Business Review Issue 32/2012 October 8 - 14

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BR EVENT: Sonia Kreibich, economic counselor at the German Embassy, says a distinction is needed between the political perception of Romania and the country’s true attractiveness as a place to invest »page 6





Recent changes to Romania’s tax system have far-reaching implications for companies. BR investigated the impact with the help of top fiscal specialists at its Tax&Law event »page 9





Green investment

High-class holiday

Sweet business

Metro Cash & Carry Romania expects to take receipt of 900 tons of vegetables through a new program to support local farmers

Five-star guest house Atra Doftana has generated EUR 162,000 in revenue in its first year since opening and the owners are even considering expanding it

A Bucharest bakery, catering to both individual and restaurant clients, aims to give its customers a homemade style of cookie and cake

Wood sculptures on show at the National Art Museum, MNAR » page 14

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Find out what’s on in town with BR’s cultural agenda » page 14 Business Review | October 8 - 14, 2012


NEWS in brief miere broadcasting of Euronews in the Romanian language, according to TVR officials. Euronews will go out on TVR Info. TVR has been a shareholder of the news broadcaster since October, 2004. Under the contract signed with Euronews, TVR will receive the international version of the news channel and permission to translate and broadcast the content in the Romanian language on its channels. Euronews is a European multilingual news television channel headquartered in Lyon-Ecully, France, which was created in 1933.

AUTO Johnson Controls supplies seats for Ford B-Max, minivan in Craiova

BANKING Intesa Sanpaolo Bank completes merger with CR Firenze Italian Intesa Sanpaolo Group has merged its Romanian subsidiaries, after Intesa Sanpaolo took over the assets of CR Firenze Romania by absorption, marking the first merger in the Romanian banking sector in five years. The newly formed lender will handle assets of more than EUR 5 billion (EUR 1.1 billion). Intesa will operate a network of 90 branches and will have around 1,000 employees. Intesa Sanpaolo operates over 1,500 branches and has 8.3 million customers in 12 countries. The leading lender in Italy, it has an international network of specialists that cater for corporate customers in 29 countries.

Courtesy of BMW

American manufacturer Johnson Controls has started to supply car seats for the Ford B-Max, from its seat facility in Craiova, near the Ford plant where the B-Max is produced. Johnson Controls developed the front seats with integrated seatbelt mountings, which were previously found only in sports coupes and convertibles. The seats can be folded over flat to create additional cargo space. The company also produces the metal structures for the front and rear seats, which offer a permanent engagement latch for the minivan. This feature increases passenger safety and was previously found only in higher vehicle segments. Johnson Controls, a leader in automotive seating, interiors and electronics, can supply a complete seating system from its manufacturing units in Romania. In January the company opened a seat plant in Craiova to supply the Ford plant via a just-in-time process, making the production cycle more efficient. The metal components are manufactured in the former C. Rob Hammerstein plant in Jimbolia, while the seat pads are made in the former Spumotim factory in Timisoara. The seat covers are made in Pitesti.

IMAGE of the week A right royal set of wheels Prince Nicolae (pictured to the right), the successor of King Michael I of Romania, was present last weekend at Bavaria Fest, the traditional party that Bavaria Automobiles Romania organizes to celebrate Oktoberfest. It was the prince’s first public event in Romania since the announcement that he will be moving to Romania from the UK. Prince Nicolae chose to drive a Mini Cooper S, which costs approximately EUR 32,500. The model was given to the prince by Bavaria Automobiles Romania, as the company is the Royal Family’s car supplier. This year, BMW also presented to His Majesty King Michael I a BMW 730d, on the occasion of Romanian Monarchy Day on May 1. basins to the public hospital in Amiens, France, as part of a contract with French developer Bouygues. The washbasins were manufactured at Kuma’s factory in Banesti, Prahova county, where the firm also produces bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Kuma Romania is presently negotiating other “large-scale” projects with the French constructor. The company exports 80 percent of its production. Its main external markets are Denmark, Sweden and Norway. It also exports to France, Holland, Bulgaria and Hungary. Last year it reported a EUR 2.8 million turnover. Kuma Romania is a Danish-Romanian company set up in 1998. It invested some EUR 2 million in a greenfield factory in Banesti where it manufactures washbasins and kitchen and bathroom furniture under the Kuma and Nordline brands.

CONSTRUCTION MACRO Kuma Romania becomes supplier for French Bouygues

Romania’s challenge: revitalizing the economy

Kuma Romania has supplied 600 wash-

Romania’s biggest challenge is the re-

vitalization of its economy, said Joost Kuhlmann, head of the Finland, Bulgaria & Romania section at the European Commission, at the Confindustria Romania economic forum. “Political stability is needed and politicians need to focus on the game. And I am not talking about the political game. I am talking about the economic game. Only in this way is there hope of sustainable growth in Romanians’ living standards,” Kuhlman said. Also attending the conference, Marco Esposito, executive VP of Unicredit Tiriac Bank, said the number of companies with Italian capital in CEE is four times larger than in China. At the same time, Italy’s imports from CEE are 1.5 times higher than those from China, while exports to CEE are 6.7 times higher than those to China.

MEDIA Euronews to be broadcast on local channel TVR Info Public television broadcaster TVR will form a partnership with pan-European news channel Euronews for the pre-

RETAIL Dyson hits Romanian shelves Dyson, the appliances group that is best known for its bagless vacuum cleaners, was launched last week in Romania, during an event hosted by the UK Ambassador Martin Harris. Sir James Dyson founded the firm in 1992 and was later knighted by the Queen. The UK Ambassador described Dyson as one of the most important and brilliant inventors of the 20th and 21st centuries. In eight years he developed over 5,000 prototypes in a workshop behind his house, before coming up with the vacuum cleaner he desired. GBR Auto International, the official Dyson distributor in Romania and Moldova, has brought the full product range for domestic consumers. This includes vacuum cleaners, bladeless electric fans and heaters and hand dryers.

TELECOM UPC Romania introduces internet speeds of 150 Mbps in four cities Telecom operator UPC Romania has introduced internet fiber power at download speeds of up to 150 Mbps in four Romanian cities: Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Ploiesti and Timisoara. Starting next year, the service will be expanded to national level, according to Severina Pascu, CEO of the company. The price of a fiber power 150 MHz subscription is RON 50 per month (VAT included) and the product is also available in pre-defined packages. Apart from this, UPC also will launch a new package, internet fiber power 100 MHz, that can be acquired outside from pre-defined packages in the same four cities for RON 40 (VAT included). Business Review | October 8 - 14, 2012



Metro Cash & Carry to reap 900 tons of vegetables under farmers’ support program

October 9 - 10 CEZ Group organizes Energypedia, an event focusing on Romania's energy projects and production outlook, at Intercontinental Hotel. By invitation only.

October 10 11:40 Safety Broker organizes a press conference to mark seven years of activity on the domestic insurance market at Intercontinental Hotel. Viorel Vasile, managing partner of Safety Broker, will attend. By invitation only.

October 9 ∫EVENT 09:00 Business Review organizes the Pharmaceutical Industry Roundtable at Ramada Plaza. By invitation only Find out more at

October 11 ∫EVENT 09:00 Business Review organizes the third edition of Focus on Telecom, an event that gauges the trends of the telecom industry, at Willbrook Platinum. By invitation only. Find out more at

Green scheme: Metro’s program is intended to help local farmers


fter launching a program for the support of local vegetable producers this May named ‘De-ala Noastre’, Metro Cash & Carry Romania estimates it will take delivery of some 900 tons of vegetables from the farmers who are part of the scheme, said Michael Kaiser, procurement and merchandising non-food director at Metro Cash & Carry Romania, at the fourth edition of the German-Austrian

Investment Forum organized by Business Review. The program started last year with a pilot and has since grown to around 200 farmers, all from the Poiana Mare region, who supply Metro with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and eggplants. In the future, the retailer plans to extend the program by increasing the quantities obtained and by looking at new regions and new crops, said Kaiser,

October 17 ∫EVENT 09:00 Business Review organizes the third edition of Focus on Power, an event that puts up for debate the recent developments in the energy sector, at Howard Johnson Grand Plaza Hotel. Find out more at

October 18 Linked Events and Renaud organize the Leaders in Marketing event in Bucharest. Marketing expert Tim McChesney, managing director of Innuvia Partners, will be a guest speaker. Find out more at

October 24 HART Consulting organizes the fifth edition of HART Strategic Conferences on talent management at JW Marriott Hotel. By invitation only.

November 15 ∫EVENT Business Review organizes the second edition of Focus on Agriculture, an event that will discuss the latest developments in the Romanian agricultural sector, at Ramada Plaza Bucharest. By invitation only.

adding that the company is satisfied with the results so far. Under the contract with Metro, farmers benefit from specialized consultancy during all production phases, including the necessary seeds for the seedlings, and a collecting center. This assures compliance with production, packing, handling and transport standards and “very importantly, the traceability and the quality of the products”, said Kaiser. The vegetables resulting from this process are sold in the Metro Cash & Carry Romania network throughout the country under the brand “De-ale noastre” (Our Own). The Romanian vegetable market is a fragmented one with a large number of small, local producers. The vast majority of them lack the necessary means to sell their products directly to large retail chains as they fail to meet their requirements. This makes it difficult to find local suppliers and in many cases leaves only the option of imports, many retailers complain. However the demand for local fruit and vegetables is high. “It is about the smell and taste of locally produced vegetables. Our customers asked for it and this is one of the main reasons we started this program,” concluded Kaiser. ∫ Simona Bazavan


Oltchim privatization fails


omania has cancelled the sale of its controlling stake in the petro-chemical plant Oltchim, after the tender winner, Dan Diaconescu, failed to present documents that proved he had the EUR 45 million necessary to seal the deal. Businessman and media owner Diaconescu had tried to renegotiate the privatization contract in the last 10 days, a situation described by PM Victor Ponta as a "circus". Diaconescu won the tender for a 54.8 stake in Oltchim on September 21 and was supposed to pay the bid price of EUR 45 million by October 1. Seeing that the negotiations were heading towards a dead end, Diaconescu, who is also the leader of a populist party, switched his interest towards Oltchim's employees. He withdrew money from a bank and transported it in an armored car to the Ministry of Economy. Diaconescu's attempt to enter the public building with the seven bags of cash was refused. He alleged that he needed to work with the public officials on how to transfer the money to the 3,300 Oltchim employees. “This wasn’t a serious offer and everything was done to mock those

working at Oltchim who were hoping for some security,” said Ponta. He added that Diaconescu should have paid the EUR 45 million, not EUR 1.8 million for wages. Furthermore, the businessman didn’t present a business plan. The financial situation of Oltchim’s workers is precarious as they are owed months of back pay. Half of them will receive aid from the Labor Ministry as part of a wider government program to turn Oltchim around. PM Ponta urged the Economy Ministry to “completely” change the approach to Oltchim, as a new privatization attempt is scheduled for next year. Last Tuesday Oltchim’s administration board appointed Mihai Balan as interim director of the chemical plant. He will manage the resumption of the firm’s activity, which is planned for October 12.Last week authorities were set to meet with Oltchim’s main creditors – BCR, Banca Transilvania and CEC – and with the state-owned companies AVAS and Electrica. The receivable claims of these two companies amount to EUR 400 million. The government tried to sell the receivables separately in the Oltchim tender but didn’t attract a bidder.

Businessman Dan Diaconescu

The head of Romania’s privatization office OPSPI, the tender organizer, Remus Vulpescu, resigned last week and filed fraud charges against Diaconescu. Vulpescu accused the businessman of misleading the Romanian state and public opinion by stating that he had the RON 200 million necessary to buy the stake. The complaint further states he used fake documents that “seriously disrupted” the activity of Oltchim and OPSPI. Shares in Oltchim were put back up for trading on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BSE) after being suspended on September 20. The failed privatization sent the share price down by almost 15 percent. ∫ Ovidiu Posirca Business Review | October 8 - 14, 2012


WHO’S NEWS BR welcomes information for Who’s News. Submissions may be edited for length and clarity. Get in touch at

Roccos Cosmatos has been appointed marketing VP by United Romanian Breweries Bereprod (URBB). He is replacing Doron Zilberstein whose term has ended. Cosmatos has gained management experience on emerging markets such as Romania, Malaysia and Bulgaria, during a career spanning over 15 years. He has worked in the FMCG, auto and pharma industries, holding management positions within the strategy, marketing, business development, financial planning and sales departments. He graduated from the Business Faculty of the University of Victoria in Canada, with a bachelor degree in trade.

Mihnea Tobescu is the new CEO of insurance company Euroins Romania, the company has confirmed. Before this, he was the general manager of the former AIG Romania, now Chartis Romania, a position he has held for the past 15 years. One of the objectives the new CEO has set out is to diversify the company’s business lines and its product portfolio, he said.

Daniela Strusevici has been appointed partner by KPMG in Romania. She joined the firm in 1996 in Bucharest and in 1999 returned to her home town of Timisoara where the company had just set up its first regional office.

Strusevici is an auditor by profession, and a member of the UK-based Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), as well as the Romanian Chamber of Auditors (CAFR).

Tudor Grecu has been appointed partner by KPMG in Romania. He has been part of the company’s financial sector team since 2001. Grecu is a member of ACCA and CAFR and has specialized in audits of insurance companies, investment funds and credit institutions.

Bogdan Vaduva has been appointed partner by KPMG in Romania, having worked for the firm since 2004. He started out as an auditor, and later extended his field of expertise. He coordinates multidisciplinary teams in consultancy projects involving regulated industries. Vaduva specializes in corporate finance consultancy with a focus on energy and utilities, oil and gas as well as transportation/infrastructure. He is a member of ACCA and has a postgraduate degree from Harvard Business School in Executive Education (Program for Leadership Development).

Raed Arafat takes over Health Minister responsibilities

Raed Arafat will take over the duties of

the health minister until the December 9 elections while PM Victor Ponta will be the official interim minister, following the resignation of Vasile Cepoi from the position, announced Ponta last week. Arafat currently serves as state deputy secretary with the Health Ministry. He was appointed to the position in August 2007 by then PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu, with responsibility for emergency medicine. Doctor Arafat set up the Mobile Emergency and Intensive Therapy Service (SMURD) in 1990. He is currently its coordinator. ∫ Business Review | October 8 - 14, 2012


Romania needs to regain trust, say German and Austrian investors Geographical position, domestic market size and a relatively cheap workforce continue to be cited by foreign investors among their main reasons for coming to Romania. But is this still enough given the economic and political climate? BR tried to find out at the fourth edition of the German-Austrian Investment Forum. ∫ SIMONA BAZAVAN Romania remains an attractive investment destination for many of those already doing business here, but in order to bring new investors and face competition coming from neighboring countries, the country has not only to address existing setbacks but also promote its selling points more professionally, argued many participants at the event. The picture that German and Austrian investors doing business locally have of Romania is not shared by those back in Germany, where news about the country is mostly negative, they said. One of the local sectors that German investments are expected to target is that of renewable energy, said Sebastian Metz, general director of the RomanianGerman Chamber of Trade and Industry. However, the lack of predictability remains a major stumbling block and the recent political turmoil has worsened things, making it difficult to know the vision of the current government, he added. Another sector with investment potential is agriculture, although Romania is facing several challenges in this area such as the land fragmentation problem which will have to be addressed as it is unsustainable in the long term, argued Johannes Becker, owner of Becker Consult. In his opinion the time is right to invest in crop farms which continue to be good business, although not as good as some years ago, while the zootechnics sector is less attractive. Real estate has been one of the hardest hit sectors by the economic downturn, but this the market will pick up, said Andreas Holler, member of the executive board of Adama Group. Land and construction prices have gone down but access to bank financing remains restrictive, he said. Nevertheless, there is a need for new apartments in Romania, but this time around the supply has to reflect the demand – with smaller surfaces and cheaper prices – and not repeat the mistakes of the past. The time of gold diggers ended in 2008, emphasized Holler. Austrian companies present locally had invested some EUR 9.4 billion by the end of 2010 while German investments amounted to a total of EUR 5.6 billion until last year with EUR 424 million brought to Romania in 2011 alone.










1. Rusandra Sandu, associated partner, head of corporate/M&A department, Noerr Romania 2. Michael Kaiser, procurement & merchandising non-food director, Metro Romania 3. Johannes Becker, owner of Becker Consult 4. Sebastian Metz, general director, Romanian-German Chamber of Trade and Industry 5. Dr. Sonja Kreibich, economic and commercial counselor, German Embassy 6. Rudolf Lukavsky, commercial counselor, Austrian Embassy 7. Tobias Waldemar, head of international corporate clients at BCR 8. Doina Ciomag, executive director, Foreign Investors Council 9. Andreas Holler, member of the executive board, Adama Group And more could come, said participants at the event.

Romania loses trust over political turmoil Political events this summer have affected Romania’s image abroad and the authorities need to promote the coun-

try as an investment destination more professionally, said Rudolf Lukavsky, commercial counselor with the Austrian Embassy to Bucharest. Trust has been lost between Romania and Germany and the political crisis this summer was one of the main reasons, confirmed Metz. “Our chamber is

organizing about 30, 40 events a year in Germany and we explain the actual economic situation in Romania, which is better than in other countries, but the German business community needs confirmation from higher Romanian officials which is lacking right now,” he said. Business Review | October 8 - 14, 2012



Would you like to have your business promoted for free? Vodafone donates its online media space for you to promote your own business!



On the occasion of launching Vodafone Office Complet, an integrated service package addressed to SOHO and SME firms in Romania, Vodafone launched a special communication campaign that allows small and medium companies to promote their business using Vodafone online banners. How to enter the online campaign? First of all, you have to be one of Vodafone clients and also belong to one of these categories: authorized individuals or professionals or small family business, based in Romania with a maximum of 60 employees. Then, there are a few steps to follow:

10. Members of the German and Austrian business communities active in Romania debated the main issues facing their compatriots 11. The event provided high-level networking opportunities 12. Attendees heard diplomats from Germany and Austria tackle topics such as Romania’s reputations abroad “Political relations between Romania and the rest of Europe went through a difficult phase this summer. It reaffirmed the need to talk and explain things (…). There is a great need to explain what is going on in Romania. The perception of Romania in Germany is probably worse than it should be,” said Sonja Kreibich, economic and commercial counselor with the German Embassy in Bucharest. “On the other hand I often get the feedback that we really need to distinguish between political perception and the true attractiveness of Romania as a place to invest. And many companies say they know about political instability but they don’t depend on who’s in government in Romania right now,” she added.

Investors need vocational workforce Romania’s workforce has always been mentioned as one of the reasons foreign investors set up shop locally, but in order for Romania to remain competitive it has to invest in vocational courses as there is a growing need for trained workers, warned participants. “It is actually very important to work on this because otherwise we will have a situation where we hire university graduates to work in production and this can’t be the solution,” said Metz. When it comes to vocational training, Romanians also have to overcome a prejudice that favors higher education,

explained Rusandra Sandu, associated partner, head of the corporate/M&A department at Noerr Romania and the event’s moderator. The lack of trained workers can be solved by putting together a partnership between the authorities and the private sector, said Metz. Such a dual professional training system has enabled Germany to have a lower unemployment rate than the European average, in particular among young people, recommended Kreibich. “There is a need for private initiatives. It is up to the companies to say ‘we need these professionally trained people, we have an idea of how to do it so let’s talk to the authorities to set up a training program,” she explained. A first initiative of this kind, the Kronstadt German Professional School was set up earlier this year and recently started the first school year. It resulted from a partnership between several German companies and the local authorities. The curriculum and the practical training are agreed upon with the private companies which at the end of the program hire the students. In their turn, the authorities make available the building where the classes are held and cover the running expenses. The focus is on practical training and at the end of the program the students obtain a degree valid both in Romania and Germany.

Fill in the registration form - Enroll on or access Vodafone web-banners promoting Vodafone Office Complet and fill in the online form with information regarding your business: name of the firm, contact details etc. Add to this a differentiating message and a representative image for the activity field you activate in. Be selected by the jury - A jury will analyse all demands and will select winners according to judging criteria such as accuracy of the message, eligibility according to business profile etc Have your banner on various websites – Your personalized web-banners will benefit from a number of minimum 1000 views distributed on websites that are enlisted in the media plan, such as: This personalized web-banner campaign lasts from September, 20th till October 20th, 2012. More info about how your business can join this online campaign: Vodafone Office Complet enables business clients to have access to all communication solutions: fixed voice, mobile voice, fixed internet, mobile internet and fax. Clients can have now unlimited calls to all fixed national networks, either from their fixed or mobile lines, as well as unlimited fixed internet. Vodafone Office Complet is a unique product on the telecom market in Romania, which, together with group subscriptions Vodafone Business Profiles, is meant to meet all communication needs of all clients. Vodafone is leader on business segment on telecom market in Romania. For more info about Vodafone Office Complet, go to Business Review | October 8 - 14, 2012


Full speed ahead for telecom The Romanian telecom industry is on the tip of unprecedented diversification, as some very important changes are about to take place. The timeframe of the introduction of 4G on the local market has become clearer, and broadband is set to reach the still uncovered areas soon. On the consumer side, the battle is as sharp as ever, with increasingly innovative brand and customer experience strategies. Key representatives of the industry will debate all this and more during the BR event Focus on Telecom, on October 11. ∫ OTILIA HARAGA As smartphones enter the mainstream, many of our daily tasks will move to the device in our pocket. Currently Romanians can already pay using their mobile phone for their parking space, subway and taxi rides, cinema tickets, and flowers. Also, payments at various points of sale (POS) are a step closer to happening as near-field communication (NFC) has been tested in Romania. In early summer, Orange Romania announced it was launching a pilot project in collaboration with BRD-Groupe Societe Generale to test NFC in Romania, a technology that allows mobile phone users to pay for their acquisitions at POS with their cell phone. Over 100 people with a bank account at BRD received Blackberries and SIMs with NFC capabilities while BRD installed over 2,000 POS compatible with NFC all over the country at supermarkets, restaurants, fast food outlets, pharmacies and subway stations. The trial was planned to last between three and six months. Orange was also in discussions with other banks on this subject. Earlier, in February, Vodafone had struck a partnership with Visa which allows payments for goods and services via mobile phone. The new concept of mobile payments will be based on Visa prepaid cards. While the partnership was signed at a global, not local level, it goes to show that the operator has the expertise to implement NFC in Romania as well, especially after introducing it in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey and Great Britain, under this agreement. As of this year, telecom customers have the option of paying for their parking space using their handset. Cosmote Romania in partnership with Piconet launched payment via SMS for parking in Timisoara, Resita, Oradea and Satu Mare. Also, since January, Vodafone Romania users can secure their parking space by sending an SMS, as a result of a partnership with the Bucharest City Hall. Subway rides can also be paid for with the cell phone. Orange Romania announced that customers can pay for their journeys at Gara de Nord, Victoriei, Universitate, Petrache Poenaru, Timpuri Noi, and Grozavesti by sending an SMS. Similarly, Vodafone customers can

Your subway, bus, tram or taxi ride is one click away: just use your cell phone

also pay via SMS in seven subway stations in the Bucharest subway, Victoriei, Universitate, Gara de Nord, Timpuri Noi, Politehnica, Grozavesti and Petrache Poenaru. Operators also introduced the option for customers to pay for their subway, bus and tram rides with their mobile phone after the Bucharest public transportation utility signed a partnership with Orange, Vodafone and Cosmote. More recently, on October 4, Orange and Clever Tech launched an application called Clever Taxi, available on iOS, Android and Windows Mobile platforms, via which customers can order the taxi closest to them directly from their cell phone. Recently, it has even become possible to pay for a bunch of flowers at the subway with a personal handset, after Vodafone launched The Digital Flower Shop. By scanning the QR codes available at Piata Victoriei, customers can send a bouquet of flowers anywhere and pay via SMS or from the credit on their prepay card. Cinema tickets can also sometimes be paid for via mobile phone. Following a partnership between, Grand Cinema Digiplex and Vodafone Romania, customers can book their seats and select the hour and the location for a film via an application compatible with iOS, Android and Symbian, receiving the code of their electronic ticket by SMS. Another field where there has been

a great deal of activity in telecom is brand awareness campaigns. Vodafone for instance launched a new brand campaign under the logo, “Vodafone brings together people who hope for the best. Together we are stronger.” The operator also collaborated with Humanitas publishing house over the launch of a digital library in the subway, located at Piata Victoriei station, where bookworms can scan the QR code of a book and download a fragment from it in various formats free of charge. Still powered by the target of reinforcing its image and improving customer experience, Vodafone carried out an extensive store revamping program. In July, the operator announced it had finished the re-branding process for more than 100 stores in its network, following an investment of EUR 7 million. At the same time, the company also opened its flagship outlet, the Vodafone Experience Store, in AFI Cotroceni shopping gallery. Competitors Orange and Cosmote had also duly revamped their stores the year before. To tempt more clients, Vodafone offered free Wi-Fi on some beaches in summer and on several ski slopes during winter. Elsewhere, Orange launched one of the first mobile application concepts using augmented reality (AR) in Romania. Thus, the Orange Explorer application was launched with two activations: Antipa, through which mobile phone users could ‘timetravel’ to see mam-

moths, and Graffiti, through which they could try graffiti designs. But it is not only the brand, but the technology that matters. After securing their spectrum resources for the next 15 years, telecom players in Romania have officially confirmed their interest in the launch of 4G services. In the long term, this will allow further development of an entire ecosystem, as 4G promises to deliver up to 100 Mbps for users on the move. Orange Romania announced that it would launch 4G services in the 1800 MHz frequency in the coming months. “We are planning to start 4G services before the end of this year, pending the approval of the authorities, and from April 2014 we will be able to offer 4G services at the highest efficiency,” said Jean-Francois Fallacher, CEO of Orange Romania. Vodafone Romania has also announced a timeframe for a 4G launch in its network. “Vodafone will be able to launch 4G services for its customers in early 2013 (…). We already have a testing license for 4G and we will shortly start running tests in our network,” said Inaki Berroeta, CEO of Vodafone Romania. Cosmote Romania is also ready to “accommodate the long-term network needs for development and capacity for all technologies (2G/3G/4G),” said the company representatives. Before the bid, Romanian-based company RCS&RDS also announced its interest in supplying 4G to its customers. “We are very interested in 4G and in the new services that can be launched based on this technology,” Dragos Spataru, manager of the business unit for voice at RCS & RDS, told BR. The fifth contender that took part in the telecom auction, 2K Telecom, also intends to use its acquired spectrum in this direction. “2K Telecom is already offering data services of the 4G-type using the alternative technology WiMax. (…) The newly acquired spectrum will be integrated into these two strategic directions of our company: first, specializing in building and maintaining modern telecommunications networks, especially 4G LTE networks, and second, opening up these networks to the other operators as part of collaboration models in which each firm enhances its own competencies,” said Dragos Enescu, marketing director at 2K Telecom. Business Review | October 8 - 14, 2012


Coming under a tax: firms face fiscal future Authorities approved this summer a series of fiscal measures affecting VAT, the deductibility of provisions and social contributions in the case of independent activities. The impact of the recent measures and the new fiscal initiatives by the government were assessed last week by tax specialists during the eleventh edition of Tax&Law, organized by Business Review. ∫ OVIDIU POSIRCA


Fine-tuning VAT VAT legislation was modified this July in order to curb fiscal evasion and simplify the VAT system for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), according to Nadia Oanea, coordinator of the fiscal consultancy department at Baker Tilly. Romania was given exemption from an EU directive that limits the deduction of VAT for the acquisition, renting and leasing of road vehicles that are not used solely for business purposes. The VAT deduction is limited to 50 percent for the acquisition of road vehicles, fuel acquisitions and maintenance costs. Full deduction remains in place for cars used exclusively for delivery services and passenger transport among other purposes. The threshold for VAT exemption climbed to EUR 65,000 in a move to simplify the fiscal obligations of small firms. “It aimed to reduce the number of VAT payers and to increase the compliance on VAT payments,” said Oanea. Companies that register a turnover of less than EUR 500,000 are set to apply the chargeability of VAT when invoices are collected. This measure, which will be enforced from 2013, aims to sustain the recovery of SMEs, and increase the liquidity and collection of VAT. “The most dangerous measure for small firms is that large companies – their clients – that buy from them can deduct their VAT only when paying. This creates the need for adjustments in the IT systems and administrative costs. You have to keep records of the invoices from large and small firms,” said Gabriel Biris, partner at law firm Biris Goran. “Small firms should have been given the option right for this system, as it is mandatory.” Ion Busuioc, general director in the Directorate General of Tax Methodology, Guidance and Assistance to Taxpayers at the fiscal agency ANAF, said the application norms of this measure will be published this month. If the companies that apply this system do not take delivery, partially or fully, of the goods and services in 90 days of the invoice having been issued, the VAT chargeability intervenes in the 90th-calendar day from the invoicing date, explained Oanea.







1. The panel tackled the major fiscal issues companies have to contend with 2. Ioana Costea, coordinator of Tax Law Department, Chiuariu & Asociatii 3. Ioan Busuioc, general director, Directorate General of Tax Methodology, Guidance and Assistance to Taxpayers at ANAF 4. Cristian Radulescu, partner, Taxhouse 5. Constantin Rudnitchi, economic journalist, Radio France International 6. Nadia Oanea, coordinator of Fiscal Consultancy Department, Baker Tilly 7. Ionut Bohalteanu, partner, Musat & Asociatii Fiscal Consultancy Business Review | October 8 - 14, 2012






Cash accounting scheme for VAT – a new reality by Raluca Rusu, VAT Senior Manager Popovici Nitu & Asociatii TAX

After much speculation, the Fiscal Code amendments implementing the special cash accounting scheme for VAT were finally published at the end of August. Long awaited as the solution for a simpler, more cash-flow friendly system for small and medium taxpayers, the measure has been expected to bring a needed flow of oxygen. But as always, the devil is in the details… Given the great number of entities affected, it is crucial to understand what the changes entail, as well as the preparations which need to be made. Scope and entry into force The new provision enters into force as of January 1, 2013. While the VAT Directive provided for an optional scheme, its implementation into the legislation has made the scheme mandatory for a large number of companies (estimated at roughly 90%). The scheme applies to entities with a turnover below RON 2,250,000 in the period October 2011 – September 2012 (a notification must be filed by October 25, 2012). In going forward, the scheme will also be applicable to entities with a previous year threshold below the mentioned one, as well as to entities which register for VAT purposes throughout the year. The scheme does not apply for all supplies (such as transactions with related parties, most cases where payment in cash occurs, etc), which is likely to complicate the practical implementation. Envisaged mechanism Under the new mechanism, VAT becomes chargeable upon encashment of the issued invoices, but no later than 90 days from the date the invoice was raised (or should have been

raised). As such, the title of “cash accounting scheme” is misleading, as the encashment moment does not always correspond to the VAT liability. In addition, input VAT deduction is blocked both for the customer (until the payment is performed), as well as for certain acquisitions of the entity applying this scheme (again, until payment). Intricate mechanisms are applicable in case of transaction adjustments (price increases/decreases, annulments, etc), as well as for transitory measures (invoices issued/payments made under current rules in connection to transactions to be performed under the new rules). Impact and challenges Going beyond the concerns related to the compatibility of specific provisions with the VAT neutrality principle (e.g. the supplier has to pay VAT after 90 days regardless of encashment, while the beneficiary cannot deduct VAT until the payment date), the transition to the new system is likely to entail huge administrative efforts and notable costs for companies. Having in mind the approaching implementation deadline, which overlaps with an already busy period for accounting and tax personnel, it is crucial for companies to clearly identify the steps which need to be followed in order to be compliant. As a first step, transactions will need to be mapped in order to assess the future treatment (difficult at this stage, due to lack of application norms). As a second step, the accounting and tax software will need to be reconfigured, as the future VAT ledgers cannot be automatically extracted from the information currently available (with related costs and bottlenecks). A quick fix may be the manual processing of the adjustments entailed by the new scheme, but this entails an additional workload, increased risk of errors and it may simply not be feasible for large companies (which are impacted as well, for the acquisitions made from companies falling under the new scheme). In such circumstances, a true “flow of oxygen” would be the amendment of the legislation in order to allow the implementation of this scheme on an optional basis.

Raluca Rusu, VAT Senior Manager Popovici Nitu & Asociatii TAX

8. Gabriel Biris, partner, Biris Goran 9. Florentina Susnea, general director, PKF Finconta 10. Serban Toader, senior partner, KPMG 11. Alexandru Onuta, manager, NNDKP Consultanta Fiscala Biris argued that reverse taxation would drastically reduce VAT fraud. He said that Romania is able to collect only 54 percent of the VAT that should be normally obtained. This creates a loss of EUR 4 to 5 billion, which is roughly the size of the country’s budget deficit. “Because of the way VAT works, the fraud opportunity emerges legally, through a different regime of intra-community transactions versus national deliveries. You have an intermediary that buys from the EU without VAT, sells internally with VAT, collects the VAT, doesn’t pay, disappears, and the state has to reimburse,” said Biris. The Council of the European Union says the VAT design creates a fraud opportunity that results in EUR 110 million annual loss to the EU budget, according to Biris.

British is best for small companies The Romanian Government is considering a flat rate scheme on VAT, based on the UK model. The rate aims to help small businesses by taking some of the work out of recording VAT sales and purchases, according to Oanea of Baker Tilly. “The government is currently looking at the UK model in which a lower flat tax on VAT is applied against the standard one and this would apply to the turnover or total collection, depending on the tax base for the selected VAT,” said Oanea. “We wouldn’t be interested in this case in deductions, so there would be no difference between deductible and collected VAT.” Oanea said the main benefit for companies is that they save time, adding

that the flat tax rate depends on the sector of activity. Acquisitions of capital goods and intra -community goods, along with the acquisition of services that have reversed taxing, would be excluded from this scheme.

Deducting R&D Romania is trying to support companies that have research and development (R&D) operations and has increased the deductibility of these expense from 20 to 50 percent. “This can lead to job creation and stimulate the hi-tech sector,” said Serban Toader, senior partner at KPMG, the professional services firm. He called this measure “salutary” for the business environment as the Fiscal Code is harmonized with R&D legislation. KPMG has been doing some development of its own. The firm has been working for over a year on a tax application for smart phones and tablets called Tax Express. The app is in beta mode and is due to be launched later this month.

Fiscal trends The fiscal procedure code has this year undergone changes in the operations of transfer pricing and the fiscal authorities are paying close attention to offshore transactions, according to Cristian Radulescu, partner at Taxhouse – Taxand Romania, an advisory firm. “The fiscal authority will be able to request a transaction file with countries that don’t have a double taxation system,” said Radulescu. He added that fiscal administrations in the EU have stepped up their cooperation. Business Review | October 8 - 14, 2012 This makes it easier for foreign tax inspectors to investigate a case in Romania and the other way around. Radulescu stated the transfer pricing adjustment will continue the growth trend this year. The partner said that an exception to the general order regarding the debt extinguishment order will be introduced from November 1. “In the case of fines and other fiscal payment obligations established by the fiscal inspection body, those selected by the taxpayer have priority,” stated Radulescu. He mentioned that the authorities have intensified their efforts in fighting fiscal evasion and have expanded the categories of verified taxpayers – inspections have started targeting individuals. The intensification of tax inspections and the development of IT systems are recent trends in this field.

Fiscal body tracks social contributions ANAF is the body that from July will track the collection of social contributions for the state budget from individuals that report an income from independent sources, according to Ionut Bohalteanu, partner at Musat & Asociatii Tax Advisory. Income originating from liberal professions, intellectual property that includes copyright and related rights and commercial income are considered independent. He explained that the deceleration of this income, which represents the reference base for social contributions, is made through an income statement at the public pension system. Another statement on the estimated and actual income is needed for healthcare insurance. These contributions have to be paid quarterly in four equal installments. The partner said that in the case of social insurance, the declared income can’t be less than 35 percent of the average gross salary set at RON 2,117 this year. In addition, this income can’t be more than five times this sum. For healthcare insurance, the difference between total earnings and expenses needed to achieve them, excluding social contributions, or the annual value of the income norm, can’t be less than the minimum gross wage of RON 700. This applies if it is the sole income source as reference for contributions. Bohalteanu mentioned as exceptions income where tax is withheld at source and some agricultural activities. He added that people with no income still need to pay the monthly healthcare contributions in order to be insured. The reference base is represented by the national level of the gross minimum wage. In this case, payment has to be made by the 25th of the next month for which the contribution is owned.

Taxing share trading The fiscal authorities have scrapped the quarterly taxation of investors on the domestic stock exchange as it only led to an administrative mess, according to

11 Alexandru Onuta, manager at NNDKP Consultanta Fiscala. From next year, investors will have to pay annually for gains on the domestic stock exchange. “The income obtained by a non-resident on foreign capital markets, from the transfer of shares owned by a Romanian legal entity, doesn’t represent taxable income in Romania,” said Onuta. Income generated from selling any securities in Romania or abroad is taxed. However, if the income is taxed both in Romania and abroad, fiscal credit can be applied in certain conditions. Onuta explained that a convention for avoiding double taxation has to be closed between Romania and the respective state and the documents that show the taxes were paid abroad have to be presented. “Foreigners can avoid double taxation based on a fiscal residency certificate. Not all conventions offer a favorable regime,” said the NNDKP manager.


Taxation of income from independent activities in light of recent tax law changes by Ioana Höckl, ACCA Partner Zamfirescu Racoti Predoiu Tax Advisors or exercise liberal professions and are registered for tax purposes according to the applicable legislation are excluded from the category of revenues for which income payers are liable to withhold, declare and pay income tax.

Debt issues Authorities approved this July a measure supported by the business community for the introduction of provisions related to the assignment of receivables. Companies can now deduct the provisions/adjustments for the depreciation of receivables that were acquired from credit institutions for the purpose of being collected, according to Florentina Susnea, general director at PKF Finconta, a fiscal consultancy. She explained that the collection risks appears in the 30th day from debt maturity and provisioning needs to be set up. “The principle of prudence obliges us to reflect in the accounting books the provisions at a just value,” said Susnea. Susnea warned that the amount of receivables in the accounting books of the creditor may not be similar to those of a debtor that has entered into judicial reorganization. “When the reorganization plan is voted by the creditors, we might end up seeing that we can recover only 50 percent of the amount of receivables,” explained Susnea. The forced suspension procedure of a taxpayer can be halted if the indebted company can provide a bank guarantee letter to the fiscal body once they contest the procedure, according to Ioana Costea, coordinator of the tax law department at Chiuraiu & Asociatii, a law firm. Companies may have more time to get liquidities, but this procedure runs a major risk. “Litigation surrounding fiscal receivables lasts longer than the 12-24 months covered by the letter,” warned Costea. If a company can secure the letter, the money and the mortgage are preserved by the bank, but they can avoid the deduction and replace it with a real guarantee in favor of the bank, added Costea.

The purpose of this article is to present the taxation regime in terms of income tax and social contributions applicable for income earned by individuals from independent activities. This tax area has raised many discussions in the business environment during the current year mainly due to the ambiguous wording of the tax law with respect to the categories of income from independent activities for which income payers have the obligation to withhold, declare and pay income tax and social contributions. According to income tax provisions, individuals earning income from independent activities are liable to declare and pay the income tax due. However, the Fiscal Code also includes in the category of income from independent activities the income earned on the basis of the so-called “civil conventions/agreements concluded in accordance with the Civil Code” for which income payers are liable to withhold, declare and pay income tax. Note however that the concept of civil conventions/agreements provided by the Fiscal Code has entirely lost its meaning once the new Civil Code was enacted and the Commercial Code was repealed (i.e. on 1 October 2011). As of this date, all contracts are governed by the Civil Code and no distinction can be made between civil and commercial agreements. At the end of August 2012 a provision was introduced in the Fiscal Code which states that income earned on the basis of the “civil contracts/conventions concluded in accordance with the Civil code” by individuals who carry out economic activities independently

In terms of social contributions, as of July 2012 social contributions applicable for income from independent activities (i.e. contributions to the social and health insurance funds) are governed by the Fiscal Code. The Fiscal Code maintains the provisions contained by the special laws previously governing social contributions, according to which income earners are liable to declare and pay the social contributions applicable for income from independent activities. At the end of August 2012 a provision (similar to the one mentioned earlier for income tax) was introduced in the Fiscal Code, according to which income payers are liable to withhold, declare and pay social contributions for the remuneration earned by individuals on the basis of the “civil conventions/agreements concluded in accordance with the Civil Code”, with the exception of the remuneration earned by individuals who carry out independent economic activities or exercise liberal professions and are registered for tax purposes in accordance with the applicable legislation. Although the explanations introduced in the Fiscal Code at the end of August 2012 shed some light regarding the intention of the legislator, I believe it is still necessary to remove from the Fiscal Code the concept of “civil conventions/agreements concluded in accordance with the Civil Code”, which is no longer in line with the legal terminology. Instead, the legislator could mention that the obligation to withhold, declare and pay income tax and social contributions would rest with the income payers (not with the income earners) for the income earned on the basis of contracts concluded for occasional (one-off) services or works realized by an individual, i.e. contracts under which the individual does not systematically/repetitively render services or performs works.

Ioana Höckl, ACCA Partner Zamfirescu Racoti Predoiu Tax Advisors Business Review | October 8 - 14, 2012


Atra Doftana bets on high-end tourism despite crisis One year after its official opening, the five-star guesthouse Atra Doftana has generated EUR 162,000 in revenues by attracting some 5,000 tourists to the little known but promising area of Doftana Valley. The owners see this niche business growing further over the years to come and are even considering expanding it, BR found out.

Courtesy of Atra Doftana

The modern look is the work of awardwinning architects

Black beauty: Atra Doftana takes its name from the Latin word for black, referencing the local traditional costumes

∫ SIMONA BAZAVAN With its modern architecture and interior design, a gourmet restaurant boasting an Italian chef and jazz music drifting through the hallways, the unconventional five-star Atra Doftana tourist guesthouse is an unexpected and almost alien presence in the rural and traditional area of Doftana Valley. Located on the banks of Lake Paltinu, some 130 km from Bucharest, the guesthouse is owned by Emil Munteanu, Eduard Dimitriev, Stefan Mustata and Razvan Florea, four local entrepreneurs with established businesses in IT, EU funds consultancy and home installations. The four of them decided to invest in a high-end tourist side project back in 2008. “We all had small kids and loved to go to the mountains for the weekend. We were looking for more elegant accommodation with good quality services but such places were fully booked most of the time. Then came the crisis and this still didn’t change. So we saw potential for this high-end niche,” said Florea. The owners knew they wanted to build a place by a lake and after seeing several other locations decided on Dof-

tana Valley because of the landscape and the proximity to Bucharest – between an hour and a half and two hours from the capital by car. Located close to the much more popular and crowded Prahova Valley, Doftana Valley is a rural area with mostly untapped tourist potential. “We are not competing with Prahova Valley, but rather offering an alternative. We want those coming here to enjoy peace and tranquility,” said Munteanu. The area’s main attraction is Lake Paltinu, on the Doftana River, a place swarming with local campers during weekends. There are several other guesthouses in the villages of Doftana Valley but these are mostly two-star locations which focus on rural tourism. The modern and art-focused Atra Doftana is at the opposite end of the spectrum. The guesthouse has only eight rooms each costing RON 290 (approximately EUR 67) per night, breakfast included. This also includes access to a lake-view gym and sauna and children’s playground, and guests can use the facility’s mountain bikes and kayaks. Atra also organizes trips to nearby traditional mountain sheep farms which are very common in the area. The unconventional Atra Doftana was designed by award-winning archi-

tect Bogdan Babici and George Maftei from Tecon and won first prize at the Bucharest Architecture Annual Awards last year in its category. The modern building was built to respect the surrounding landscape and using traditional local materials.

The numbers behind the story Atra Doftana was officially opened last year following a EUR 1 million investment. Some EUR 200,000 of the money was EU funds, the maximum sum that could be accessed for this type of project. Getting the EU money, however, was no mean feat, say the owners. One year after completing the project they are still waiting to receive the last installment because of the bureaucracy in the system. The owners estimate they can recover the initial investment in about 1015 years. Until then, the guesthouse has brought RON 700,000 (approximately EUR 162,000) in revenues in the first year, 40 percent of which came from accommodation while the restaurant generated the rest. Atra Doftana reported a 40 percent average occupancy rate for the first year. The facility has eight rooms with a total capacity of 25 places. About 60 percent of the 5,000 guests were individuals

while the rest came for business/corporate events. During weekends and holiday seasons demand for accommodation outstrips capacity, leading the owners to consider expanding the business in the future. “We could use another 10 rooms but we don’t intend to extend the existing construction or build a large hotel. Most likely we will build some small locations in the nearby area which would be in close connection to the existing guesthouse,” they said. More concrete future development plans include increasing revenues by 20 percent next year, a growth rate Munteanu and Florea consider normal for a start-up business. This should come from boosting the average annual occupancy rate by 10 percent and by promoting the gourmet restaurant as a destination in its own right. They also intend to continue art initiatives such as the most recent contemporary painting exhibition, by Ramon Grosos, and to promote Doftana Valley as a tourist destination.

Other 5-star guesthouses Conacul Archia, Deva Euro-Park, Fundata Pensiunea Alfa, Mamaia Pensiunea Mai, Sibiu Business Review | October 8 - 14, 2012


Confecting a sweet business plan With a personalized confectionery collection already developed, the Palmiye Cakes & Cookies bakery is planning further product additions and to boost its number of customers.

Courtesy of Palmiye/Hadas Eldar

Tami Moryosef, owner of Palmiye, has high hopes for her bakery


ami Moryosef, the owner of the cake for customers with an egg allergy. bakery, says she started by baking “We have Italian specialties, American at home for private clients and ones, French ones. It is a mix, taking other people who might be interested. things from different kinds of places “I came to Romania eight years ago and adjusting them to Romania.” The bakery says it puts on the marwith my husband. I had planned to study patisserie but it never happened. ket a high-end product, one which is But it was always my passion. I’m al- hand-made. “In the beginning I used to ways looking for recipes and modifying say that we made homemade products, them, changing quantities to see how it but it’s not the case because they’re not made in the home. Now we say they’re goes,” she says. In 2006 the businesses started cater- handmade, which means they have the ing also for restaurants. In November quality of the homemade product but 2011 a place was rented on Luterana they’re also professional,” Moryosef exStreet to serve as a kitchen, a staff of two plains. One important part of the handwas hired and trained and Palmiye started targeting restaurants and coffee made experience is the use of a pizza shops more decisively. Representatives oven to bake the cakes at a slower pace. of the bakery say word of mouth is the Unlike ovens used in larger kitchens, it best marketing they can get and, while doesn’t make the baking process faster they plan to increase the number of and it maintains the temperature all restaurants they serve, they also want over the oven. “It is the closest to a to boost the number of individual homemade taste,” she adds. The owner clients and the catering for events such says the use high quality ingredients is as private parties, weddings and other half of the success in any dish. “We use functions. The bakery doesn’t have a re- 82 percent French butter by Elle & Vire, tail point but it is possible to order on- 72 percent dark chocolate by ICAM, line or by phone. Products are made to dairy whip cream, and high quality order and are delivered within 24 hours. cheese,” Moryosef says. The business saw around 250 orders Palmiye didn’t start selling until January of this year but today it counts among this September, after about 350 a month its Bucharest restaurant clients one big during March and April. The cold chain of nine locations, another four season is generally better for business restaurants and one coffee shop. The and the plan is to reach 600-650 cake business caters for functions such as orders a month next year, outside sumparties with as many as 900 people, mer. An expansion of the range of products offered is also in the cards, as the weddings and baptisms. The bakery’s current product portfo- bakery wants to add more organic prodlio includes twelve cakes, brownies, and ucts and energy bars made with natural various biscuits including organic gra- ingredients, as is expansion on the delnola ones. It also has a separate line of icatessen segment. sweets for children, with several cakes and cupcakes and an egg-free chocolate Business Review | October 8 - 14, 2012



MUSEUM In Darkness Antipa Museum With a blind curator, In Darkness is part of the Everyone’s Museum project, an event where disabled people can visit and explore museum col-

Romanian sculpture is known worldwide for Constantin Brancusi. But a new exhibition at MNAR showcases 75 wood sculptures by another 22 local artists from the 20th century who have contributed to the country’s canon.

MUSIC Led Zeppelin, Celebration Day October 19-28, 19.00 The Light Cinema The film of Led Zeppelin's historic concert held at London's O2 Arena in 2007, which saw more than 20 million fans apply for just 18,000 tickets, can be seen at The Light Cinema. The Met: Live in HD - L'Elisir d'Amore Live Opera 2012 October 13, 19.55 The Light Cinema Under the wand of Maurizio Benini, Anna Netrebko and Matthew Polenzani star in Bartlett Sher's new production of one of the greatest comic gems in opera, featuring the fickle Adina and her besotted Nemorino.

Courtesy of MNAR

Old Houses Anew. Design and Something More Until October 17 Carol I Central University Library Zeppelin magazine launches a book and an exhibition about design and ultra-modern architecture, as well as the latest products and technologies for saving heritage buildings. The display covers restored houses with regenerative improvements. Buildings that feature both in the exhibition and the book include Ion Mincu House (presently used by the Architects’ Chamber of Romania), The Ark (the former Bucharest Stock Market), Elvira Popescu Studio plus the administrative office of the Evangelical Church in Brasov and the Center for Architecture, Urban Culture and Landscape, Suceava.

lections. This innovative temporary exhibition features 11 re-fashioned nocturnal animals. Antipa has set up 20 new bas-relief dioramas in Braille and workshops for those with reduced mobility. Two curators will be trained to provide information in sign language, while special tactile carpets will be set up for the safety of blind visitors.

Wood sculpture exhibition branches out beyond Brancusi

“Portraits”, by George Apostu, is one of the 75 sculptures on show

∫ OANA VASILIU The selected works of Hans MattisTeutsch, Milita Petrascu, Borgo Prund, and various others make up the exhibition, which illustrates how Romanian

artists related to the modernist notion of “truth to the material”, embraced by Brancusi and others of his generation. Local sculptors are known for their preference for direct carving, which is considered a defining characteristic of Romanian art. At the gallery, the public can see a chronological presentation of significant landmarks in the evolution of this artistic technique, created by Romanian sculptors during the 20th century. Pieces by artists and sculptors of the 1960s and 1970s feature in the exhibition, which balances classicizing modernism and radical forms of modernity. Works from the National Gallery Collection from 1918 to 1999 are on show until October 28. Location: Ground floor of the National Gallery Address: 49-53, Calea Victoriei

Renasterea Foundation takes legislation initiative ∫ ANCA IONITA As part of its 11-year awareness and prevention campaign focused on breast cancer amongst Romanian women, Renasterea Foundation announced last week it would expand its activity into general health, and is planning to submit a bill that will grant women a day off work to have standard medical tests. Mihaela Geoana, the president of the foundation, made the announcement at its annual event on October 1, when a historical building in Romania, like all over the world, was illuminated in pink. This year, Olympic medal-winning gymnast Sandra Izbasa was invited to turn on the pink light at the impressive neo-classic building of the National

ISSN No. 1453 - 729X

Lighting the way: the BNR goes pink to raise awareness of breast cancer

tending. Five other cities around Romania turned on the pink light this year: Bacau, Brasov, Constanta, Targu-Mures, Petrosani. Over the past 11 years, more than 200,000 women have benefited from Renasterea Foundation’s free health services. A mobile unit for breast and uterine cancer tests equipped with a digital mammograph and gynecologist cabinet was inaugurated in 2008. So far 16,400 women from 36 rural communities and small towns have made use of its services, which are free of charge. The Medical Excellency Center Renasterea was launched in April 2011, through EUR 2 million of financing granted by the SEE program.

Bank. The event was followed by a fund-raising reception hosted by BNR,

represented by vice-governor Cristian Popa, with more than 160 guests at-

FOUNDING EDITOR Bill Avery EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Simona Fodor SENIOR JOURNALIST Otilia Haraga JOURNALISTS Simona Bazavan, Ovidiu Posirca, Oana Vasiliu COPY EDITOR Debbie Stowe COLLABORATORS Anda Sebesi ART DIRECTOR Alexandru Oriean PHOTO EDITOR: Mihai Constantineanu PHOTOGRAPHER Laurentiu Obae LAYOUT Beatrice Gheorghiu


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