112,000 sqm. The center will accommodate around 200 units including a hypermarket, a multiplex cinema and a food court. The mall has

BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010

underground and above-ground parking space for 2,200 vehicles. The opening is planned for the second quarter of 2011. The acquisition is part of the strategy pursued in South Eastern Europe by Immofinanz, the company resulting from the merger between Immofinanz AG and Immoeast AG at the end of April this year. Immofinanz has a portfolio of 1,800 properties with a market value of EUR 8.3 billion. The company is listed on the Vienna stock exchange, and focuses on retail, logistics, office and residential space on the eight main markets in the region: Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Russia. Trigranit had previously sold Polus Center Cluj to Immoeast. The developer is involved in the public-private-partnership project in downtown Bucharest Esplanada which is currently on hold due to land ownership issues. The mixed project had previously been evaluated at EUR 1 billion. ■

hour earlier, which is translated into greater efficiency in delivery and pickup services, says the firm. UPS has recently been faced with two major problems, both of which are still threatening: the economic crisis and the recent chaos generated by the ash cloud that disrupted European flights in April. “Timing helped us. 2008 prepared Romania very well for the [economic] crisis. In 2009, we were able to see growth in Romania and prospects still remain robust,” said Cindy Miller, managing director of UPS South Europe and Asia. UPS acquired the local firm Trans Courier service in 2008. UPS’s new center is at Otopeni airport Regarding the ash cloud, Romaine UPS Romania has inaugurated a Seguin, chief operating officer for UPS new operational center at Henri Coanda Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said International Airport. The facility rethe firm had applied contingency soluplaces the three previous centers that op- tions. Instead of arriving in between one erated in Bucharest and serves 60 perand two days in Europe, packages took cent of the country. The 2,500-sqm facil- three to four days to reach their destinaity consists of a combined air gateway , tion. As Koln airport, UPS Europe’ s regional center, freight office, and pack- main hub, was closed, it was replaced age sorting and supply chain stocking fa- with Spain’s airport and most deliveries cility. Its proximity to Otopeni airport al- were made via overland transportation. lows the inbound volume to be sorted an Corina Dumitrescu

17


POWER

Romanian city bets on energy independence trend Transylvanian town Avrig has devised a strategy to make itself energy independent by 2030, while becoming a center for the use of renewable energy sources. The advantages of the project: the creation of new jobs, lower utilities bills and a good place to invest, live and visit, hopes the city hall. Arnold Günter Klingeis, mayor of Avrig

Located at the foot of the Fagarasi mountains, 26 kilometers east of Sibiu, Avrig has 14,260 inhabitants, and is mainly known for its tourism potential. It covers 133.6 sqkm and is made up of four villages: Marsa, Bradu, Sacadate and Glamboaca. Avrig city hall representatives say they decided on the project because it was evident that in today’s economy fossil resources are becoming more expensive and rarer, and the competitiveness of a region will be influenced by the price of ener gy. They spotted the opportunity in thousands of unused hectares of land, which will be coopted to cultivate crops for a planned biomass plant, develop organic farming and build several plants and power stations producing alternative energy. The program, which is in an early stage, was at the basis of the Urbenergy project, which a team from the Avrig city hall proposed for financing to the European Commission in the Urbact II program. “Every city participating in Urbenergy has adhered to the strategy and vision proposed by Avrig and the cities agree to take all the necessary steps to become energy independent by using renewable ener gy sources. The project aims to create an urban environment that is ener gy efficient 18

by developing an integrated framework to improve ener gy ef ficiency and use renewable energy sources in an optimum way,” said Arnold Günter Klingeis, mayor of Avrig. The total value of the Urbener gy project stands at EUR 75,000 and supports the European initiative 20-20-20 which aims to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020, while increasing the use of renewable ener gy by 20 percent. Four areas are tar geted in the program. The Energy element looks at energy decentralization, modernizing the ener gy sector and implementing an alternative smart-grid network system. The Agriculture part looks at cultivating the unused plots of agricultural land, and implementing an ecological kind of agriculture that will incentivize the development of the local rural environment surrounding the city . The Technology chapter covers the know-how and technology transfer as well as communication, while the Social chapter deals with creating local jobs and raising awareness of energy efficiency solutions. The program will be financed from several sources. European funding will be used to draft feasibility studies and technological scenarios through the Elena Facility .

Government funds will b e channeled into thermal isolation works, while local budget money will fuel the infrastructure works and promote the Center for Renewable Energy. Investment from external sources is also needed for setting up the unconventional ener gy u nits, and other types of industrial investment, in combination with European funds. The project will be implemented through Enev-Avrig, a company established by Avrig’s local council to coordinate production, transport, and distribution of renewable ener-

gy produced on the Avrig administrative territory. Several types of alternative energy will be produced in the project, which involves the set up of a biogas-based power station producing electrical and thermal ener gy. The EUR 7.1 million station is located in the Avrig center for renewable energy, and has a capacity of approximately 2 MW e (energy megawatts) and 2 MWt (thermal megawatts). The plant producing electrical and thermal ener gy based on biomass was located in the area of the former Marsa military unit. It has a capacity of 1 MWe and MWt, and is worth EUR 6.5 million. Two micro hydro power plans will be set on the Avrig river with a 2MW capacity each. The photovoltaic station in the Avrig renewable energy center has a capacity of 1 MW, and thermal isolation and the set up of photovoltaic panels will be carried out on blocks of flats and on the rooftops of public institutions. “Local Ener gy, as an integrated model, can become a reality for several cities that wish to reposition themselves economically on a world trend – ener gy. With this the imports of fossil resources will be diminished, and a multiplying effect for the national economy will be created,” says Klingeis. ■

Lake Avrig has so far served as a tourist attraction but the area’s natural resources now have a new use BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010


BALANCE

Sailing school says ahoy to adrift professionals

Otilia Haraga The navigation simulator alone cost several hundred thousand EUR while the total investment that has gone into the opening of the Romanian Nautical College (CNR) so far surpasses EUR 1 million. This sum includes everything from the training rooms to the acquisition of equipment. “In the future, we will see. We could be talking about investments of up to EUR 8-10 million over the next three-four years,” says Mihai Marcu, vice-president of the college. “We had the opportunity to work under a franchise but eventually we decided to do it ourselves,” he says. The college was founded under the umbrella of an NGO in which the Marcu family and Cojocaru are the main players, but other people are of course involved in this project. Financing comes 100 percent BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010

STOCKEXCHANGE

Last week saw the opening of the Romanian Nautical College, which aims to offer an alternative for professional reconversion to those considering a life at sea. The college was started following an initial investment in excess of EUR 1 million, but this will only be the tip of the iceberg as more investments will follow in the coming years. Financing the project are the Marcu brothers, major shareholders in the Medlife network, who teamed up with Stelian Cojocaru, manager of the college.

training amount to EUR 3,000. The course comprises five modules, each of which costs EUR 600. The fee covers the training, use of the navigation simulators, courses and manuals, maps, nautical documents, equipment and instruments as well as assistance during the practice period and in preparing for the exam to obtain the certificate. The college pledges to prepare officers with international certification in under two years. “What will be taught are exactly the disciplines that the graduates will be confronted with on the deck of the ship,” says Cojocaru. In order to be eligible for the program, candidates first have to pass a test, which consists of three stages: a physical, which ensures the candidate is in perfect physical and psychological health, a mathematics exam and an English test, both at the level of ninth and tenth grade. The top three trainees in the admission test are awarded a scholarship. Whatever floats your boat: the college owners hope to sign up professionals seeking a career change “At international level, there is a deficit of approximately 30,000from the Marcu family . There is al- lab with 25 computers, a 150-seater 40,000 of ficers so there is demand for this profession but it is important so a project in the works for attract- auditorium and a library with reading structural funds. “We want to at- ing space. As time goes by , more to be very well prepared. At the moment, Romania has approximately study space will be added as new tract EUR 500,000,” says Marcu. 30,000 sailors,” says Berescu, “Health and education are two departments are set up. CNR is structured in two depart- deputy general manager of the Rodomains that are very good for busimanian Naval Authority (ANV). ments: the deck department, which ness and sell very well abroad. Un“On their first voyage, a marwill instruct deck of ficers and fortunately, at the moment educaitime officer is paid a wage between sailors, and the electro-mechanics tion cannot take place within the EUR 1,500 and EUR 2,000 per department which will train meframework of companies but only chanics officers, electrician officers, month,” says Cojocaru. “We are alunder the umbrella of an NGO. I so looking for jobs for the cadets afplus mechanics and electricians. hope next year things will change terwards.” and we will find solutions to devel- However, the programs in the secA contract of collaboration with ond department will only be availop,” says the VP. able from January 201 1. “There is a banking institution will allow stu“We think that we will make an currently demand on the labor mar- dents to take out loans that are reexit in seven-eight years, in one payable in six years, with a grace form or another. This is not really a ket for mechanics and electricians and we would like to answer this de- period of 24 months. company, it is a mutual fund, but I In total there are 250 places. Inihope we will eventually develop in- mand. However , we have decided we still need some time to be able to tially, the college aims to attract to a company,” he adds. train them. We need to have a sound trainees from the pool of highThe college is located on the material basis but in January 2011 school graduates, especially from edge of Mogosoaia Lake, on a surthe capital, as well as people eyeing we will be prepared for this as face of 1,000 sqm. It has seminar rapid and ef ficient professional rerooms with a capacity of 50 seats, a well,” said Cojocaru. Tuition fees for deck of ficer conversion. room for map work with 25 seats, a 19


BR EVENTS

German rigor calls for change Ever since 2005, Germany has kept a respectable third position in the league of foreign investors in Romania, with its share in the country’s total FDI (foreign direct investments) constantly increasing on a yearly basis, according to data from the National Bank of Romania. 1

4

2

Simona Bazavan

3

5

6

■ 1. Julia Kohlheim, head of the economic sec-

7

tion ad interim at the German Embassy in Bucharest

■ 2. Cristina Daianu, managing

counsel at Salans Romania ■ 3. Radu Merica, president of AHK, Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce ■ 4. Kurt Weber, managing director with Horvath & Partners ■ 5. Peter S imon, cou ntry manager of ABB Romania, B ul8

garia, Re p. Moldova ■ 6. Prof. Dr. Joe rg K. Menzer, managing partner with Noerr Romania ■ 7. The panelists discussed the profile of GerALL PHOTOS BY LAURENTIU OBAE

20

man investments to Romania and future perspectives for German companies in the country. ■ 8. The event gathered around 80 company representatives.

From large corporations to small businesses, German investors are among the most long-standing foreign investors in Romania. Germany was the third largest investor to Romania last year, with FDI amounting to EUR 2.86 billion, about 24 percent more than the previous year , and the country’s top trading partner, according to Julia Kohlheim, head of the economic section at the German Embassy to Bucharest. Company representatives attending the German Business Forum organized by Business Review last week agreed that there is still a lot of potential for future German investments in Romania. Some of the Romanian economy’ s competitive advantages that attracted investors in the first place, such as low labor costs, a relatively well qualified workforce and a lar ge internal market, are still there. But this will not be enough in the future, considering the current economic outlook, the representatives added. Progress has been made in the last few years, but some local flavored economic setbacks continue to baffle German rigor . Problems foreign investors are facing in Romania which were raised during the discussions were the public procurement law, bureaucracy , the lack of legal framework, and generally the lack of investment strategies and political will from local authorities to make the necessary changes. One of the most stressing issues continues to be that of payment arrears and delayed VAT returns. The event, which attracted about 80 company officials, was sponsored by ABB, Salans, Noerr , Horvath & Partners, Marsh and IKB Leasing. More information can be found at www.business-review.ro. BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010


BR EVENTS

Kazakh-Romanian collaboration targets oil and gas sector With about 8 billion tons of proven recoverable oil reserves, Kazakh companies are interested in identifying business opportunities to get the black gold to the Western Europe countries. 1

2

4

Dana Ciuraru

3

5

7

6

■ 1. Sorin Vasilescu, director of the Romanian Center for Trade and Investment

8

■ 2. Oana

Nastase, communication and corporate affairs director at the Rompetrol Group ■ 3. Daniel Anghel, partner of indirect ta x at Pricewaterho useCoopers ■ 4. Saduokhas Meraliyev, the ALL PHOTOS BY LAURENTIU OBAE

BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010

Rompetrol Group CEO ■ 5. Panelists debating business opportunities both in Romania and Kazakhstan ■ 6. Yerdos Nurgali, second secretary of economic issues with the Kazakhstan Embassy ■ 7. Journalists and guests preparing questions for the speakers ■ 8. Some 70 company officials participated in the event.

With Kazakh-Romanian trade volumes of USD 800 million in 2009, Kazakh companies’ interest in the Romanian market is increasing. KazMunaiGas is the Eurasian country’ s most important company with significant operations on the local market after acquiring the majority share package in the Rompetrol Group in summer 2007. Rompetrol, the Kazakh-Romanian cooperation, was one of the topics discussed at the Kazakh Business Forum, event or ganized by Business review. Romanian Center for Trade and Investment data shows that there are currently 35 Kazakh-Romanian joint ventures. Rom ania’s interest in increasing the number of foreign direct investments (FDI) from non-EU countries is high as currently some 65 percent of FDI in Romania comes within the European Union borders. Participating in the event, Saduokhas Meraliyev , Rompetrol Group CEO, addressed the opportunity of investing in Kazakhstan. The Republic of Kazakhstan is a large landlocked country in Northern and Central Eurasia. Its territory is over 2.7 million sqkm and is bigger than that of the entire Western Europe. The population of the country in 2008 was estimated at just over 15.8 million people. K azakhstan h as e njoyed a steady growth of its GDP for the last five years with year -on-year increases of over 9 percent. It has about 8 billion tons of proven recoverab le o il r eserves. Industry analysts believe that planned expansion of oil production, together with the development of new fields, will enable the country to produce as many as 2 million barrels per day by 2015, taking the country into the world’s top ten oil producers. The event, which gathered about 70 company of ficials, was sponsored by Rompetrol and PwC. More information can be found at www.businessreview.ro.

21


FILM REVIEW / CITY

FILMREVIEW: The Men SATC sequel set to Carrie

Who Stare at Goats

Just deserts: Clooney and McGregor come unstuck in the Middle East

Tough-talkin’ no-nonsense military men seem like unlikely fans of touchy-feely New Age practices and clairvoyance. So The Men Who Stare at Goats, based on the US Army’s approximately real-life investigation of the potential use of spirituality and psychic hokum for strategic purposes, at least offers an intriguing premise. The film follows the adventures of reporter Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor), who heads off to Kuwait to cover the Iraq War after being summarily dumped by his wife. A chance encounter sees him link up with Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), a retired elite soldier who was part of the Jedi Warriors, a special army unit tasked with developing invisibility, remote viewing, intuition and a sort of mind control which they practice by staring at goats and willing them to die (hence the title). The story then flits back and forward in time, detailing Bob and L yn’s scrapes in the Middle East (including their inevitable kidnap) and the previous development of the psychic unit, where freethinking, pony-tailed of ficer Bill Django’s (Jef f Bridges) ef forts to channel positive psychology to military ends are secretly being undermined by bitter recruit Larry Hooper’s (Kevin Spacey) enmity with Lyn. Bob and L yn’s adventures in the present story arc reveal more about Lyn’s motives for being in Kuwait along with the fate of the Jedi Warriors and their discoveries. Though the story is based loosely on real events, the source material is in fact several vignettes, which the fi lmmakers have cobb led together to form a more linear plot. As 22

a result, there is an episodic element to proceedings, with the narrative thrust feeling slightly forced. The ending in particular feels tacked on and out of kilter with the general tone. Viewers may also feel some discomfort in the idea of this kind of silly humor being derived from the Iraq War, the horrors of which are still fresh in the collective consciousness. The film’ s brief, late skirmish with the emotive issue of the torture of prisoners of war feels especially incongruous, given the light-hearted framework. But while it doesn’t hang together entirely satisfactorily, The Men Who Stare at Goats is a refreshingly original comedy – about as rare in Hollywood as a well adjusted child star – and as such is to be applauded. There is obvious comic potential in an army of ficer being funded to attend naked hot tub parties and encouraging his soldiers to dance to Billy Idol by way of improving military effectiveness. And if there was any risk of the film’ s whimsical nature annoying the audience, it is offset by the lead actors: Clooney is as likeable as always (even with an unflattering m oustache a nd 1 970sstyle long hair for much of the film) and McGregor is a suitable everyman foil. Bridges and Spacey provide high-caliber support, though the latter is underused and his part feels shoehorned in. The general silliness is also punctuated by genuinely thoughtprovoking moments. It’ s not clear whether Django’s statistic that only 15-20 percent of new soldiers shoot to kill (with the others deliberately missing, avoiding firing at all or pretending to be busy doing something else) is true, but it’s a fascinating idea. While its ingredients don’t really add up to an entirely gratifying whole, this quirky jumble compensates with irreverence, wit and spark. Debbie Stowe Director: Grant Heslov Starring: Ewan McGregor, George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey On at: : Cinema City Cotroceni, Movieplex Cinema

away Romanian audiences

Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon dig out their Manolo Blahniks

One of the most eagerly awaited movies of the year , Sex and the City 2, hit big screens across the country on June 4. Released last week in Great Britain, SATC 2 reached number one at the box office, making GBP 6.14 million within just two days of its release. Although acidly received by critics, the movie is nonetheless expected to bring

large female audiences to Romanian cinemas to see the latest adventures of Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda. The Sex and the City series began in 1998 and reached its season finale in 2004. Released in 2008, Sex and the City: The Movie cashed in around USD 413 million worldwide. Corina Dumitrescu

Vintage cars take over Bucharest’s World Trade Plaza the same roof to celebrate the same passion. The models on display will include: the Ford T Speedster (1912), Ford A (1928), Plymouth (1938), Buick Century 8 (1938), Aero (1936), Mercedes 230 (1940), Lincoln Continental (1963) as well as, with the support of Oldtimer Studio, vintage racing cars, auto collectibles, along with decor elements, such as: a retro gas station, a mock-up car restoration studio, old license plates, dashboard clocks and old-fashioned car tires. Take a drive down memory lane Much to the delight of car lovers, car demonstrations will also be organized. Bucharest W orld T rade Plaza For aficionados, vintage items (Pullman Hotel) will be the host of the will be available for sale. Firms will inaugural Bucharest Classic Car also of fer specialized products and Show between June 10 and 13. The services for vintage vehicles. Repreevent is or ganized by World Trade sentatives of various car clubs will be Center Bucharest and the Vintage present, including: Retromobil, the Cars’ Club (Clubul Vehiculelor de Vintage Cars’ Club, Mor gan, MusEpoca). tang, Automobilia, the American LimAddressed to connoisseurs as well ousine Collection, Opel, Ford, Oldas novices, the Bucharest Classic Car timer Studio and Kronstadt Classic Show 2010 will gather over 50 modRally. els of vintage vehicles. Private collecVisiting hour s: 10: 00-18:00, on tors, specialized clubs and restoration June 10, 11, 12 and 13. firms will be brought together under Corina Dumitrescu BUSINESS REVIEW / June 7 - 13, 2010


Business Review No. 21, June 7 - 13  

Pipeline plans Saduokhas Meraliyev, CEO of the Rompetrol Group, used last week’s Kazakh Business Forum, organized by Business Review,º to a...

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