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3Q: Markus Lause, chief commercial officer for the enterprise business unit of Vodafone Romania, says the company is looking at NFC as one of the standards that can be used for developing relevant mobile services for consumers and businesses »page 4

ROMANIA’S PREMIER BUSINESS WEEKLY

November 4 - 10, 2013 / VOLUME 17, NUMBER 35

Starting 2014 local farmers should see more predictability, said minister Daniel Constantin at the INDAGRA international agri-business trade fair » page 6

LINKS

Creating cash

T OUOW! N

In a move to strengthen the economic potential of the creative industries, Romania is taking the first steps in coming up with a strategy

» page 10

Photo: Mihai Constantineanu

REAPING THE REWARDS


www.business-review.eu Business Review | November 4 - 10, 2013

NEWS 3

NEWS in brief

WEEK in numbers

ENERGY

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Astronergy snaps up 6MW solar farm

Romgaz IPO gets underway The government has approved the IPO pricing for Romgaz, the state-owned natural gas producer, in the biggest offering on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BSE) which was due to start on October 21. The state aims to raise between EUR 311 million and EUR 416 million for a 15 percent stake in Romgaz, the biggest gas producer and supplier in Romania. The pricing ranges between EUR 5.4 and EUR 7.2 per share (RON equivalent). The offer runs through to October 31. The listing is part of Romania’s privatization program agreed with the IMF.

INSURANCE Aegon launches new division in Romania Dutch insurer Aegon has launched a new division in Romania which grants clients access to large investment funds, targeting average- and high-earning individuals. Aegon Private Investments will facilitate investments in international funds managed by large financial groups of the likes of Allianz and JP Morgan. Investments starting at EUR 5,000 can be placed through Aegon Privilege. Sinziana Maioreanu, Aegon CEO for Romania, said this kind of investment is more accessible than the direct purchase of fund units. Aegon’s new division, which has been active in Romania for two months, already manages a portfolio of over 50 contracts. The insurer aims to strengthen its local presence after acquiring the life insurance and private pension portfolios from Eureko earlier

IMAGE of the week

Courtesy of presidency.ro

Astronergy Solar Netherlands, part of China’s Chint group, has entered the Romanian renewable sectors by acquiring a solar park. The company took over a solar farm with an installed capacity of 5.98MW developed by ACV Solar Technology in Cluj County. Last year, the company completed a 50MW solar installation in neighboring Bulgaria. Astronergy’s investments have primarily focused on the Asian markets. The China-based company also manufactures equipment for the photovoltaic industry, supplying markets in Europe, Asia and America. Wolf Theiss provided the due diligence in the acquisition stage. The firm will continue to assist Astronergy in implementing the deal and on the future restructuring of Solar Technology SRL.

US, Romania start works on missile defense shield in Deveselu The main construction of the ballistic missile defense system in Deveselu, southern Romania, started last week, as part of a wider project designed to enhance NATO defense capabilities. A ceremony organized on the grounds of the former air base in Deveselu was attended by President Traian Basescu and government officials. They were joined by high-ranking NATO and US military representatives, including Alexander Vershbow, deputy secretary-general of NATO, and Sorin Ducaru, assistant secretarygeneral for emerging security challenges at NATO. this year. It has also launched its own distribution chain.

MONEY Ioan Niculae named richest local businessperson With EUR 1.1 billion in wealth, Romanian businessman Ioan Niculae topped this year’s Forbes list of 500 billionaires, reports Agerpres newswire. Niculae, 59, controls the agri-business conglomerate Interagro, which he founded. Recently, his group was dragged into a highprofile corruption scandal, involving former economy ministers Varujan Vosganian and Adriean Videanu. Niculae is accused of securing cheaper gas supply contracts for his fertilizer plants from state-owned gas producer Romgaz. Vosganian resigned from the top ministerial job following the corruption allegations. Niculae is trailed by Dan Grigore Adamescu, with a fortune of EUR 950 million, and by Frank Timis and Ion Tiriac, worth EUR 850 million each.

PHARMA Alliance Healthcare Deutschland gains full ownership of Farmexpert German Alliance Healthcare Deutsch-

land, the pharmaceuticals wholesaler that is part of the Alliance Boots Group, has gained full ownership of Romanian Farmexpert, the pharmaceuticals distributor. The German company acquired the remaining 20 percent of the local distributor from Eugen Banciu, Farmexpert’s founder. Alliance Healthcare Deutschland acquired a 60 percent stake in the Romanian firm in 2006, further increasing its controlling stake to 80 percent last year. Farmexpert is the biggest distributor on the local pharmaceuticals market, and posted a turnover of EUR 445 million in 2012. The company has close to 1,000 employees.

PROPERTY Belrom Real Estate to invest EUR 3 mln in expanding Botosani mall After investing EUR 15 million in opening Botosani Shopping Center in November 2011, developer Belrom Real Estate says it will invest another EUR 3 million in expanding the project. The investment will go into increasing the mall’s gross leasable area by 5,000 sqm and adding 500 parking spaces. The decision to expand the shop-

the number of stores Mega Image currently has in Romania. Out of these, 105 are Shop&Go proximity outlets (which have a smaller sales surface than regular supermarkets) and 154 Mega Image supermarkets. At the end of September, Mega Image, which is part of the Belgian Delhaize group, launched a new retail brand in Romania, AB Cool Food, which sells exclusively frozen foods had close to 10.4 million customers, 183,000 up on the previous three months

EUR 3.9 bln Romania’s projected agricultural growth in 2013, according to BCR data. This year’s estimated production of RON 80 billion (EUR 18 bln) is RON 13 billion (EUR 3.9) above the 2012 level ping mall was taken because of “the area’s development potential and the success of the first phase of the project”, said company representatives. At present, Botosani Shopping Center has a gross leasable area of some 14,800 sqm, which in the first year after the opening generated revenues of EUR 1.4 million. The shopping mall, which is located in Botosani, north-eastern Romania, has a catchment area of more than 100,000 people, according to company data. It is home to 26 shops and has an occupancy rate of 98 percent.

TELECOM Romtelecom and Cosmote sign telecom deal with Bancpost Romtelecom and Cosmote have become the exclusive providers of telecom services for Bancpost. Over the next two years, Romtelecom, via its business solutions division, will provide fiber optic-based VPN MPLS data and integrated IP telephony services, while Cosmote will provide mobile and data services to Bancpost. The lender, which has more than 1 million clients, is active in retail, corporate and institutional banking via a territorial network of 233 branches, eight regional centers and eight business centers.


www.business-review.eu Business Review | November 4 - 10, 2013

4 NEWS LEGAL

3Q Markus Lause

New insolvency code rejected by Constitutional Court R

CCO enterprise business unit, Vodafone Romania

Courtesy of Vodafone Romania

How does 4G adoption stand among Vodafone's business customers? Although 4G services have been launched very recently, Vodafone business customers have already acquired thousands of 4G SIMs. We expect 4G services to be used at a higher rate by businesses in the coming period, especially as 4G-enabled handsets are getting better represented in our portfolio – we currently have 29 smartphones, 1 tablet and 8 data modems. We also have been certified by independent evaluator p3 communications for the best performing data network, including for 4G services, on smartphones and modems, in 19 Romanian towns and cities. How many Vodafone business customers have opted for Vodafone Office Complet? It has been very successful among our business customers, having been adopted by one out of five small and medium companies, over the last year. Cloud-based solutions, IP telephony and M2M are some of the services that we have focused on for our customers. At the same time, the launch of new 4G services and the expansion of LTE network coverage have brought about increased efficiency and mobility, which are vital for any business. Vodafone Romania is currently looking at NFC as one of the standards that can be used to develop relevant mobile services for both consumers and businesses. What are some recent examples of new enterprise clients? We have added major companies such as Banca Carpatica (for fixed voice services, through our IP telephony product), Tetra Pak, Danone, Gazprom, Muller and Schneider. On the data side, we have become sole provider for Raiffeisen Bank. Also, some large accounts have recently re-signed contracts with Vodafone, such as HP, Ericsson and Enel. otilia.haraga@business-review.ro

omania’s Constitutional Court (CCR) ruled last week that the new insolvency code adopted by the government through emergency ordinance no.91/2013 was unconstitutional, sparking confusion within the business community. The Constitutional Court was set to publish its motivation for the decision in the Official Gazette as BR went to press. Specialists want to know if the court rejected certain provisions in the emergency ordinance on insolvency or the whole bill. The ruling came after the Ombudsman filed a complaint against certain provision in the new code on October 9. They involved the insolvency of broadcasters and the retroactivity principle in the new code for all ongoing insolvency procedures. Under the new code, broadcasters going into administration would be stripped of their audiovisual license until a reorganization plan is approved by creditors. In addition, the reorganization program would contain measures forcing broadcasters to show certain programs, pending approval from the audiovisual watchdog, the CNA. However, insolvency specialists recently told a Business Review event that the new legislation would hamper a company’s ability to implement a reorganization plan, cutting its regulated duration from three years to one. “It’s obvious that in order to be applied in its full understanding, the bill has to be precise, predictable and at the same time ensure the legal security of those

it affects,” said the Ombudsman in a statement. Vasile Godinca-Herlea, managing partner of Casa de Insolventa Transilvania (CITR), an insolvency manager, warned that Romania is facing a “legislation void” because the former insolvency law was repealed, while the new one has been declared unconstitutional. The new code was drawn up by a consortium comprising the professional services firm PwC Romania, law firms Stanescu, Milos, Dumitru & Asociatii (SMDA) and D&B David & Baias and the West University in Timisoara. They were assisted by Arin Octav Stanescu, president of the UNPIR (the National Union of Insolvency Practitioners in Romania) as key expert and by Ana-Irina Sarcane, partner at the insolvency company Five Advisory Group, as project leader.

Romania reports shortfall in tax revenues PM Victor Ponta angrily responded to the failure of the new insolvency code, accusing the CCR of supporting tax evaders. “The current law (e.n of insolvency) encourages companies not to pay their taxes,” said the PM last week. The government claimed the new code, which was backed by a EUR 336,000 World Bank loan, would help the fight against tax evasion. At present, the government is facing an estimated shortfall of EUR 1.8 billion in tax revenues this year. A negative budget revision was announced, with

New insolvency code aims to combat tax evasion

the authorities aiming to transfer funds from certain ministries. The biggest cuts will be made at the Ministries of Labor, Development and Environment. The last two are forbidden from continuing or starting new investments under the national plan for infrastructure development, according to media reports. More funds will be allotted to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Internal Affairs, and the Chamber of Deputies. Romania is set to see its budget deficit rise this year from 2.3 percent to 2.5 percent, to co-finance EU grants, in a move that has been approved by the IMF. The country remains under the watch of international financial groups, having recently signed a new EUR 4 billion precautionary deal with the IMF and the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU. ∫ Ovidiu Posirca

INVESTMENTS

Coca-Cola invests EUR 22 million in Ploiesti plant

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oft drinks company Coca-Cola inaugurated last week a new bottling line at its plant in Ploiesti, in a bid to expand its presence in the region. The new Cappy Pulpy aseptic line required an investment of EUR 22 million over one year and became operational this July, creating 30 new jobs. “We unpacked our bags here in 1991 and we are not a short-term tourist. We are here to stay,” said Muhtar Kent, president and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, during the inauguration event. He added that the company had invested EUR 525 million since starting local operations. According to the Coca-Cola head, the Ploiesti-based plant will become a center of export following the latest investments, exporting drinks to a group of CEE coun-

tries with 100 million consumers. Romania got a taste for Coca-Cola shortly after former communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was toppled. The company opened its first bottling plant in Ploiesti four years later, gradually becoming the biggest in South-Eastern Europe. Coca-Cola expanded its Ploiesti plant to accommodate the new line, but has also made additional investments of EUR 45 million in a fully automated warehouse and an energy-efficient power plant. These facilities became operational in 2009. “When a global company such as CocaCola, one of the strongest brands in the worldwide industry, trusts Romania, this is the best message a country can receive, more important than any ratings,” said PM Victor Ponta. The PM added that

the Coca-Cola business generates around EUR 200 million in tax revenues yearly. Dimitris Lois, CEO of Coca-Cola HBC AG, said the company has three plants in Romania and 20 warehouses and distribution centers, covering 64,000 customers across the country. It has over 1,800 employees locally. In Romania, the firm operates through the Coca-Cola system, which comprises Coca-Cola HBC, the bottling and sales arm, and Coca-Cola, the marketing, PR, and brand management arm. According to Kent, citing a recent study by the Universities of Bucharest and Vienna, each direct job created by Coca-Cola in Romania creates another nine indirect jobs in the supply chain. ∫ Ovidiu Posirca


www.business-review.ro Business Review | November 4 - 10, 2013

NEWS 5

DIGITAL

Romania outlines steps towards Digital Agenda The Ministry for Information Society has put up for public consultation the National Strategy Digital Agenda for Romania, which outlines the steps in the country’s ICT development through to 2020. Updates on the e-Romania portal and the Prevent digital project, which eliminates conflict of interest in public acquisitions, were announced last week at the Future Communities//Open Innovation Fair.

Courtesy of Future Communities

Under the National Strategy Digital Agenda for Romania, the state envisions IT investments of EUR 900 million in the implementation of public services, cloud computing, e-health, e-commerce and research by 2020. Furthermore, it estimates that 250,000 jobs will be created in the ICT sector by that time. “The biggest worry for me is youth unemployment, which in some member states has reached 64 percent. (...) With the help of the Digital Agenda, we expect to create over 1 million jobs in ICT for young people. Currently, in Romania, one out of ten people does not have broadband access,” said Neelie Kroes, VP of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, during the Future Communities//Open Innovation Fair. The event was organized by Biblionet and the Romanian Ministry for Information Society. The National Strategy Digital Agenda for Romania is part of the Digital Agenda for Europe, one of the seven pilot initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy which aims to bring about durable social and economic change by achieving a single European digital market. Currently, the ICT sector generates about 5 percent of European GDP, which stands at EUR 660 billion annually. The EC vice-president reiterated her dedication to creating a single European digital market which should guarantee consumer protection and eliminate roaming, “which is outdated and not in accordance with the European single market.” Also, spectrum should be dealt with in an efficient way, she said. The National Strategy Digital Agenda for Romania focuses on three main pillars – the modernization of the public administration, supporting the competitiveness of the private sector via ICT, and providing ICT access and digital education to the public at large. In order to achieve these goals, the state will work across four pillars. The first will be e-government, inter-operability, cloud computing and social media. The second will be promoting ICT in education, healthcare and culture. The third one is ICT in e-commerce, research & development and innovation. The last pillar will be broadband and digital infrastructure services. “Romania is a country of contrasts. While 40 percent of the population has never used the internet, Romania ranks

Neelie Kroes, VP of the European Commission (center right) and Dan Nica, Minister for Information Society (center left) at the Future Communities Fair

second in the world as far as internet speed is concerned,” said Dacian Ciolos, European Commissioner for Agriculture, during the event. He said that until 2015, Romania can tap into EUR 100 million to introduce broadband to rural areas. In his turn, Dan Nica, the minister for Information Society, called for the roll-out of 4G, since this is the cheapest and most effective technology in covering rural areas, where about half of the Romanian population lives, with internet. The minister announced that the Digital Agenda would be published at the end of November. New developments made by Romania in ICT were also announced during the Future Communities//Open Innovation Fair. In November, the e-Romania portal will become functional, announced Nica. The portal cost EUR 12 million and is to be implemented by Omnilogic, which won the contract in 2010 following a public tender. Also, by mid-2014, the National Agency for Integrity (ANI) will have successfully and fully implemented Prevent, a digital project intended to eliminate conflict of interest in public acquisitions in Romania, announced Horia Georgescu, president of the institution. The cost of the scheme will amount to EUR 7 million, and it will be implemented from structural funds. The system will function based on a form that is filled in by participants in public tenders and will be connected to the Electronic System of Public Acquisitions. The data processing will be done

by ANI. “In the first phase, the system will monitor everybody involved in public acquisitions financed with structural funds. The system will issue warnings when it detects that first- or second-degree relatives of the interested parties are involved. In the second phase, the system will monitor any public acquisitions at national level,” Georgescu explained. “The next step is to sign the financing contract.” He added that ANI has a good financing track record, since over the past five years it had a budget of EUR 15 million, of which EUR 12 million constituted projects implemented from European funds. “If we add to this sum the quantum of the seized fortunes, I believe we are in credit,” said Georgescu. ∫ Otilia Haraga


www.business-review.eu Business Review | November 4 - 10, 2013

6

Wind of change: 2014 raises prospect of healthier agribusiness profits With the launch of the first agricultural mutual funds and a new National Program for Rural Development (NPRD) coming into force, next year should mark a milestone for the Romanian agribusiness sector, bringing about some much-awaited predictability for local farmers. The topic was discussed during the fourth edition of BR’s Focus on Agriculture event and the first national congress of the National Federation Pro Agro. 2

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All photos: Mihai Constantineanu

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∫ SIMONA BAZAVAN Some EUR 400 million will be available for Romania as part of the NPDR 20072014 program for risk management through mutual funds, said agriculture minister Daniel Constantin during the first national congress of the National Federation Pro Agro. The set up of such funds, which will take on the risks insurers do not cover in Romania, has been much awaited locally, especially in the context of climatic disasters such as last year’s drought. Moreover, the need for agricultural mutual funds becomes even more pressing when considering that in Romania only around 25 percent of the surfaces cultivated in 2012 were insured, according to data provided by Fata Asigurari. While the model is a first for the Romanian market, it has a strong background in Western Europe. Present at the event, Joel Limouzin, president of the Fonds National Agricole de Mutualisation Sanitaire et Environnementale (FMSE) provided specific details on the way such a fund works in France. Offer-

1. Alex Jurconi, president of the National Federation PRO AGRO and agriculture minister Daniel Constantin 2. Veronica Toncea, president of the Guarantee Fund of Rural Credit (FGCR) 3. Joel Limouzin, president of the Fonds National Agricole de Mutualisation Sanitaire et Environnementale (FMSE) 4. Bogdan Pirvu, general director of Fata Asigurari 5. Questions from the public focused on specific details regarding agricultural mutual funds

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ing compensation for economic losses generated by animal or plant diseases or environmental incidents, the fund enables risk-sharing between all production sectors. The underlying concept behind setting up such a fund is opting for “a sustainable compensation policy, rather than crisis management,” explained Limouzin. The money for compensations comes from EU and national public funds (65 percent) and the members’ contribution (35 percent). The members’ contribution starts at EUR 20 per year for the fund’s general section and this increases for special sections which cover more specific and additional risks, he explained. Decisions on the contribution level, the assessment of losses and compensations are taken by a board which comprises representatives of the fund’s sections, trade unions, animal and plants health organizations, agricultural chambers and cooperatives. While the fund remains private and maintains an entirely private management, the state, through the agriculture and finance ministries, supervises its activity. It is vital for Romania to learn from

the experience other states such as France have with agricultural mutual funds in order to be able to skip unnecessary steps, commented Alex Jurconi, president of the National Federation Pro Agro which has already announced the establishment of such a fund. Making farming investments less risky will be the immediate effect agricultural mutual funds will produce, but the long run benefit should be more predictability, he argued. Indeed, more predictability for the local farming sector was the order of the day during the debates. Agriculture minister Daniel Constantin promised the NPDR for 2014-2020 will bring about just that. The future NPDR will feature 13 measures, down from the 24 measures through which EU funds for agribusiness investments are available at present. The focus will be on creating the right incentives for small farmers to evolve beyond the practice of subsistence farming, explained the minister. In order for this to be achieved, getting farmers to set up and join cooperatives and other similar associations is crucial, said Constantin. Starting 2014, more specific measures to sup-

port the development of forms of associations such as cooperatives will follow, he went on. For example, farmers who cultivate less than five hectares of land could see their subsidy per hectare reduced unless they join a cooperative, he explained. Investment programs available through the NPDR will focus on beneficiaries with integrated production chains, thus further stimulating farmers to associate themselves. When it comes to farmers’ associations, other European countries can once more provide Romanian farmers with a good example. Representatives of farmers’ associations from abroad, such as the Federation of Agricultural Producers Union from Poland (FBZPR), the Lithuanian Chamber of Agriculture, the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture and the National Federation of Beef Producers from Poland pleaded the case for farmers joining forces in order to better take advantage of market opportunities. See more at www.business-review.eu simona.bazavan@business-review.ro


www.business-review.eu Business Review | November 4 - 10, 2013

Farming trade fair reaps benefit of greater interest in agriculture Mariana Suciu, the general director of Romexpo, tells BR what’s new at the 18th annual INDAGRA international agricultural trade fair this year and how many visitors it hopes to attract. and diversity of the exhibited products and services. This year it will host 450 companies from Romania and 21 other countries – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, South Korea, Denmark, the UAE, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, the USA, Turkey and Hungary. Overall, 36 percent of exhibitors are from abroad.

∫ SIMONA BAZAVAN What‘s new at this year’s event? Those who come to INDAGRA will see technologies and equipment for irrigation, farming equipment, greenhouses and solariums, seeds, flower bulbs, fertilizers, bred birds, cattle, sheep and horse exhibitions, as well as demonstrations and contests. Among the highlights of this year’s event will be next-generation farming equipment – for example a fully computerized 275 hp tractor which can cost as much as EUR 150,000 – highvalue livestock and rare specimens, carriage rides, open-outcry livestock auctions, integrated products and applications for milk producers, complete systems for pig farms, veterinary products for all types of livestock, the latest in the design and production of storage facilities, combined feed mills and seed selection systems and solutions in the field of fertilizers. How has the INDAGRA trade fair evolved over recent years? INDAGRA – the international trade fair of equipment and products in agriculture, horticulture, viticulture and animal husbandry – has witnessed spectacular growth over the past few years. At this year’s event there will be a 15 percent increase in the number of exhibitors on last year. INDAGRA has definitely grown from year to year, in terms of both the number of exhibitors and the exhibition surface, but also from the quality

How many visitors came last year and how many do you expect this year? In 2012, INDAGRA, alongside the three other events that took place during the same period, namely INDAGRA Food, Drink & Wine Expo and All-Pack, brought over 50,000 visitors to Romexpo. This year, we have set the target – and we believe that we will achieve it – to surpass the number of visitors recorded last year. We expect to have an increase of at least 10 percent in the number of visitors on last year. What are the top five biggest trade fairs organized by Romexpo each year? It is hard to make a clear classification (…). What I can say is that INDAGRA, the Bucharest International Technical Fair (TIB), the Romanian Tourism Fair, Construct Expo, the international fair for construction technologies, equipment and materials, and Ambient Expo, the international fair for interior and outdoor decoration, furniture and swimming pools, are the top five events we organize. These represent some 25 percent of the company’s revenues. Is Romexpo planning any investments or other new developments in 2014? In 2014 we want to continue the strategy we have begun this year, which is to bring new events in new areas. A 2014 debut will be the Romanian Nautic Expo. By expanding into new areas, we want to offer our visitors a full exhibition schedule covering the entire economic arena. We will also continue with events such as concerts, exhibitions and other artistic events. As for investment plans, these are definitely in the cards. A sound logistics base is necessary to host good quality events. simona.bazavan@business-review.ro

INTERVIEW 7


www.business-review.eu Business Review | November 4 - 10, 2013

8 INTERVIEW

Romania ‘needs new investment success stories’ With Romania suffering from a 36 percent fall in FDI in the first eight months of this year to around EUR 1.1 billion, Mihai Bogza, president of the Foreign Investors’ Council (FIC), the advocacy group, says the country needs to work diligently in preparing the privatization of state-owned companies in order to attract high profile bidders from abroad. ∫ OVIDIU POSIRCA

CV Mihai Bogza

Why has FDI in Romania dropped this year? Over the last few years during the crisis, and in particular in 2013, we have seen a significant drop in the volume of foreign direct investments (FDI) in Romania. And the trend seems to be going from bad to worse, with the amount of FDI for the first eight months of 2013 falling by about 36 percent to EUR 1.1 billion against the same period of last year. Overall, it seems that 2013 may be a comparable year to 2003, a year in which Romania was not yet even sure whether it would actually join the EU. I think that apart from the crisis, Romania has failed to meet expectations in a number of areas in comparison with its main competitors, which are basically countries in CEE.

What are the operational challenges faced by foreign investors? Romania is marginal to the EU from a geographical point of view and unfortunately we have done little so far to ensure better connections with the rest of the continent. We have a very limited network of motorways and the pace of building new ones is very slow. Also, the railway infrastructure is near obsolete. The local market itself is not growing as it should. Romania has yet to return to the GDP level of 2008 (pre-crisis level) and the pace of the recovery is very slow. On the relationship between the pri-

Courtesy of BancPost

What are the issues facing investors seeking to start businesses locally? On the entry point, I think the main channel for big investments coming into a country such as Romania is still major privatizations. Unfortunately, Romania has failed in three major privatizations during the last year: Oltchim, Posta Romana and CFR Marfa. All three privatizations were prepared in a hurry, failed to attract interest from major investors and in the end the process will have to be restarted from a much worse departure point, given the negative publicity surrounding the initial failure. Also, in the greenfield area, Romania is not performing as it should. A good example is the Rosia Montana gold project, a decision about which has been pending for 15 years and we still don’t know whether or when it will be made one way or the other (e.n. approval or rejection). I am afraid the recent events regarding shale gas are not very encouraging for investors either.

June 2013 to present FIC president 2005 to present chairman of the board of directors at Bancpost 2009-2010 CEO of Bancpost 1998-2004 vice-governor of the National Bank of Romania 1998-2003 chairman of the Board of the Deposit Insurance Fund of the Banking System Holds a PhD in Finance from the Romanian Academy of Economic Studies

vate and public sector, I think Romania’s public sector should do much better. Take the arrears run up by the state in comparison with private companies. While private players are penalized if they run up debts to the state, public sector bodies, including the central budget, local budgets and state-owned companies, record significant delays in paying their duties and the volume of arrears has been a major issue in the agreements concluded with international lenders over the last four years. What are the fiscal and legal shortfalls? On the fiscal side too there is a lot of uncertainty. This year, for instance, the Fiscal Code has already been changed twice with more changes to come. On top of this, there is huge tax evasion, which puts additional pressure on honest taxpayers, as the state needs to increase the overall sum it collects from the good payers to compensate what it fails to cash in from the bad ones. I think there is still a lot of concern about how the legal system is working. If you look at the way in which insolvency cases are being handled by a number of judges, the perception is that there is a lot of corruption involving the judiciary. The recent actions taken by the DNA have tackled mostly high-profile cases, with little influence on what is happening in the lower courts. How is the dialogue between the FIC and the authorities going?

The picture is mixed but tends to the negative side in the sense that rather few of the proposals made by the business community in the past have been accepted by the authorities. One of the rather positive examples is the Labor Code, which was changed not to our full satisfaction, because it was the result of a dialogue between several stakeholders, and the trade unions, for instance, had a different opinion than ours on some points; still, we believe the new one represents a significant step ahead versus the old one, as it was brought closer to the best EU practices than it was in the past. One other area in which we were partially successful was the issuance of the Government Ordinance no 109/2011 concerning the professional management of state-owned companies. As a result, some professional managers were put in place at a number of companies. Unfortunately, we have recently witnessed some significant backward steps in implementing this Ordinance. Can you give me any examples of failures? For the Insolvency Code, we prepared a very detailed position paper with concrete proposals on the draft law put forward by the authorities. Actually, very few of our proposals were taken into consideration. It is a pity because insolvency legislation plays a key role in im-

proving how the economy functions in Romania. I think the way in which the insolvency legislation was applied over the last few years does not protect neither creditors, nor debtors. It just helps the interests of a number of people that stand to gain from the liquidation of companies that enter insolvency – in some cases the shareholders of these companies and in other cases those involved in the insolvency, such as probably some of the judges, administrators and so on. They are making money on the back of the creditors. What initiatives are you currently working on? We have been trying to engage the authorities on the Fiscal Code because there have been recent changes, and more are set to follow. Also, we understand that there are significant shortfalls in the projected budget revenues and made concrete proposals about how to address this without resorting to new taxes. We have been very active on the Insolvency Code, as I mentioned before; unfortunately we do not yet have a result, but we will continue the dialogue at the level of Parliament. We are active concerning renewable energy, because we have recently seen a major shift in the government’s position. We understand the government can change its opinion but this should not happen at the expense of companies that have made major investments in a certain area, as this would set a very negative example for any potential new investors. And, overall, we remain alert to any initiative which could contribute to improving the business climate in Romania. ovidiu.posirca@business-review.ro


www.business-review.ro Business Review | November 4 - 10, 2013

FOCUS 9

Romania in fresh push for foreign investments Broadening the scope of investors and improving the domestic business environment are key in Romania’s marathon of attracting new foreign investments, said Joseph Quinlan, managing director and chief market strategist at US Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, during The Case for Investing in Romania conference organized last week by AmCham Romania, the business advocacy group. underestimating the economic power of the EU. The EU is wealthy, while China and India are poor,” said Quinlan. The economist underlined RomaGetting the basics right Quinlan said that foreign investors are nia’s good location, which he said could looking for ease of doing business, work as a “bridge to the Middle East and strong institutions, good infrastructure Africa”, and urged the country to go beand skilled labor, adding that these yond the EU to increase its attractiveare some of the challenges facing Roma- ness to foreign investors. “Wherever possible (e.n. look at) nia. “Small countries can attract large Ukraine, Turkey, Central Asia, the Midsums of capital from multinationals. dle East, Africa. These are emerging That’s how you should be thinking,” markets where I think Romanian comsaid Quinlan, who was keynote speaker panies could do business and/or attract at the conference, which is one of a se- capital (…) Romania has to broaden its ries of events AmCham is organising to scope on who wants to invest in the economy. Look at some of these Asian mark its 20th anniversary in Romania. Quinlan, an American economist, is countries, look at Brazil,” Quinlan told bullish about the European Union and BR. He suggested companies operating the transatlantic relationship, arguing that the bloc of economies in the EU has in these emerging economies could use emerged stronger from the global eco- Romania as “a launch pad into the bignomic crisis. He authored The Case for ger EU market”. BR asked Quinlan about the methInvesting in Europe study, which was put together for the AmChams in Eu- ods of attracting fresh capital investments from abroad, given that foreign rope network. The economist noted that the com- direct investment (FDI) fell to a ten-year bined GDP of the EU 28 is around 30 low of EUR 1.6 billion in 2012. “The low in investment is related to percent greater than China’s and around three and a half times larger than India’s. the cyclical slowdown in Europe and “On Wall Street, down in Washington, the fact that companies have been cauit’s all about China, India, the BRICS (e.n. tious with their capital since the crisis. a term coined to describe the emerging They’re holding back more capital beeconomies of Brazil, Russia, India, cause there has been a lack of global China and South Africa). Wall Street is confidence amongst a lot of corpora-

∫ OVIDIU POSIRCA

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Create an equitable, predictable and transparent taxation system. Reduce bureaucracy Ensure transparency in the decision-making process Full transparency and accountability in managing public funds Develop and implement a coordinated plan to improve Romanian infrastructure Develop a one-stop-shop agency for would-be investors in Romania Offer incentives to keep skilled workers in Romania Stimulate investments in key export industries and create incentives packages for local and foreign investors, based on new technology implemented, number of jobs created and higher value added export capacity. Recognize and develop the capital markets as an important source of financing for both private and public companies. Develop principles in public procurement in order to increase the acquisition of technology that is scientific innovation Increase cooperation with both the EU and US in terms of research and education.

Courtesy of AmCham Romania

Policy recommendations made by AmCham members

US economist Joseph Quinlan argued the case of CEE as an investment destination for North American companies

tions who are holding money back,” commented the economist. He added that Romania has to get the basics right in terms of infrastructure and the labor force, at the same time strengthening its institutions to attract investments from multinationals. Quinlan, who is also Transatlantic Fellow at the Center For Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins and the German Marshall Fund, said the US was getting more attractive as a destination for FDI, mainly due to falling energy costs and relatively stagnant wages. “The US is becoming a low-cost manufacturing energy powerhouse and taking away capital that might otherwise have come to countries like Romania,” he added. With Europe and the US currently negotiating a free trade agreement, Quinlan says this is the largest such deal ever attempted, highlighting that agriculture, IT, aviation, and pharmaceuticals are some of the sectors that would benefit from this partnership. He says the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will have to be struck by the end of 2014, according to officials on both sides of the Atlantic. The economist predicted that this agreement would create more

growth, income and jobs in both regions.

Enhancing Romania’s competitiveness On the back of the ongoing competition for FDI, AmCham Romania launched last week an e-booklet outlining the main features of the local business environment aimed at new investors wishing to familiarize themselves with the Romanian market. This is the latest initiative of AmCham in making a strong case for Romania as an investment destination. During the same conference, Valeriu Nistor, president of AmCham Romania, said the US and Romania were set to boost economic ties under the Strategic Partnership, which has so far focused on the military field. “On both sides of the Atlantic there is a strong belief that the economic component of this strategic partnership must be developed further,” said Nistor. He further outlined the leading priorities to increase Romania’s economic competitiveness as put forward by AmCham members. Recommendations span a wide array of sectors, from taxation to labor markets and the public procurement framework. ovidiu.posirca@business-review.ro


www.business-review.eu Business Review | November 4 - 10, 2013

10 FOCUS / CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

Can Romania become a cultural and creative hub? The first business networking event for the Romanian cultural and creative sector sought to promote Bucharest as a regional hub of cultural and creative industries, while some 70 percent of the sector’s nationwide turnover is generated by cultural and creative projects based in Bucharest, according to Promoting Entrepreneurship in the Creative Industries, a study conducted especially for the forum. Last week, cultural entrepreneurs, public financiers, private investors, public policy experts, journalists and communication specialists met at the Creative Industries National Forum to discover how these industries can generate profit. based on the power of networking, but also with deep roots in traditions and cultural manifestations. The biggest global creative hubs are New York and London, both of which are characterized by clear regulations regarding copyright laws, exceptional educational systems, transportation hubs and strong support from local government.

∫ OANA VASILIU

Priorities for the local creative sector Photo: Carstina Bogdan

The main objective of the forum was to present to both the national authorities and the general public the huge potential of this emerging economic sector, which the organizers say could be an important asset in the country’s social and economic development in the near future. Speaking in support were international specialists such as Andrew Senior, expert in the field of cultural policies at UNESCO and director of Andrew Senior Ltd, a global consultancy agency in the creative economy, Egbert Ruhl, CEO of Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft, and Edgar Garcia, director of business development at the Catalan Institute for Cultural Industries.

All speakers highlighted the need for a national strategy immediately

Istanbul vs. Bucharest The presentations of representatives of the Ministry of Economy and European experts highlighted the need for a national strategy on how to make the most of local creativity, and also the building of institutional associations for the creative sectors to represent them before the public authorities. Senior said that Bucharest should firstly decide which geographical zone it will represent, like Istanbul has

started to brand itself as a possible Eastern European cultural and creative hub. In these terms, Bucharest could be known as a Balkan hub or Black SeaDanube regional hub. Nonetheless, to become a creative hub, Bucharest has to improve both its cultural and digital infrastructure. “How oriented is Romania to the future? The answer to this question will also clarify whether or not the creative industries can be sustained.

Bucharest has the potential to become an Eastern European regional hub only if is supported by infrastructure such as networks, equipment and workspaces that allow the exploitation of creative forces in this area,” argued Senior at the event. Moreover, he presented the global revolution of the cultural and creative industries, a revolution fed by technology and communication infrastructure,

A first measure to support the creative industries is their presence in the national strategy of economic competitiveness, which will be published by the Ministry of Economy. “We included a significant part dedicated to creative Romanian sectors in the economic competitiveness strategy which will be published next week. This area is very important for economic development and needs support from the authorities,” said Adrian Ciocanea, state secretary at the Ministry of Economy. He also pointed out three national priorities to strengthen this sector: Romanian creative community mapping, the establishment of clear criteria for funding for creative industries and developing an institution to represent the voice of the creative and cultural sector to the public authorities.

Most profitable Romanian creative industries

11,136 employees Source: Oricum Association

Book industry/ Publishing 2,462 employees

Advertising 10,728 employees

Film, TV & Radio 5,139 employees

Performing Arts NA

Design NA

Courtesy of chenar.ro

Software/ Computer Games


www.business-review.ro Business Review | November 4 - 10, 2013

CREATIVE INDUSTRIES / FOCUS 11

3Q Andrew Senior

Online resources for creative industries l l

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Another important move for increasing the impact of creativity at national level is the development of creative clusters and regional competitiveness poles. Christina Leucuta, director of industrial policy and the business environment of the Ministry of Economy, spoke about the importance of strengthening the clusters of interconnected companies and institutions in the creative industries and their need for affiliation to similar European organizations. Currently, Cluj IT is the most important creative cluster in Romania: it comprises 28 software companies, over 3,500 employees and a turnover of more than EUR 100 million generated from exports. Since 2011, Andreea Paul Vass, first VP of the PDL, has supported the national initiative of the creative sector through the project CoNaCo – the National Council of Competitiveness. Currently, the creative industries contribute 7 percent of GDP and generate an eighth of exports. This sector is dominated by young people, from 24 to 49, highly qualified in their domains of expertise. During the crisis (2008-2011), the broadcasting sector grew fourfold, while architecture services increased twofold.

Moreover, local initiatives have demonstrated that creative industries can garner support. Cluj IT Cluster Association launched the urban development project Cluj Innovation City, dedicated exclusively to IT projects and technologies. In 20 years, Cluj-Napoca is on course to be a major hub on the international IT map, with over 20,000 jobs. According to Vass, five measures should be implemented immediately: the adoption of a definition and the classification of creative industries in Romania, the inclusion of creative sector jobs on the COR (the Professions List of Romania), the foundation of a Sectorial Council for the Creative Industries, in order to speak up for the sector and mediate in relations between state institutions, the creation of a sectorial brand for these industries, which will be promoted in Romania's National Export Strategy, and public programs helping sole traders and SMEs.

International models for the creative business industry Romania has several European models to look at, including the city of Hamburg and the region of Catalonia.

expert in the field of cultural policies at UNESCO and director of Andrew Senior Ltd

According to Egbert Ruhl, CEO of Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft, in Hamburg, Germany, 80,000 people work in creative industries, posting the highest volume of sales in Germany, twice at high as in Berlin. The keys to success in this business are coaching and qualifications, real estate and the development of urban districts, access to finance and networking. In terms of access to finance, the first regional crowd-funding platform (www.nordstarter.org) was developed in Hamburg. The platform is a database of finance possibilities for the creative industries, individual advice and lobbying for new financing options. Ruhl mentioned the importance of organizing forums for creative industries, as during this kind of event public support for this sector can be presented clearly. Edgar Garcia Casellas, director in the department of business development at the Catalan Institute for Cultural Companies, spoke of the need to train entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries to be more investment ready, while assimilating them with other entrepreneurs, rather than creating separate categories for them. oana.vasiliu @business-review.ro

National turnover generateb by Creative Projects (CP)

of the turnover generated by CP Top creative industry: Radio

of CP turnover Top creative industry: Live performances

Source: Oricum Association

2.6% of CP turnover Top creative industry: Gaming

2.11% 1.85% of CP turnover Top creative industry: Museums

of CP turnover Top creative industry: Web

Courtesy of chenar.ro

69.4% 4.36%

Courtesy of Creste talente.ro

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99u.com: practical advice for creative people, insights into how to transform brilliant ideas into sustainable projects Guardian Cultural Professionals Network: analysis by public and independent cultural bodies, financing models for creative industries, entrepreneurship models from the arts, culture, communication, cultural marketing and digital media The Creators Project: global network dedicated to innovative projects and interactive technologies Culture360.org: mixes creative forces from Asia and Europe LabforCulture.org: networking community for those interested in developing international cultural projects Monocle.com: makes the connection between business and the creative industries ArtInfo.com: international trends in contemporary art and design Arts&Business UK: organization that develops collaborative programs between the cultural sector and private investors Modernism.ro: creative website about what is happening in Romania and worldwide Designist.ro: Romanian platform that sees design as a lifestyle, with content on urban design and product design.

Can Bucharest become a creative hub? My answer is yes, it can, but I believe things should be put very carefully in terms of what a creative hub means and what the market opportunities are. I also believe that it is inevitable, because you are part of the EU and all countries are developing this sector – we had two great examples at this forum, Spain and Germany – and also because it is a free trade area. If we speak geographically, there is a big advantage for Bucharest and Romania, as you can represent both the Balkans and Danube-Black Sea region. There are opportunities, but you have to bear in mind that Istanbul and Warsaw have potential, while their development over the last few years is fantastic. Why do you think Romania doesn’t yet have a national legislation for creative industries? I’ve done work on this agenda in many different countries and one possible answer could be that you haven’t put the equals sign between the economy and culture. This is a major topic which is still under construction, including from the authorities’ point of view. For the past few years, I’ve been talking with professionals from Iasi, Cluj and Bucharest. The concept exists, but lacks a place in the public discourse and the education to implement it. Should the Ministry of Economy or the Ministry of Culture be in charge of the creative sector? In UK, the creative sector sits in the portfolio of the Ministry of Culture, but the work I’ve done around the world demonstrates that is more effectively covered by the Ministry of Economy, which is the driving force for setting up faster the mechanisms to support a creative sector. I truly believe that this is the case for Romania, too. oana.vasiliu@business-review.ro


12 FOCUS / CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

www.business-review.ro Business Review | November 4 - 10, 2013

Cultural firms learn to balance the books Edgar Garcia Casellas, director of business development with the Catalan Institute for Cultural Companies, tells Business Review about the financial mechanisms the organization is deploying to support local initiatives in the creative industries and the state of the cultural sector in the region overall. The institute is tasked with promoting the development of Catalonia’s cultural industry and provides support to firms in all associated areas. ∫ SIMONA FODOR How would you characterize the state of entrepreneurship in Catalonia, and in Spain in general? I would say the Catalan region has always had a very entrepreneurial mentality. However, the crisis, the economic recession that we have seen since 2008, has given importance again to entrepreneurs in general. I think there is a new wave of entrepreneurs, and it is a combination of the digital shift that poses the challenge of trying to find new business models that are sustainable in this new digital environment, and a technology-based economy. Cultural and creative entrepreneurs in general have an important role to play in the economic recovery, especially if they find a way to bring added value to other companies working in Catalonia. I think this is a key factor.

How is Catalonia’s creative and cultural sector performing economically? The culture and creative sector in Cat-

Courtesy of Creste talente.ro

Can you give some examples of cultural and creative companies that have brought added value in this way? Designers are a typical example: the way a designer or a design agency help better shape the production processes of a more industrial company. Another, rarer, example: a contemporary dancer was helping a jewelry company to better design their women’s jewelry, bracelets, necklaces and earrings, so they really have the best movement, shape and design when wearing them. In Barcelona we have the multimedia music festival called Sónar and the Primavera Sound Festival. These are two of the main drivers of the Barcelona economy because they bring lots of people from abroad, they are growing and growing and therefore generating employment in all kinds of surrounding services. But these are the other examples: how can a good cultural offer create a good economic impact.

alonia accounts for around 3 percent of GDP. There are about 40,000 companies registered in these sectors, which employ over 160,000 people. The biggest proportion of these firms are publishing companies. Then comes the audio-visual sector, although it is still a bit too dependent on public subsidies and financial support, especially with the crisis. There is a lot going on with our entire music industry and Barcelona is a very important stop on European tours. There are also many plays: Catalan theaters sell over 2.5 million tickets a year. That gives an annual turnover of EUR 30 million, which is quite significant, but we have to be careful there because the Spanish government raised VAT from 8 to 21 percent last year.

Furthermore, especially around Barcelona, there are all these clusters of ICT-based companies which are very much linked to audio-visual and media. Media and advertising play an important part in the cultural and creative economy. What is the role of the public sector in financing the creative industries in Catalonia? We [e.n. The Catalan Institute for Cultural Companies] have been giving grants for years, especially in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. But we are changing the model. We are trying to provoke a mentality shift within the cultural sector. We’re trying to make businesses in this sector more sustainable. We provide training courses to improve

their management and business skills. We are also introducing new financing models. We work with loans, from the Catalan Institute of Finance, at a low interest rate, paid back over seven or eight years. We are now working with participatory loans for the first time in a project to support the emergence of gaming and digital services. But one of our most successful mechanisms is what we call repayable contributions. It finances projects according to their cash-flow needs. It is about assuring cultural businesses in Catalonia that we share the risk with them. The loan must be reimbursed, but only according to its exploitation life cycle. And the grant, given as a loan at the beginning, is only repayable if the project makes a profit, when it passes breakeven point. If it doesn’t, then the grant will stay as a grant. So the loan will be repaid but not the grant. We’ve been providing EUR 3-5 million a year to companies. And this, we feel, is a very good mechanism for cultural companies to change mentalities, to gain more and more financial independence from public subsidies and to move from this grant-scheme to the financial-scheme. Which sectors are the most active in attracting financing? Performing arts, music and publishing use this method a lot. Especially publishing, because people in this field really understand and appreciate the good conditions we are offering in comparison with banks; publishers know that we share the risk. How do you select the projects? We are open to any project. It can be a production, an international tour, or just the distribution of a project which you might not own but you are paying someone for the IP rights. We would consider music festivals, the editing of books, but we do conduct a viability analysis. We look at the track record, we ask for guarantees, we do an economic analysis, and if this is fine then we go in. simona.fodor@business-review.ro


www.business-review.ro Business Review | November 4 - 10, 2013

CITY 13

FILM REVIEW

Diana DEBBIE STOWE Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel Starring: Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews On at: Cinema City Cotroceni, Sun Plaza, Grand Cinema Digiplex, Hollywood Multiplex, Movieplex Described as both the most photographed and the most famous woman in the world, Princess Diana’s face, voice and story are familiar to millions, if not billions. This makes Oliver Hirschbiegel’s new biopic a daunting challenge. For while there is plenty of material on which the filmmakers and lead actor Naomi Watts could base the character’s clothes, hair, voice and mannerisms, what Diana did and said behind closed doors remains mostly a mystery. The movie must therefore take enormous liberties with its script, the effect of which is sometimes moving but at other times cringeworthy. Not that Diana herself was not given to the odd cringeworthy utterance (example: “I’d like to be a queen of people’s hearts”). But imagining how she might have flirted with the dashing

heart surgeon who caught her newly single eye a couple of years before she died (example: “Hospitals fascinate me. When I visit hospitals, I get excited”) is highly presumptuous, especially as it involves contemporary figures, one recently deceased and one still alive – Hasnat Khan, the doctor whose romance with Diana, following her divorce from Prince Charles, is the main business of this film. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl dies in a Paris car crash that some still think was state-sanctioned is not your average romantic drama (with apologies for the spoiler if you’ve been living on the moon). But what many of Diana’s fans loved about her – at a time when the British royal family’s popularity was low – was that she often behaved like a “normal person”, gamely competing in the mothers’ race at her sons’ sports day, taking them on theme park rides and generally engaging with the proles, unlike her aloof husband. And the “normal people in abnormal circumstances” is one aspect of the film that works best, as when Diana thinks she has successfully smuggled Hasnat into Kensington Palace in the

Naomi Watts as Diana, the queen of people’s hearts

boot of her car, only for her protection officers to deduce the surgeon’s presence from the change in suspension. Everyday situations, such as a first date, are rendered highly complex by Diana’s fame and position. This eventually becomes the death knell for their relationship, as her private beau could not cope with life in his girlfriend’s goldfish bowl. The film then briefly traces her subsequent relationship with Dodi Fayed and their notorious and tragic demise. What works less well is the often clunking script, with its somewhat stilted and unrealistic dialogue be-

tween the lovers. The film is a reminder of the important humanitarian work that Diana did – notably her campaign against landmines – but scenes such as the one where the princess orders her royal convoy to a halt so she can jump out and embrace a grieving Balkan mother at her son’s grave are rather cloying. Critics have raced to pan this movie, with some justification. But for all its jarring liberties, it remains a touching portrait of a doomed romance and doomed woman. debbie.stowe@business-review.ro


www.business-review.eu Business Review | November 4 - 10, 2013

14 IN TOUCH

DON’T MISS INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCES IN BUCHAREST IN NOVEMBER let Baiadera, chorographical theatre performance Mozart Steps, a concert by Sonia Theodoridou, The Japanese Tale, performed by the Radu Stanca Theatre, Count of Luxembourg, by the State Theatre of Musical Comedy, Russia, an Alexandra Coman concert, Bloody Wedding, by the Klaipeda State Music Theatre, Lithuania, and an Alfredo Pascu concert.

∫ OANA VASILIU Music SoNoRo November 1-19 Ticket prices: RON 50-370 (full pass)

Georgian National Ballet Sukhishvili November 20, Sala Palatului, 20.00 Ticket prices: RON 50-250

Remember the Time? A show to remember Michael Jackson with Mike Terrana

Bucharest, Cluj and Iasi will host the eighth SoNoRo chamber music festival. The opening concert will be held at Cotroceni Palace and will be followed by another eight shows in Bucharest. Pianists Diana Ketler and Konstantin Lifschitz, violinists Alexander Sitkovetsky, Erik Schumann, Andrej Bielow, violist Christian Naș, trumpeter Olivier Darbellay, and cellists Adrian Brendel and Monika Leskovar will entertain the public with their works, joined by some debutants, such as violinists Ilya Gringolts and Alissa Margulis, violist Maxim Rysanov, cellists Sonia Wieder Atherton and Marcin Sieniawski, the Paris Niguna Assembly and the Oslo Engegard Quartet. The Bucharest concerts will be held in several locations: Cotroceni Palace, Bragadiru Palace, the Palace of the National Military Circle, the Romanian Athenaeum, ArCuB, the National Museum of Art of Romania, St. Iosif’s Cathedral and the National Bank of Romania. Billy Ocean November 27, Sala Palatului, 19.00 Ticket prices: RON 180-340 Billy Ocean, Britain’s best-selling black recording artist of all time, who has sold over 30 million records, is coming to Bucharest to promote his latest album, Here You Are.

The ten-track album features songs that have influenced Ocean over his musical career, including tracks such as No Woman, No Cry by legendary singer Bob Marley, You Send Me by Otis Reading and It Was A Very Good Year by Frank Sinatra. Ocean’s reggae-infused, soulful voice is as strong and distinctive as it was when he rose to worldwide fame back in the 1970s. The singer’s break came when he signed to GTO records, for which his second single was the Motown-inspired Love Really Hurts Without You, which reached No. 2 in the UK charts and No. 12 in the US. Two top twenty singles followed; Love on Delivery, and Stop Me, then Red Light Spells Danger became a smash in both the UK and the US. Performances Life is Beautiful Festival November 7-17 Bucharest National Opera Ticket prices: RON 7-107 This year’s event will include operetta, music-hall and ballet performances, concerts, exhibitions and shows for kids. The festival will kick off with a concert by Spanish singer Buika. The artists and ensembles featured on the program include Carmen, performed by the Tbilisi Musical Theatre, the balFOUNDING EDITOR Bill Avery PUBLISHER Anca Ionita EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Simona Fodor JOURNALISTS Otilia Haraga - senior journalist, Simona Bazavan, Ovidiu Posirca, Oana Vasiliu COPY EDITOR Debbie Stowe PHOTO EDITOR: Mihai Constantineanu

ISSN No. 1453 - 729X

LAYOUT Beatrice Gheorghiu ART DIRECTOR Alexandru Oriean

November 13, Sala Palatului, 19.00 Ticket prices: RON 60- 280 In commemoration of iconic artist Michael Jackson, this ambitious performance will feature an innovative choreography concept, video projections and lights, all spiced up by the Symphonic Evolution Tempo Orchestra, under the baton of Andrew Tudor. The highlight will be the exciting drum rhythms of Mike Terrana, known to Romanian audiences for his collaborations with soprano Tarja Turunen, Axel Rudi Pell, Yngwie Malmsteen and many others. Moreover, Dadans, led by choreographer Judith State, will depict through dance the King of Pop’s story life story, set to immortal songs such as Billie Jean, Thriller, Dirty Diana and We Are the World. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR George Moise SALES & EVENTS DIRECTOR Oana Molodoi SALES & EVENTS Sales managers: Ana-Maria Nedelcu, Oana Albu, Raluca Comanescu Sales executives: Ana Maria Andrei MARKETING Ana-Maria Stanca, Catalina Costiuc, Iulia Mizgan PRODUCTION Dan Mitroi DISTRIBUTION Eugen Musat

After more than 10,000 performances on 90 stages worldwide, including the Albert Hall in London, La Scala in Milan, the Metropolitan Opera and Madison Square Gardens in New York, Georgian National Ballet Sukhishvili arrives in Romania on its latest European tour. For two hours, more than 70 dancers will take the stage and dance to traditional Georgian music, performed live by the National Orchestra of Georgia. The more than 1,000 extraordinary costumes created especially for the dancers will complete a compelling picture of stories about combat, courage and heroism. Known worldwide as “Georgian’s flyers” because of the extremely high acrobatics and jumps during the performance, the dancers will entertain their Romanian audience with a thrilling show full of grace and complex choreography. The dance flow is emphasized by costumes and headdresses as well as numerous braids down to the waist. oana.vasiliu@business-review.ro

PUBLISHER Bloc Notes Media ADDRESS No. 10 Italiana St., 2nd floor, ap. 3 Bucharest, Romania LANDLINE Editorial: 031.040.09.32 Office: 031.040.09.31 EMAILS editorial@business-review.ro sales@business-review.ro events@business-review.ro


Business Review Issue 35/2013 November 4 - 10  

Starting 2014 local farmers should see more predictability, said minister Daniel Constantin at the INDAGRA international agri-business trade...

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