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ROMANIA

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Content

ROMANIA INTRODUCTION • President Traian Basescu Outlines Romania’s Investment Attractions

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• Ancient Land Transforms Economy and Welcomes

Attract FDI

Investors • Romania’s Fact File

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BUSINESS AND INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES • A Business-Friendly Environment for Domestic and Foreign Investors • Advocate for Local and International Business • Significant Investment Attractions in Key European Hub • Internet Securities inc.

11 12 13 16

International Business

Transylvania • Timisoara: Hub of Western Romania

18 19 20

the Right Places Central Bank Governor Confident About Future Financial Sector Fundamentals Remain Solid Volksbank Romania Fondul National de Garantare a Creditelor Pentru Intreprinderile Mici si Mijlocii • The Rural Credit Guarantee Fund • Uniqa Asigurari

22 23 24 27 28 29 30

TRADE & INDUSTRY • Making Romanian Industry More Competitive 32 • National Chamber of Commerce and Energy: Dynamic Advocate for Private Sector

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• Ideal Base for Trade-Oriented Industrial Operations 34 • Frigotehnica 36 • Bucharest Chamber Ready to Assist Foreign Investors 38 At the time of printing Romania was in the process of forming a new government

Director: Lieve Luyten

Regional Manager: Alina Shtutman Editorial: Emily Emerson-Le Moing Production Coordinator: Kathleen Jansen Design: Martine Vandervoort, Carine Thaens, Walter Vranken

Programme

• ICT Sector Offers Significant Growth Potential

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AGRICULTURE • High-Potential Agriculture Sector Gets Stimulus from EU

ENERGY • Ensuring Romania’s Energy Security • Energy Sector Strategy Focuses on Efficiency and Renewable Energies

• EnergoBit • CET Govora • DG Petrol

52 54 56

58 59 63 64 66

HEALTH • Thriving Pharmaceuticals Sector; Healthcare Facilities Being Upgraded

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Potential

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• Pharmaceuticals Sector Offers Tremendous Growth TRANSPORT • Transport Infrastructure Currently Being Upgraded • Union Serves as Advocate for Road Hauliers

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TOURISM • Promoting Romanian Tourism at Home and Abroad 76 • Undiscovered Treasure for Tourists; High Potential Choice for Investors

• Ramada Majestic Bucharest • JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel • Avis Romania

77 79 80 82

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Office Manager: Samira Darghal Project Coordinators: Sarah Scotch, Ehab Abdrabou

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IT & TELECOMMUNICATION • Ministry Promoting Ambitious E-Romania Development

• Agriculture Sector Could Feed over 80 Million • Agro Chirnogi

FINANCE • Ministry of Public Finance Making Sure EU Funds Go to • • • •

• Tehnologica Radion

Funding

CITIES OF ROMANIA • Bucharest: Historic Cultural Centre Becoming Base for • Cluj-Napoca: Dynamic Business Hub and Gateway to

CONSTRUCTION & INFRASTRUCTURE • Dynamic Ministry Building a New Romania 40 • Infrastructure and Construction Projects Continue to

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ROMANIA

President Traian Basescu Outlines Traian Basescu, President of Romania, has won international praise for his commitment to fighting corruption and to making Romania a productive member of the EU and global community.

Traian Basescu, President

A former sea captain and mayor of Bucharest who served as the country’s Minister of Transport between 1996 and 2000, Traian Basescu became president following elections in 2004. In 2005, he made public the files of the communistera secret police, the Securitate. In 2007, he received a strong public endorsement through a referendum which rejected an attempt by Romania’s parliament to impeach him. Analysts say that the president’s drive to step up the pace of reform had made him unpopular with some media moguls and politicians involved in corruption cases.

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Rising foreign investment Traian Basescu wants the world to have an accurate picture of Romania. Discussing the country’s recent economic success story, he says, “I would like to get across a real image of my country. Romania has an excellent business environment, which has generated enthusiasm among foreign investors. Direct foreign investments in Romania in 2007 amounted to €7.25 billion. Also in 2007, although it was extremely bad for agriculture, we reached more than 6% GDP growth.” According to the Romanian Central Bank,


Introduction

Romania’s Investment Attractions foreign direct investment in Romania totalled €9.02 billion in 2008. Economic growth has slowed significantly because of the international financial crisis, but the president remains optimistic. “I am encouraged by the fact that Romanian banks can finance the economy. The crisis will not be as difficult as in other countries.

Fighting corruption While praising the advances Romania has made in recent years, Traian Basescu does not try to hide the problems which remain, including corruption charges against several former and current political leaders. He says, “There is still a certain level of corruption. Two former ministers are already facing trials, and prosecutors are waiting the approval of the Parliament for trails of other former ministers who are currently Parliament members. Romania is making serious progress in combating corruption, but unfortunately, Parliament is sometimes not fast enough in giving its approval for the investigation of these former ministers. Nevertheless, corruption has been dramatically diminished.” Traian Basescu strongly supported Romania’s bid to become an EU member, but says that the process of implementing EU funding has been slower than the government would like. He explains, “Regarding EU funds, we have to admit that our absorption capacity is still low. We have started to use funds for agriculture, but, unfortunately, there is a serious delay with the projects for environment and for infrastructure. Responsible authorities need to be faster in attracting financial resources from the EU.”

Rural development a priority The president points out that rural development is a top priority for Romania, since around 45% of the country’s population lives in rural areas. Other priorities for the president are agriculture, the environment, and infrastructure, including the development of Romania’s portion of the pan-Euro-

pean traffic corridor. The government has hired more human resources for the institutions that are involved in bringing EU funds to Romania and is also focusing on additional training for these new employees. “Both measures are aimed at avoiding problems in the absorption of EU funds,” the president explains. Foreign investment is crucial for Romania as it works to achieve its development goals. Traian Basescu explains that the boost in foreign investment recently was a result of Romania’s attractive investment incentives, which includes a flat income tax of 16% introduced in 2005, a very stable business environment, a solid banking system that has been almost completely privatized and now includes many European and American banks, and highly skilled, largely English-speaking human resources.

Base for exports to former Soviet Union and beyond “Another incentive for investors is our market of 22 million people as well as Romania’s suitability as a base for exporting products to former Soviet Union countries. The Russian Federation and the Ukraine have huge markets to be supplied from Romania, and we are also close to Central Asia, the Turkish market and the Western Balkans,” the president points out. He cites tourism, agriculture, infrastructure, the food industry, and the wood industry as sectors that offer particularly strong investment potential. Urging European investors to seek out the truth about the opportunities Romania represents, Traian Basescu says that five years from now, Romania “will be far, far from the realities of today, just as now we are very far from the realities of 2000. Romania will grow very fast in the next few years because we have everything we need in order to grow. Of course, we are not a perfect country, but there is no perfect country. We have a lot of issues, but it is clear that Romania will achieve one of the most spectacular developments in Europe. My personal message to investors is, trust in Romania.”

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ROMANIA

Sector

Moldoveanu, highest mountain in Romania

Ancient Land Transforms Economy and Welcomes Investors Romania, an ancient land with a colourful history, joined the EU in 2007 and began to develop a thriving economy with a global perspective.

Strategic location coveted for centuries The largest of the Balkan countries, Romania has dramatic mountain scenery and a coastline on the Black Sea. Its natural resources and strategic location have made the land that is now Romania a target for many empire-builders, from Roman to Ottoman to AustroHungarian. After World War II the country came under communist rule although the leadership pursued a foreign policy independent of that of the Soviet Union. Today Romania grew out of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, both part of the Ottoman Empire for centuries. They united in 1859 and a few years later adopted the name Romania, which officially achieved its independence in 1878.

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Romania’s borders have changed over the years, for example when the area formerly known as Bessarabia went to the USSR following a pact between Hitler and Stalin. That region now forms a large part of the Republic of Moldova. Romania’s language, Romanian, a Romance language, is essentially the same as Moldovan, although the latter has undergone more influence from Russian. While suffering from widespread poverty and an industrial sector crippled by its focus on exports to the Soviet Union, Romania has been working to develop a free-market economy, particularly since the communist government lost power in 1996. Previously the country had been ruled by communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who was deposed in 1989.

NATO in 2004, EU in 2007 Romania took a major step away from its past when it was one of seven countries to join NATO in late March 2004.


Introduction

Romanian Black Sea

Its strategic location and Black Sea air and naval bases make it attractive to the alliance. In April 2005 Bucharest signed the EU accession treaty, paving the way for Romania to join the EU, which it did in January 2007. Romania has made great strides forward since it began to make the difficult transition to a market economy. After gradually building up its production and exports, Romania suffered a recession in the late 1990s which it emerged from in 2000 thanks to strong demand for its products in EU markets.

corn, barley, sugar beets, sunflower seed, potatoes, grapes, eggs and sheep. Romania’s leading industries are electric machinery and equipment, textiles and footwear, light machinery and auto assembly, mining, timber, construction materials, metallurgy, chemicals, food processing, and petroleum refining. The country’s industrial production rate grew by around 7% last year. Information and communication technologies and tourism are two new sectors with strong promise for Romania.

International praise for Basescu

The country’s natural resources include petroleum (although reserves are declining), timber, natural gas, coal, iron ore, salt, arable land, and hydropower.

Romania’s current President, Traian Basescu, a former Mayor of Bucharest, is a popular political figure who was elected in 2004 and earned a second endorsement from the electorate in a May 2007 referendum which rejected an attempt by parliament to impeach him. MPs had decided by a large majority to remove him from office, accusing him of exceeding his constitutional powers. The attempt to impeach the President followed tension between him and the government of Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu over the pace of reforms.

Romania has a strong agriculture sector whose main products are wheat,

Since he came to power, Traian Basescu has been widely praised inter-

Expanding industrial production

nationally for his anti-corruption efforts and for preparing Romania to join the EU. In 2005 he started the process of opening the files of the feared communist-era secret police, the Securitate. Romania’s Prime Minister since December 2008 is Emil Boc, President of the Democratic Liberal Party. Widespread poverty as well as corruption and red tape are a legacy of the past which the government is working hard to combat. The government welcomes investment in the growing private sector.

Strong GDP growth Domestic consumption and investment have fuelled strong GDP growth over the past few years. In 2006, Romania’s GDP growth rate was 7.9%; in 2007, it was 6.2%, and last year it rose to 7.1%. Growth this year is expected to be much weaker as a result of the global financial crisis, but observers believe that Romania will come out of the crisis with its economy strong. The optimism shared by policymakers and investors across the EU, along with the steady support provided by the IMF to the government of Romania, are two key reasons to be hopeful about Romania’s future.

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ROMANIA

Romania’s Fact File Official Name Area Location Climate Population Language Capital Other large cities Longest River Religion Currency Time zone Independence National Day

Romania 238,391 sq km Southeast Europe temperate 21,504,442 (July 2008 estimate) Romanian Bucharest Lasi, Timisoara, Cluj-Napoca, Constanta Danube (border) Christian Orthodox Leu (ROL) UTC/GMT +2 May 9, 1877 1 December

INFRASTRUCTURE Total length of railway network (km) Total length of roads (km) Fixed-line telephony access lines (mn) Mobile telephony users (mn) Fixed broadband internet connections (mn)

20,648 81,693 5.04 28.6 2.5

ECONOMY GDP (ROL mn)

503,959

GDP per capita - USD

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GOVERNMENT

(based on purchasing power parity)

12,579

Government form Republic Chief of state Traian Basescu Head of government Emil Boc Legislative power Two Parliamentary Chambers (Chamber of Deputies and Senate) Executive power Government led by Prime Minister appointed by the country’s President Cabinet 18 ministers Elections Presidential elections every 5 years (latest Presidential elections scheduled for November 2009), Parliamentary elections every 4 years (latest Parliamentary elections held in November 2008) Constitution adopted in 1991 and last amended in 2003 Legal System civil Suffrage 18

GDP per capita - ROL

23,435

GDP by sector (%)

2006

2007

2008

agriculture

3.3

-16.9

21.4

industry

7.0

5.1

1.3

construction

24.7

33.6

26.1

Budget deficit (% )

4.89

revenues (ROL mn)

164,467

expenditures (ROL mn)

189,122

public debt (ROL mn)

109,743


Introduction Š Energobit

Labour Force

9,944

Electricity (Mn kWh): 2007

2008

SUPPLY domestic thermal hydro nuclear import

61,825 60,556 37.69 15,899 6,967 1,269

65,557 64,636 36.32 17.09 11,226 921

Natural resources arable land, oil, natural gas, salt, coal, iron ore, copper, bauxite, sulphur, lead, zinc, gold, silver, mercury

DEMAND End consumers Internal consumption Export

61,825 50,899 7,567 3,359

16,338 12,885 2,103 1,351

AGRICULTURE

FOREIGN TRADE

Labour Force by occupation: agriculture, hunting and sylviculture industry construction trade transport, storage and communications real estate and other services

2,694 2,198 746 1,178 508 298

Unemployment rate (ILO, %)

5.8

Agricultural branch production (ROL mn, current prices) 2006 2007 2008 crop production 31,327 28,723 45,626 animal production 18,849 18,292 21,056 agricultural services 474 685 707

ENERGY Primary energy (TOE, thou): Production coal 6,446 crude oil 4,645 natural gas 8,984 electric energy 4,222

Export products

Export countries Germany (16.5%), Italy (15.4%), France (7.4%), Turkey (6.5%), Hungary (5.1%), Bulgaria (4.1%) Import products

Imports 2,064 8.42 3,589 79

machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical equipment, vehicles and associated transport equipment, textiles and textiles articles

chemicals products, base metals and articles of base metals, mineral products

Import countries Germany (16.3%), Italy (11.4%), Hungary (7.4%), Russian Federation (5.9%), France (5.7%), Turkey (4.9%) (All figures are from 2008, unless otherwise specified)

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• A Business-Friendly Environment for Domestic and Foreign Investors • AmCham: Advocate for Local and International Business • Significant Investment Attractions in Key European Hub

Business & Investment Opportunities

“There is a lot of potential in Romania, and investors should come here to see it for themselves.” Doina Ciomag, Executive Director Foreign Investors Council

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Business & Investment Opportunities

A Business-Friendly Environment for Domestic and Foreign Investors Romania is open for business, and the Foreign Investors Council (FIC) is working to make sure that the country has the best possible environment for making business ventures successful. The FIC, founded in 1997 with 24 member companies, now has more than 100 multinational enterprises among its members. Doina Ciomag, Executive Director, explains, “The aim of our association is not to attract new investment but to ensure a better business environment in Romania for both foreign and domestic investors. A strong business environment will, of course, help to attract new investors as well. We identify the barriers our members are encountering in their day to day activities, then we propose solutions to the government and the parliament that could improve the business environment.” The FIC’s areas of interest include such key issues as labour market flexibility and EU environmental standards. Doina Ciomag says, “We believe that often simple things can be implemented and could make great differences. We publish these solutions in our White Book, and the President of Romania was present with our members at the White Book’s launch. His presence was a strong message that our government is committed to attracting FDI.”

Both reactive and proactive The FIC operates both reactively and proactively; it reacts, for example, to new ministerial decisions by engaging in discussions with the relevant ministries, and aims to focus on a proactive approach through initiatives like the White Book, which was developed following a survey of FIC member companies concerning a wide range of subjects and issues. The FIC is currently working on a report to recommend changes in Romania’s fiscal system. The FIC partners with bilateral business groups such as AmCham, the German and British Chambers of Commerce, as well as with local groups.

Doina Ciomag, Executive Director Foreign Investors Council

For new investors in Romania, Doina Ciomag recommends Greenfield projects and mergers and acquisitions as high potential choices now that the privatisation process is virtually over. Romania’s large domestic market and skilled workforce are two of its advantages for investors. The FIC also wants to upgrade Romania’s international image. Doina Ciomag concludes, “We feel that Romania at times has a negative image, which is a misconception. We want to make more people in the EU, particularly in the business and political hubs of London and Brussels, aware of the real Romania. Our members are ambassadors for our country. There is a lot of potential in Romania, and investors should come here to see it for themselves.”

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ROMANIA

AmCham

Advocate for Local and International Business The American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham Romania) represents both international and local enterprises, and has more than 300 member companies. Far from serving only US interests, AmCham has many European and local companies among its members. Anca Harasim, Executive Director, says, “Our members include most of the multinationals in Romania as well as many small and medium-sized enterprises, therefore we are in a really good position to deal with business issues for companies of American, European and Romanian parentage.” AmCham can also offer investors the benefits of AmCham’s network throughout Europe and internationally; AmCham Romania maintains particularly close ties with other AmChams in Europe. As Anca Harasim points out, “Our strongest ties are with EU organisations, and we actively cooperate with the AmCham EU, keeping track of issues affecting the business sector.” Helping the private sector benefit from EU funding is one task for AmCham Romania, which has formed different committees focussing on specific issues, including energy and environment, information and communication technology, healthcare, and education (a key area for long-term private sector involvement), among others. AmCham also has a committee dealing specifically with public procurement and structural funds issue, which helps its members understand the rules and make best use of EU funds. Being a member of AmCham is the right choice for any company operating in Romania. “We have a wide range of services targeted toward our member companies, and have also positioned our organisation as a key partner for the government and its agencies to have access to the expertise and consultancy we provide through our membership,” Anca Harasim explains. A key role for AmCham Romania is to serve as a liaison between the private sector and the government.

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Anca Harasim, Executive Director Amcham Romania

Defining the organisation’s strategy, Anca Harasim says, “Our approach to government is not to criticise, but rather to identify problems and offer solutions to address them. We are clear and can articulate the main issues businesses are facing, for example concerning labour or the regulatory environment.” Founded in 1993, AmCham Romania has made its mark in the country’s business sector. It organises networking events, including meetings with representatives of international organizations like the International Monetary Fund, The World Bank, EBRD and publishes information of interest to the business community on its website or in its publications. Its directory is the best instrument to promote member companies and allow them to make contacts with potential partners. Concerning Romania’s investment leads, Anca Harasim says, “Companies that come to Romania are attracted by its market size, geographical position, quality of the workforce, as well as its membership to the European Union and NATO.” She cites information technology, pollution control, electrical power systems, defense industry or building products/infrastructure as particularly strong growth sectors. She concludes, ”Interested investors should take the time to come here, spend a few days on the ground, and assess the potential for themselves.”


Bucharest Tower Centre

Significant Investment Attractions in Key European Hub Romania continues to offer significant investment attractions. As the Romanian Agency for Foreign Investment points out, Romania – with over 21 million inhabitants – is one of the largest markets in Central and Eastern Europe, and its membership in the EU, CEFTA, and EFTA gives it access to around 500 million consumers overall.

European transport hub In addition, Romania enjoys a strategic location as a hub joining the EU, the Balkans, and the CIS countries. Romania is crossed by three important pan-European transport corridors: corridor IV linking western and Eastern Europe, corridor IX connecting northern and southern Europe, and corridor VII, the Danube River, which offers inland water transport links as well as connections between the Romanian Port of Constanta (the biggest port to the Black Sea) and northern Europe through the Rhine.

Membership in NATO, EU, UN Another key advantage for investors is Romania’s membership in both NATO and the EU. Romania has also formed bilateral agreements with many other

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countries concerning protection for investors, and has bilateral diplomatic relations with 177 out of the 191 United Nations member states, plus the Holy See, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Palestinian National Authority. Romania is a member of the UN and of many other international organisations, including the OSCE, the Council of Europe and International Organisation of La Francophonie. Romania has established free trade agreements with EFTA and CEFTA countries as well as with the EU, and has been a World Trade Organisation member since 1995.

Rich natural resources The country also has rich natural resources, including surface and underground water, fertile agricultural land, and oil and gas. Its varied natural beauty helps to make Romania a high potential tourism destination, and the government welcomes foreign investors to the country’s tourism sector. Romania also offers investors a highly skilled, multilingual workforce at competitive prices. On the economic front, Romania has a sound fiscal policy which includes a 16% flat tax rate, and was ranked

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a leading destination for foreign direct investment in 2008 in the Ernst&Young “Attractiveness Survey – South-East Europe: An Emergent FDI Destination in Europe”. Romania has stable labour relations, a legal environment that meets EU criteria (including Acquis Communautaire implementation), and a strong fiscal code. Romania offers world-class financial services, and its banking sector is 80% foreign owned. Concerning infrastructure, Romania enjoys advanced telecom services that include well-developed mobile networks in GSM systems, and its transport infrastructure is being steadily improved to meet EU standards. Its industrial infrastructure, including for the handling of oil and petrochemicals, is already highly developed. A significant advantage for investors in Romania is the support of EU funding for key industries, and the government welcomes European know-how and technologies. While the Romanian economy has been hurt, as have the economies of its neighbours in the region, by the global financial crisis, industry has been gradually regaining its footing during the last few months, largely thanks to growing exports of cars to EU countries. Indeed, the fiscal stimulus introduced in many EU countries to support


Business & Investment Opportunities the automobile industry boosted production of cars in Romania in particular. Thanks to this upswing, industrial production may decline by only 5% in 2009, a significant achievement in challenging times, and a reflection of the underlying strengths of Romanian industry.

IMF support reassures investors Recent strong support from the International Monetary Fund, in the form of access to €1.85 billion of its loan to Romania, has been another boost for the Romanian economy and a vote of confidence in the Romanian government. The IMF board has praised the government for its efficient policy implementation. Mass redundancies have been avoided so far in both the private and public sectors in Romania in spite of the economic downturn, although the government has recognised that it must conduct large-scale personnel cutbacks in the coming years to help cut public spending. The number of employees in the budgetary sector will drop by 25% under the government’s rather moderate plans; nearly one-third of total country-wide employment is in the public sector (1.4 million employees out of a total 4.9 million).

New foreign investment in wide range of sectors Meanwhile, foreign investors continue to enter the Romanian market and established foreign firms are increasing their investments there. Czech energy group CEZ, owner of a 51% stake in local Romanian electricity distribution firm Electrica Oltenia, upgraded its investment by 20% to 380 million through its offer to main minority shareholders for their 49% stake in the company. Electrica Oltenia’s distribution, supply and maintenance firms have been separated from the parent company in line with EU unbundling regulations, and these operations are the target of CEZ’s new investment. The main minority shareholders are state-owned Electrica and the Property Fund. Europe’s second largest steelmaker, Corus, owned by India’s Tata Steel Ltd, has announced that it will build a 12 million plant in Sfantu Gheorghe, central Romania, in a 50%-50% partnership with a local firm. The new plant will produce metal parts and particularly metal prefabricated sandwich-type panels for industrial construction. Chinese investors are reportedly interested in building a 1,000 MW pumped storage (reversible) hydro power plant in Tarnita-Lapusesti, which is needed for load balancing after the third and fourth reactors of the Cernavoda nuclear plant come online in 2015-2016.

Romania is also continuing to streamline its state-owned companies to prepare them for privatisation. The national freight railway company CFR Marfa has announced that it will make nearly half of its workforce – 8,500 of its 17,400 employees – redundant within the next year, in order to beef up the company’s financial situation and prepare it for privatisation. Halving the workforce would guarantee the company’s financial stability. Recently, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Radu Berceanu announced that the state should expect “billions of euros” for the company. A key task for the government is to reduce the budget deficit, and Romania is receiving advice and support from various EU groups to help it reach this goal. The council of EU economy and finance ministers (EcoFin) recently opened excessive deficit procedures for five EU states, including Romania, and issued recommendations on measures to be taken in order to get the budget deficit below the 3% of GDP threshold. The EcoFin council set January 7, 2010 as a deadline for taking corrective measures, and called on Romania to reduce its deficit below the 3% of GDP threshold by 2011. During the first half of 2009, Romania’s total external debt increased by 2.8% compared to the previous year, amounting to 57.2 billion. However, the major part of the increase occurred in May and was attributed to the 4.8 billion loan from the IMF. Had it not been for this loan, total external debt would have shrunk by 2.6 billion in May, following a 2.1 billion outflow of short-term capital and a 0.6 billion drop in mediumand long-term deposits of non-residents.

FDI increased in June this year A positive sign is that in June this year, net inflow of foreign capital to Romania other than international financial support picked up by 2.3%, as investor sentiment was encouraged by the stand-by agreement with the IMF. Overall, the outlook for the Romanian economy is very positive, and the country remains an excellent choice for European investors.

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ROMANIA

Internet Securities Inc.

Local Intelligence, Global Advantage Internet Securities Inc. (ISI), traded as ISI Emerging Markets, was founded in the US in 1994 and has its European headquarters in London. ISI specialises in helping investors target high potential opportunities in emerging markets. The investment specialist was the first to provide in-depth business advice for Eastern Europe, and its operation in Romania benefits from ISI’s extensive experience in the region. ISI now has offices in 29 countries around the world and offers all its clients the benefits of its global network and its extensive local knowledge. ISI Romania has positioned itself as the ideal local partner for investors thanks to its ability to “help investors avoid wasting time in searching information since we can provide the exact, accurate information they need. We provide hard to get information our clients can use,” explains Roxana Neacsu, General Manager of ISI Romania.

60,000 companies in database In all the markets where it operates, ISI provides services in English and in local languages. Roxana Neacsu says that ISI Romania has more than 60,000 companies in its database, representing all sectors. “We update our financial information on public companies

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once a quarter, and for the private companies once a year, so the information is fresh. We have shareholder information, official data, and an extensive news database with archives going back ten years,” she says.

Helping investors understand local market ISI provides all the necessary information its customers need to make informed decisions. The company’s subscribers include top investment banks, corporations, law firms, consultants, investment and insurance companies, universities and libraries, multilateral organisations, and others. Roxana Neacsu points out, “For many multinational companies Romania was and continues to be a hub for their business in South East Europe, or even all Europe. For these companies ISI has the advantage to provide the same standardised information for all countries in the region, making the local markets indicators easier for comparison.” ISI Romania plans to continue to focus on its specialised niche services, particularly during the current global economic downturn. As Roxana Neacsu puts it, “During a time of crisis, people need reliable information more than ever. ISI is like an old friend to Western companies. We are like your morning coffee. When you need news, like the coffee you really need in the morning, we are there to satisfy you!”


• Bucharest: Historic Cultural Centre Becoming Base for International Business • Cluj-Napoca: Dynamic Business Hub and Gateway to Transylvania • Timisoara: Hub of Western Romania

Cities of Romania

“Cluj-Napoca’s business environment is a dynamic one, and the city’s diversified economic activities have transformed the city into Romania’s biggest economic centre after Bucharest.” Sorin Apostu, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca

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ROMANIA

Bucharest: Historic Cultural Centre Becoming Base for International Business Bucharest, capital of Romania, has been the target of significant foreign investment and remains a high potential choice for investors as well as one of Europe’s most attractive tourism destinations. The city has a long history. Romanian legend has it that it was founded on the banks of the Dambovita River by a wine drinking, flute playing shepherd named Bucur, whose name means “joy”. In the 15th century, the princely court of Vlad Tepes (thought to have been the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula) was established here, and by the end of the 17th century, the city had become the capital of the province of Walachia. In 1862, Bucharest became the capital of Romania.

The Paris of Eastern Europe Remodelled in the late 19th century by French and French-trained architects, Bucharest features large neoclassical buildings, fashionable parks, and even its very own Arc de Triomphe on the elegant Soseaua Kiseleff boulevard, centre of the city’s mansion district. Bucharest’s charms range from its ancient city centre to the grand architecture of the Royal Palace and lush Cismigiu Park. The city also has a number of museums, art galleries, exquisite Orthodox churches, an historic Jewish neighbourhood, and unique architectural sites. Nicolae Ceausescu’s legacy includes the Parliament Palace (formerly called the People’s Palace), the world’s second largest building after the US Pentagon.

Lively cultural life Bucharest has a very lively cultural life, and every two years hosts the George Enescu International Festival, named after the Romanian musician and composer. Bucharest’s landmarks include Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue), Bucharest’s oldest and arguably most charming street, built in 1692; Cantacuzino Palace (Palatul Cantacuzino), built at the turn of the 20th century; Kretzulescu Church, built in 1722; and the old city centre (Centrul Vechi al Orasului), which in

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the 1400s was the home of merchants from all over the world, and today has many art galleries, antique shops and coffeehouses.

Major foreign investments The city of Bucharest has launched a major investment campaign supported by EU and other international funding; it includes projects to upgrade the city’s underground, build new roads, renovate historic neighbourhoods, and build new industrial parks around the city. Investments on the outskirts of Bucharest include a 30,000 sq m, multimillion euro Pepsi bottling plant, Pepsi’s biggest plant in Europe. PepsiAmericas Romania Chief Executive Mike Holmes says, “This new plant is a testimony of our confidence in the Romanian economy.”


Cities of Romania

Cluj-Napoca: Dynamic Business Hub and Gateway to Transylvania Cluj-Napoca is Romania’s second largest city and the historical capital of Transylvania. Located around 426 km northwest of Bucharest (on the road) in the picturesque Somesul Mic River valley, this former Roman trade hub is now one of Romania’s fastest growing business centres. Sorin Apostu, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca, points out, “Cluj-Napoca’s business environment is a dynamic one, and the city’s diversified economic activities have transformed the city into Romania’s biggest economic centre after Bucharest. We are also the country’s second most important centre for financial services, and first in Romania in the amount of commercial space per 1,000 inhabitants.” Cluj-Napoca is also number one in the production of furniture, textiles, dairy products, and beer, as well as in the growth of residential construction and real estate investments. “Even in a more difficult economic context, the economy of Cluj-Napoca is strong enough to continue,” Sorin Apostu points out. He says that trade accounts for 49.5% of the city’s economic activity, with industry coming next at 18.9% followed by services (18.6%), construction (12.6%), and agriculture (.4%).

Advantageous base for multinationals Leading Romanian companies as well as multinationals Emerson, Nokia, Genpact, and Office Depot are all operating in Cluj-Napoca, and the city also has more than 20,000 small and medium-sized enterprises. Recent international investments include one by banking group ING, which will transfer some of its IT, financial and operational activities there from Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Cluj-Napoca has many historic monuments and is home to Babes-Bolyai University, several technical

Sorin Apostu, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca

and professional institutes, the world’s first institute of speleology, and Romania’s richest botanical gardens. It is also the gateway to the unspoiled mountains and forests of Transylvania. The city has ambitious growth plans. It will access more than €80 million in EU funding, which it plans to use to rehabilitate local schools and the municipal hospital, among other projects. Sorin Apostu explains, “In the longer term, I have in mind the consolidation of the Cluj Metropolitan Area. We need to know where we want to go and what we have to do to get there.” The mayor is very confident that Cluj-Napoca will achieve its goals. He concludes, “Three companies from Cluj have conquered Western markets: Terapia (pharmaceuticals), Jolidon (lingerie) and Farmec (cosmetic products), and a fourth one – Clujana – is about to re-conquer Western markets. Our successful businesses are creating a very positive image abroad for Cluj-Napoca and for Romania.”

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Timisoara: Hub of Western Romania Timisoara, with a population of just over 300,000, is located on the banks of the Bega river (channelled into a canal) in western Romania. It is the capital of Timis county, which, as Ovidiu Virgil Draganescu, prefect, points out, “is a very well developed economic centre which focuses on implementing EU standards.”

The Timisoara area is known for its highly qualified workforce, excellent medical services, and low land prices in areas just outside the city centre. A planned new airport between Timisoara and Arad will stimulate the city’s development. Timisoara urgently needs more infrastructure investment to help it make the most of its business and tourism potential. An ancient trading centre, the city was settled in Neolithic times and was also occupied during the Roman Empire. In the 14th century the city was the residence of Charles I of Hungary. From 1552 it was held by the Turks until the Austrians took it in 1716. After the Treaty of Passarowitz in 1718, the city and the region, known as the Banat of Temesvár, were governed from Vienna and colonised with non-Magyars, mostly Swabian Germans. The city withstood a siege by Hungarian revolutionaries in 1848. Occupied by Serbia in 1919, it was allotted by the Treaty of Trianon to Romania in 1920.

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Opera Square with the Opera House in the background

Cultural and business hub Today, Timisoara is a well-known cultural centre which is the home of the University of Timisoara (founded 1948), a state theatre, a state opera and ballet, a philharmonic orchestra, and a library. The Bega Canal, which runs through the centre of the city, is lined with parks. The city’s principal buildings include the monumental Roman Catholic cathedral (1736–73), the Serbian cathedral (1748, restored 1791), and the regional museum, housed in a restored 14th-century palace. Timisoara is also a commercial centre and has developed an expanding manufacturing sector. The city’s products include electric motors and electrical apparatus,

textiles, farm machinery and implements, chemicals, plastics, footwear, and foodstuffs. Recent foreign investment in Timisoara includes a new Ibis hotel which the Accor group plans to begin building next year. US group Advent International, with branches in 15 countries, has invested €8.17 billion in Romania and managed 200 takeovers there worth a total €23.83 billion. Sebastian Tcaciuc, Director Advent International Romania, recently recommended the Timisoara region and western Romania in general. He said, “In the west of the country, foreign investments continue to come in, and growth is higher than in other areas in Romania.”


• Ministry of Public Finance Making Sure EU Funds Go to the Right Places • Central Bank Governor Confident About Future • Financial Sector Fundamentals Remain Solid

Finance

“The global financial crisis had a positive effect in making investors more aware of how companies were operating, and we have seen that investors have quite a positive opinion of Romania. When this crisis is over, Romania will have the momentum which we have created with EU structural funds, and we will be ready to go on.” Gheorghe Pogea, Minister of Public Finance

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Ministry of Public Finance Making Sure EU Funds Go to the Right Places Romania’s Ministry of Public Finance is ready and willing to assist foreign investors seeking opportunities in the country’s growing economy. “We have a financial sector which we are building up, and we are ready for further development,” says Gheorghe Pogea, Minister of Public Finance. The Ministry is considered the most important of all Romanian Ministries since it handles all issues concerning public finances as well as the disbursement of EU funds. Opportunities for investment are increasing as Romania brings all its systems up to EU standards. The government has two major goals: one is to bring Romania up to EU standards in all areas and the other is to bring Romania’s regions up to the level of Bucharest. The Ministry of Public Finance through its specialised department acts as an umbrella for the coordination of operational programs under EU cohesion policy. Gheorghe Pogea points out that significant progress has been made in cutting down on bureaucratic red tape. “We are being proactive and trying to eliminate excessive bureaucracy. We have already cut out extra documents previously required to access structural funds and we are trying to get our systems more efficient. It’s an on going process,” he says. The €25 billion in EU funding available for a wide range of projects in Romania gives the country a definite edge for investors, especially since up to 85% of eligible costs are being financed by non reimbursable funds. “Investors, whether local or foreign companies, can access funds for co-funding arrangements. Foreign investors should be aware that EU funds can be an opportunity to co-finance their projects and grow their business,” the Minister points out. Romania particularly needs infrastructure development, and a large portion of government

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Gheorghe Pogea, Minister of Public Finance

funds as well as EU funding will be directed towards infrastructure projects. Energy is another sector which will be the target of significant funding. The Ministry of Public Finance works in close co-operation with the banking sector and investors to make sure everyone is aware of Romania’s possibilities. Gheorghe Pogea concludes, “The financial sector is much more developed than it was even two years ago. The global financial crisis had a positive effect in making investors more aware of how companies were operating, and we have seen that investors have quite a positive opinion of Romania. When this crisis is over, Romania will have the momentum which we have created with EU structural funds, and we will be ready to go on.”


Finance

Central Bank Governor Confident About Future Mugur Isarescu, Governor of the National Bank of Romania, the country’s central bank, points out that Romania offers two unbeatable incentives for investors: first, it is an EU country in a strategic location in the eastern EU with access to the Black Sea and the Danube. Secondly, it has a large domestic market ranked the second-largest in Eastern Europe. “Our position in the EU means that Romania offers exceptional potential,” the governor says. Mugur Isarescu, a former Prime Minister, is the longest serving Central Bank Governor in the world.

He adds that the National Bank will continue to fight inflation and work to stimulate sustainable economic growth for Romania.

Mugur Isarescu, Governor National Bank

The Governor points out that Romania has a very strong financial services sector, dominated by banking and operating according to EU standards. Foreign capital has played a major role in the financial sector, with investors including Société Générale, Erste and ING, among many others. “More than 92% of the sector is private capital and of this around 70% is foreign capital,” he says.

While Romania’s economy has been hurt by the crisis, the Governor says, “We hope the financial sector will be the first to recover. We hope that by the second half of this year, credit growth will have picked up again.” Challenges for the future include continuing to upgrade and streamline the public sector and to develop Romania’s human resources and infrastructure. Mugur Isarescu points out that Romania offers significant advantages for foreign investors, who are ensured a level playing field in the Romanian economy. “Romania has a high quality work force, natural resources, great natural beauty, and a large domestic market. We are doing our job to ensure economic stability, we are making significant progress in the economy, and investors should know that they can be confident about Romania’s future,” the Governor concludes.

Prudent financial strategies Romania’s financial sector is faring well in the current global crisis because, as Mugur Isarescu points out, “The incidence of so-called toxic assets is very low.” Romania’s prudent strategy has been to increase its foreign exchange reserves and to discourage foreign exchange lending. The National Bank of Romania released almost €1.5 billion to the banking sector to stimulate spending again. “We have adjusted rather than relaxed our monetary policy,” the Governor says.

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ROMANIA

Financial Sector Fundamentals Remain Solid Romania’s Central Bank recently reported that the country’s financial sector is well placed to survive the effects of the global financial crisis. The bank’s annual “Report on Financial Stability” concludes that “the financial sector has managed to absorb shocks of moderate intensity from the real economy and the external sector.”

Bucharest Financial Centre

Since the previous report, the Romanian financial sector has faced a volatile international financial environment, intensified risks, deterioration of FDI in emerging European economies, and capital market shocks. Nonetheless, the banking sector has managed to cope well with the pressures, and EU structural funds are continuing to fuel Romania’s economy, particularly concerning badly needed infrastructure projects. Credit risks associated with a shrinking economy, declining external demand, household loans granted to lower income borrowers who are having difficulty in paying them back, and foreign exchange volatility are the main pressures on Romania’s financial sector.

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However, the banking sector has continued to register positive evolution of all indicators, according to the central bank.

Central Bank cuts interest rate As domestic demand has weakened, unsustainably large trade and current account deficits are falling dramatically. Foreign exchange reserves have remained solid, with International Monetary Fund led financial assistance limiting the risk of a reserves shortage. The Central Bank has cut the monetary policy interest rate by 50bps to 9%, while also reducing the required reserve ratios for


Finance

domestic and foreign currency liabilities to 15% and 35% respectively. The central bank’s decision to loosen the monetary policy aims at encouraging bank lending for ensuring sustainable financing of the economy. Two of the largest banks, BCR and Raiffeisen, responded quickly to the monetary authority’s decision and announced interest rate cuts for deposits and loans.

Strong support from IMF On September 23 this year, the IMF’s board of directors gave a positive assessment of Romania’s economic performance after the first review of the country’s economy under a programme supported by a 24-month stand-by arrangement which enabled the disbursement of the second tranche of the €12 billion in funding support. Half of the €1.85 billion tranche will go to the National Bank of Romania’s coffers, and the other half will fill the budget gap, estimated at 7.3% of GDP. “Against the backdrop of a significant deterioration in economic activity since the approval of the Stand-by Arrangement in May, policy imple-

mentation has been strong,” says John Lipsky, the IMF’s First Deputy Managing Director.

Foreign banks continue to bet on Romania In another sign of confidence in Romania, the parent banks of Romania’s nine largest foreign owned banks have pledged to continue to support their subsidiaries in the country. The banks concerned – including Eurobank, National Bank of Greece, Société Générale, Volksbank and UniCredit Group – represent 70% of Romania’s banking market and are therefore key to the EU nation’s financial recovery.

agreement, parent banks will boost the capital of their subsidiaries to maintain a 10% capital adequacy ratio. Romania’s banking sector is currently 80% foreign owned. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s Board of Directors recently approved a €150 million financing package

The foreign-owned banks had signed commitments to maintain a relatively strong capital to risk ratio to help firm up the country’s financial system, according to a joint statement issued by the EU and the IMF. “The success of Romania’s macroeconomic reform programme and the sustainability of its balance of payments depend significantly on the continued active involvement of foreign banks in Romania,” according to the IMF and EU statement. Under the recently announced

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ROMANIA

for three subsidiaries of Raiffeisen International, including Raiffeisen Bank Romania, to help address the impact of the international financial crisis on the real economies of the respective countries. “The agreement signed by our majority shareholder with EBRD reflects our long-term commitment to the region. We considered it was a good opportunity to strengthen the bank’s capital in order to respond to current challenges of the Romanian market,” says Steven van Groningen, President, Raiffeisen Bank Romania.

Prima Casa programme moving forward Meanwhile the banking sector continues to develop new products to help fuel the economy. The Prima Casa programme is one successful initiative; it is designed to give Romanians the chance to buy their first homes. The Romanian government is guaranteeing €1 1 billion in mortgages through “Prima Casa”, which has created opportunities not only among first time homeowners but also for investors looking to buy apartments in Romania for rental income. Those interested in contracting a loan through the “Prima Casa” programme can choose between building a house from scratch, buying one in the construction phase or acquiring a completed house, for which they will have to make a down payment of at least €3,000. The government has stipulated that banks granting loans through the “Prima Casa” programme can demand a maximum rate of 4% a year above the three-month EURIBOR rate for euro loans and 2.5% above the three-month ROBOR rate for lei loans. Some 20 banks are participating in the programme. These are Volksbank, BCR, BRD-Société Générale, Raiffeisen Bank, CEC Bank, Alpha Bank, Banca Transilvania, Bancpost, Banca Romaneasca, Piraeus Bank, Bank Leumi, ATEbank, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank, Credit Europe Bank, OTP Bank, Unicredit Tiriac Bank, ING Bank, Emporiki, Millennium Bank and Garanti Bank. As Traian Basescu, President of Romania, recently commented, “I am encouraged by the fact that Romanian banks can finance the economy.”

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Insurance sector offers significant potential Romania has had one of the most exciting insurance sectors in Europe in recent years. Premiums are growing rapidly in both life and non life segments, some insurers (both domestic and foreign) are expanding at an explosive rate, and profits are high. The potential for the life segment – with or without assistance in distribution from Romania’s banks – appears significant. In addition, the introduction of mandatory household insurance will create even more opportunities for insurers. In 2008, total premiums in Romania rose by 25%, non life premiums rose by 25%, and life premiums rose by 27%. The insurance sector has been affected by the current downturn, but recovery is on its way, according to Antonio Souvannasouck, Managing Partner at ASIGEST. He says, “Starting in the fourth quarter 2009, we will start seeing business growth again.”

Large untapped domestic market With a domestic market of over 20 million people, an underdeveloped insurance sector, and new EU membership, Romania has all the fundamentals for continued strong growth in the insurance sector once the current economic downturn passes. Most analysts predict increasing consolidation in Romania’s insurance sector, which currently includes a number of smaller companies. Many individual firms have continued to perform well during the crisis. Uniqa underwrote, in the first six months of 2009, gross premiums of almost €59 million and has boosted its net profits 3.7 times thanks to a project to streamline claims. Motor insurance dominates Uniqa’s business. The Uniqa group acquired local player Unita last year. Piraeus Insurance Broker has designed new products this year and launched a cross-selling campaign nationwide. Also, the broker has expanded its network and has 185 new branches in the last


Finance

Volksbank

A Banking Success Story

The shareholders of Volksbank Romania (VBR) decided in 2000 to invest in Romania in a so called “Green Field Operation” to create a Romanian Bank following the Cooperative Banking Idea, which is well appreciated in Western Europe.

nine months, to keep pace with rising demand for household insurance. Groupama, the biggest foreign investor in the local insurance market, will complete the full integration of the three companies it owns in Romania - ASIBAN, BT Asigurari and OTP Garancia – by the end of this year, and is continuing to strengthen its operations in the country.

Rebounding from crisis In fact, Romania’s financial sector seems positioned to play a major role in helping the country rebound from the current economic downturn. The World Bank, in yet another vote of confidence in Romania, is set to provide continued key support for the sector, announcing in July this year that it is considering a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) with Romania for 2009-2013. Praising the Romanian government’s handling of the financial crisis, The World Bank says, “The government of Romania has moved rapidly to take fiscal measures aimed at containing the impact of the crisis, to mobilise an international financial package spearheaded by the IMF, the EU and the World Bank, and to resume the structural reform agenda. The World Bank Group intends to complement and support this programme by helping the government to implement structural reforms to mitigate the crisis by reducing social and economic vulnerabilities, and by putting in place the basis for sustainable economic growth.” Such international confidence in Romania’s government suggests that Romania’s long-term prospects are very positive.

This Cooperative Banking Strategy of our grand shareholders (VBAG, BPCE, DZ, and WGZ) – which focuses on the needs of qualitative and individual services of Private Individuals & SMEs – supported during 2006 – 2008 the dynamic growth of our bank. Based on the long experience of the grand shareholders VBR focused on highly standardised credit products, combined with the most modern software applications, which allowed VBR to build a positive market image, especially in Private Individuals mortgage lending. The focus on this product was driven by the long-term client relationship strategy to become a “generation bank” - this means that Volksbank may be the bank of the grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren. A long-term product was used to build trust and confidence into the partnership and advisory services of the young, motivated and well-trained staff of VBR. The investments in outlets and training in modern banking operations led to the implementation of one of the most sophisticated Internet Banking Systems (VBR received Best Bank 2008 Award & Most Performing Electronic Banking Award 2009), which allows clients to perform nearly all banking services from anywhere. Via the organic growth VBR achieved a market share of approximately 6% (based on total Romanian banking assets). As one of the top 5 Romanian banks VBR estimates for the next 2 years (considering the impact of the world economical crisis) increases in Risk provisions but still good profitability. In the future profitability will be certainly more and more supported by no-risk income (day to day business operations and fee income from intermediation of funds, insurances, consumer loans, credit cards, etc). The potential of new no-risk business leads to the assumption that the forecasted 2009 profit (approx. 46 - 48 Mio Euro before tax) can also be achieved during the following 2 years” Tel: +40 (0) 21 303 9300 www.volksbank.ro

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Fondul National de Garantare a Creditelor Pentru Intreprinderile Mici si Mijlocii

Fund Fuelling Romania’s SMEs Fondul National de Garantare a Creditelor Pentru Intreprinderile Mici si Mijlocii (FNGCIMM, or “the Fund”) supports Romania’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), a mainstay of the local economy. The Fund, which is overseen by the National Bank of Romania, is a non-bank financial institution with risk capital of around €66 million, which offers credit guarantees of up to 80% of the principal of loans granted to SMEs by banks and other financing institutions. It now has 20 branches throughout the country. Aurel Saramet, President, points out that the Fund is a new type of organisation for Romania. He explains, “This institution assumes a very high risk. Around 9,000 companies are accessing funds through our company, and over the past five years we provided €700 million in guarantees, which sustained about €1.5 billion in credit involving close to 10,000 bank loans.” The Fund is a member of the European Mutual Guarantee Association, for which Aurel Saramet serves on the board of directors.

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“When we began, our first task was to convince banks that our product was credible and really covers their risks. The banks were very cautious at first, but now local banks are the main promoters of our product, ”Aurel Saramet says proudly: The Fund also extends its services to companies with 100% foreign shareholders; such firms make up around 10% of Romania’s SME sector at the moment. Aurel Saramet, President

In Romania, small firms generally are self financed, which is not the case in most other European markets. Aurel Saramet says, “In the EU, small businesses are sustained 70% by bank loans. Romanian banks are beginning to develop a new strategy to allow SMEs to have an easier access to credit. Romania is a very strong market for this. ”One issue to overcome is that in Romanian tradition accepting loans is not considered very honourable. “The Fund and local Banks are trying to educate people here about developing a business with the support of a loan, “he explains.

Educating banks and the public The Fund, which was founded in 2001 and began operating the following year, works with 25 banks all of which support SMEs.

The Fund is also active in co-financing EU funding agreements. “We dynamise EU funding for Romania,” Aurel Saramet says. The Fund is also managing the new Prima Casa (“First House”) programme, launched by the government to help mainly young Romanians purchase homes. The Fund’s main focus remains Romania’s business sector. “We are here to support entrepreneurs,” Aurel Saramet concludes.

FNGCIMM Str. Lulian Stefan, nr 38, sector 1, Bucharest Tel: +40 21 310 18 74 Fax: +40 21 310 18 57 www.fngcimm.ro


Finance

The Rural Credit Guarantee Fund (RCGF)

Fund Providing Key Support for Investors in Agriculture The Rural Credit Guarantee Fund (RCGF) is providing essential support for the development of rural Romania. Veronica Toncea, General Director, explains, “The Fund, through guarantee granting, facilitates access to loans for farmers, agricultural product processors and beneficiaries of co-financing from EU funds. Moreover, beginning this year, the Fund will issue financial guarantees to the Agency for Payments for Rural Development and Fishing and to public beneficiaries to assist in financing contracts.” Romania’s agriculture sector offers significant development potential. As Veronica Toncea points out, “The agricultural market in Romania has competitive advantages for business thanks mainly to Romania’s fertile farmland and to our very highly qualified people involved in agriculture.” Beneficiaries of support for projects in Romania’s National Plan for Rural Development can count on essential support from the RCGF. Half the financing for such projects is available from non-reimbursable funds, and the RCGF can guarantee any additional loans. Veronica Toncea says, “At the request of a commercial bank, the RCGF has to guarantee both the loan granted to

licensed by the Ministry and to use this grain as collateral in applying for bank loans. The Fund has not been adversely affected by the current global financial crisis, Veronica Toncea explains, in part because of the agricultural policy used by the Romanian government, during this period.

Veronica Toncea, General Director

an investor and the bank’s letter of guarantee. In this case, the guarantee percentage is 100% of the loan and of the banking letter of guarantee in 2009 and 80% during 2010-2013.”

Strong reputation for world-class services The RCGF has earned a strong reputation for its world-class operations and also grants guarantees to Romanian companies having foreign shareholders, incorporated in Romania. It also works very closely with the local banking sector and with Romania’s Ministry of Agriculture, for example through administering the Ministry’s “First Silo” programme to allow grain producers to store grain in silos

Urging European investors to target Romania’s agriculture sector, Veronica Toncea says, “I consider that the potential of Romanian agriculture and the performance our experts in the agriculture sector are good arguments for investing in agricultural ventures in this country. In addition, the facilities the RCGF can offer, ensure the success of these investments. The Fund has become a well-known brand to farmers and companies in the agro-food sector and to the beneficiaries of European funds, thanks to the RCGF’s professionalism, efficiency, correctness and strict observance of the liabilities assumed by the guarantee contracts concluded with financing providers.”

FGCR-IFN SA Occidentului St. 5 Sector 1, Bucharest Tel.: +40 21 312 5463 Fax: +40 21 312 5419 office@fgcr.ro

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ROMANIA

UNIQA Asigurari

Regional Leader Sees Exceptional Potential in Local Insurance Market Ileana Horvath, President of the Managing Board, explains, “Romania has significant growth prospects in the insurance sector. Insurance penetration is still very low compared to other markets, and the population is large and includes a high number of home and vehicle owners. We see huge potential here.” Ileana Horvath, President of the Managing Board

UNIQA Asigurari, the newest member of UNIQA Group, one of the most trusted names in insurance in Europe and a top player in Central Europe, has ambitious growth plans in Romania. UNIQA entered the Romanian market by acquiring a local company last year and is already ranked among the top five players in the local insurance sector.

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A current goal for the Romanian operation is to implement UNIQA’s high standards in every aspect of the business. UNIQA is known for its exceptional service and reliability. The UNIQA Group, based in Austria, is active in 20 markets and achieved revenues of around €5.8 billion in 2008, with profits of around €90 million. The group serves more than six million clients with around 13 million contracts.

Major investment in developing strong products In Romania, UNIQA has invested €40 million in developing a first-class insurance operation for the Romanian market. Ileana Horvath says, “We have young and motivated people, and we enjoy our projects. We are focusing on transparency and on making things simple and advantageous for our clients. We have already launched four new products and are particularly concentrating on providing great claims services. We have a pilot project to outsource claims handling. We want to pay every claim in 10 days or less.”

UNIQA has a preferred partnership with Raiffeisen Bank, the company’s main shareholder, to design new products, including life insurance. UNIQA began as a life insurance provider and is now moving back into life insurance coverage. UNIQA Asigurari sees itself as a benchmark insurance provider whose efforts can benefit the insurance sector overall. UNIQA Asigurari is also a strong supporter of local community service projects. Ileana Horvath is very positive about UNIQA’s future in Romania. She explains, “We offer security. We are here to develop a strong business and to be a trustworthy and long-term partner for our clients. For local clients or foreign investors, we offer the same high quality services in Romania for which UNIQA is known in all its markets.”

Bld. Dacia, no. 30, sector 1, Bucharest, 010413 Tel: +40 21.212.08.82 Fax: +40 21.212.08.43 E-mail: ioana.pasca@uniqa.ro www.uniqa.ro


• Making Romanian Industry More Competitive • National Chamber of Commerce and Energy: Dynamic Advocate for Private Sector • Bucharest Chamber Ready to Assist Foreign Investors • Ideal Base for Trade-Oriented Industrial Operations

Trade & Industry

“International investors should investigate opportunities in Romania. There are strong investment opportunities in agriculture, real estate, infrastructure, transportation and other sectors.” Mihail M. Vlasov, President Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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Making Romanian Industry More Competitive Romania’s strategy for its industrial sector is to boost the competitiveness of Romanian industry and to facilitate the entry of Romanian companies into European and global markets. Romania’s industrial sector is dominated by manufacturing, which accounts for 80.1% of total industrial production, 94.8% of total exports, and 86.5% of industrial employment. The country’s manufacturing activities include the metallurgical industry, chemicals and petrochemicals, machine building, electronics and fine mechanics, wood products, light industry (including textiles and leather goods), biodiesel, auto parts, construction materials and other non-metal materials, information technology, and waste recycling, among others. The 7% growth in GDP Romania registered between 2004 and 2008 was the result of strong performance in industry and services. The industrial sector has seen a rise in productivity in recent years, including 4% growth in 2008 and a further 3.7% growth in the first half of 2009. Exports have also been rising. The EU is Romania’s top trading partner by far, accounting for 73.3% of both imports and exports. To stimulate the growth of exports, the government has provided over €35.9 million (ROL154.7 million) to export-oriented manufacturing enterprises. Romania’s industrial and trade activities are overseen by the Ministry of Economy and Ministry of SMEs, Trade and Business Environment, whose industrial development plans for 2009 to 2013 include developing a domestic market for Romania’s industrial products; encouraging strategic alliances concerning technological, industrial, economic and financial issues; providing support for the production of high value added products (including information technology, electronics and automotive parts); supporting the production of goods based on Romania’s resources (furniture and other wood products, food products, and tools); supporting

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the integrated development of the textiles sector; promoting industrial clusters; supporting research and development; and bringing Romania’s industrial sector up to EU standards. Foreign direct investment in Romania’s industrial sector has been rising rapidly, from €5.1 billion in 2004 to €9 billion in 2006, €7.2 billion in 2007 and €9 billion once again in 2008. The EU (particularly France and Germany) has accounted for 84% of this FDI. Investments have covered a diverse range of sectors, from auto parts production to IT, furniture making, biodiesel production and others. According to the ministry, “Romania will improve its capacity of absorbing direct investments, especially in the sectors of car components, IT, electronic sub-ensembling, household appliances, bearings, furniture and wood, the production of biofuels and others.”


Trade & Industry

National Chamber of Commerce and Energy: Dynamic Advocate for Private Sector The Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) plays a major role in stimulating the growth of Romania’s private sector. As Mihail M. Vlasov, President, explains, the RCCI serves as a hub for county chambers of commerce throughout the country and functions as an important liaison between chambers of commerce and the Romanian government. The RCCI has also formed ties with international chambers of commerce to help enhance Romania’s position on the global business map, and it also plays a major role in helping to find funding for business ventures in Romania. The international business community needs to take a closer look at Romania, and the RCCI can help potential investors check out what Romania has to offer. Mihail M. Vlasov says, “International investors should investigate opportunities in Romania. There are strong investment opportunities in agriculture, real estate, infrastructure, transportation and other sectors.” Addressing the reputation for corruption, which many associate with the region, he adds, “Corruption in Romania revolves around petty crime, the plague of a formerly communist country. Contrary to what some people abroad may believe, Romania has some well-intentioned government ministers who do their job honestly and well.”

Excellent networking too The RCCI serves as an excellent networking tool for investors and business leaders in Romania, whether they are local or foreign. The RCCI often hosts high profile visitors to Romania (including the President of Turkey, foreign Ambassadors, and Prince Albert of Monaco) and organises a gala event every January to mark the anniversary of the RCCI’s founding 145 years ago. The goals of the RCCI in Mr. Vlasov’s vision are equally split between representing the business community

Mihail M. Vlasov, President Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

and hosting top guests from abroad visiting Romania at high protocol functions. The RCCI’s objectives are to play a key role in helping Romania achieve seamless EU integration, to lobby for Romania at EU institutions through its representative office in Brussels and in meetings with other EU member states, to assist Romanian companies to meet EU standards, and to identify EU programmes which can bring benefit to the Romanian business sector through the RCCI. The RCCI strives to inform its members about all EU directives, regulations, decisions, information and statistical data applied in other member states which directly influence the Romanian business community. Mihail M. Vlasov believes that the Romanian government still needs to do more to support the activity of the business community and chambers of commerce, but he is very positive about Romania’s future. “As far as business is concerned, anything is possible in Romania,” he concludes.

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Ideal Base for Trade-Oriented Industrial Operations In spite of the challenges of the global economic downturn, Romania’s industrial sector boosted production in June this year and should keep its crisis-related downturn to only 5% for the year, quite an accomplishment in difficult times.

Port Constanta

Romania’s industrial sector is diverse and has a long history of success in foreign markets. As a member of the EU, CEFTA, EFTA, and the World Trade Organisation, Romania offers privileged conditions for exports, as well as access not only to the country’s large domestic market but also to around 500 million customers in nearby markets.

EU is top trade partner Romania’s total exports reached €33.6 billion in 2008, compared to €27.45 billion the previous year. Romania’s main exports are machinery and equipment (including military equipment), textiles and footwear, metals and metal products, minerals and fuels, chemicals, and agricultural products. The country’s top export market is the EU, and its top individual export partners are Germany (accounting for 16.5% of total exports in 2008), Italy (15.6%), France (7.4%), Turkey (6.6%), Hungary (5.1%), and Bulgaria (4.2%). Romania’s total imports in 2008 reached €51.87 billion, compared to €43.95 billion in 2007. Chief imports are machinery and equipment, fuels and minerals, chemicals, textiles and related products, metals, and agricultural products. Germany is the top source of imports to Romania, accounting for 16.3% of the total, followed by Italy (11.4%), Hungary (7.4%), Russia

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(6%), France (5.7%), Turkey (4.9%), Austria (4.9%), Kazakhstan (4.6%) and China (4.2%). The agriculture sector accounts for around 3% of Romania’s GDP, and while the country imports substantial quantities of grain, it is largely self sufficient in other agricultural and food products. The EU is Romania’s main trade partner concerning agricultural and food products, accounting for 64% of Romania’s exports of agricultural and food products and 54% of its imports.

Rising FDI totals Thanks to its strategic location, developed industrial base, large domestic market, skilled labour force, low taxes, access to regional markets and to the EU, and its business-friendly environment, Romania has been attracting significant foreign direct investment, and brought in the second highest amount of FDI in Central Europe in 2008. In fact, the €1.2 million in FDI Romania attracted in the first two months of 2008 represented a 40% increase over the same period in the previous year. FDI in Romania grew by 600% between 2000 and 2004 alone. Top foreign investors in Romania include the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, and the US. Top foreign companies which have invested in Romania include Erste Bank (Austria), OMV (Austria), Gaz de France (France), Orange (France), Vodafone (UK), Ford (US), Procter & Gamble (US), MOL (Hungary), ENEL (Italy), E.ON (Germany), and Nokia (Finland), among others. British investments in the Romanian economy currently exceed €5 billion, with more than 3,200 British companies operating in key sectors, including telecommunications, information technology, financial services, and water and environmental protection.

Industrial sector top target for foreign investors FDI in Romania has flowed mainly to industry (38.4% as of 2007), banking and insurance (22.2%), wholesale and retail trade (13.1%), production of electricity, gas and water (10.5%), and transportation and telecommunications (9.2%). Romania has widely recognised strengths in information technology, auto components, chemicals, apparel, pharmaceuticals and jewellery. Major foreign investments in the works range from a €50 million project by Procter&Gamble to build a cosmetics

Industrial park in Cluj-Napoca

factory in Romania, the country’s first Greenfield cosmetics enterprise, to a €600 million investment by Peugeot in an engine factory in Romania. According to the National Bank of Romania, FDI in Romania rose from €1.94 billion in 2003 to €9.08 billion in 2008. In the first five months of 2009, FDI totalled around €3 billion. Also in the first five months of this year, Romania registered over 3,100 new companies with foreign participation. Meanwhile, Romanian enterprises are investing abroad. Romanian furniture company Mobexpert opened its first hypermarket in Bulgaria in Sofia’s residential district of Lyulin in a €10 million project, while Romanian electronics retailer Altex entered the Bulgarian market last year. Romanian sanitary and electric equipment distributor Romstal has entered the Serbian market, acquiring local equipment distributor Doming for €10 million.

EU funds and state financing available For investors in industrial and trade-oriented operations in Romania, a wide range of funding opportunities are available, from EU structural funds to state aid. For example, all investments over €30 million in any sector which generate at least 300 new jobs are eligible for state funding, while all investments in energy (including electrical and thermal energy production) are also eligible for state support. Additional support is available for investments of over €100 million which generate at least 500 new jobs. Romania has established a number of industrial parks and free zones which provide the ideal base for industrial operations, and it continues to enhance its investment attractions.

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Frigotehnica

Refrigeration Leader Expanding into New Activities and Markets Frigotehnica dominates Romania’s air-conditioning and refrigeration sector with an 80% market share on its commercial segment. The company achieved around €50 million in turnover last year and is aiming to € increase that by €10 million this year – to achieve the same figure as its years in existence. In fact, Frigotehnica represents one of the longest running companies in Romania’s history. It has been operating for almost 60 years and has established a strong reputation as a reliable partner for both local and foreign companies.

Full range of products and services As Nicolae Bara, President, explains, “We are very connected to all stages of any project for our customers.” Frigotehnica doesn’t have any government or public clients and exclusively serves the private sector. Its divisions include Eco Clima Industrial, Frigosystem, Tehnoelectric and Frigo Leasing, and its core activities cover the full spectrum of refrigeration and air-conditioning products and services, from design and manufacturing to installation and service. Refrigeration is a key factor in industrial development along with other types of infrastructure. As Nicolae Bara points out, “All countries aiming to attract international investors must be able to provide airconditioning and refrigeration services. Without refrigeration, you cannot have hospitals, hotels, restaurants, a food industry, automobile or textiles manufacturing and much more. Countries need more than just streets and energy systems; they must have good refrigeration systems as well.” Frigotehnica is ensuring that Romania does not fall short in this vital area.

Expanding into facility management Frigotehnica continuously upgrades and expands its services for its customers and is now moving into facility management. This initiative will make Frigotehnica the only facility management provider within its industry. “We already have an established call centre and centralised monitoring systems, which will be key to the launch of the facility management service. This is the future of the company,” Nicolae Bara believes. He adds, “We will be able to provide a complete package for our customers.” The company already has its first client for facility management, Kaufland.

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While Frigotehnica has no need of partners to finance its expansion into facility management, Nicolae Bara aims to look abroad for a skilled and experienced manager for this new activity. He says, “Frigotehnica has a very good name internationally, and we are probably going to look beyond Romania. I like to bring in specialised people from Europe, offer them a good salary and a good market, and then I find that they end up liking Romania.” Frigotehnica is also currently looking to access EU funding to finance training of its personnel.

Stepping up international activity Over the medium and long term, Frigotehnica is expanding abroad. It has already opened an operation in Bulgaria and aims to begin operating in Ukraine next, then probably in Albania. “We will expand in two directions: regionally such as in Bulgaria, and by completing projects in other countries,” Nicolae Bara says. Western Europe is also in the company’s expansion plans. Frigotehnica has already completed projects in Germany, Poland,

Norway, and Switzerland, working in partnership with global refrigeration and air-conditioning sector leader Carrier. “Carrier is our partner here in Romania; they were very interested in the chance to use our people and technology in different applications and in different countries,” Nicolae Bara explains. He adds that Frigotehnica has also completed projects in Lebanon and Nigeria; Frigotehnica sends in skilled personnel but is also committed to employing local human resources for its projects abroad.

Focus on skilled human resources In fact, one reason for Frigotehnica’s competitive edge is its focus on human resources. “We invest in our people,” Nicolae Bara says. He adds, “We can complete turnkey projects using our highly trained personnel using the same level of technology and skills as any big multinational can offer. We handle the whole project, including after-sales services. This is what our customers want.” German hypermarket group Macro is one international client which

called on Frigotehnica in Romania and now employs the company for projects in other markets. “We offer our customers new types of services, and this is the reason they invite us to go with them into other countries. Our clients are our best form of advertising,” Nicolae Bara says proudly. In Romania, the Frigotehnica logo featuring a bear is very well known throughout the country, and Nicolae Bara is committed to maintaining the superlative image of the Frigotehnica brand. He serves as President of the Romanian Refrigeration Association and notes that since 1994 Frigotehnica has been sponsoring an annual international symposium on refrigeration. To potential customers in Romania, Nicolae Bara concludes, “We do not just sell equipment; we sell a complete package. We invite clients here to visit our facilities and our call centres, to see that we offer a true package deal. This is the difference between Frigotehnica and any competitor which cannot offer these services. Our new facility management service will put us even more ahead of the competition.”

Frigotehnica 2-4 Torentului Street, Bucharest 2, 021806, Romania Tel: +40 (0) 21 250 34 41 Fax: +40 (0) 21 250 79 20 www.frigotehnica.ro office@frigotehnica.ro

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Bucharest Chamber Ready to Assist Foreign Investors Foreign investors looking into opportunities in Romania or setting up a business there can rely on Chambers of Commerce and Industry to assist them. “The chamber system in Romania is the only local organisation which authentically represents the private sector business community. All our chambers are designed to help business people, whether they operate in industry, services, commerce, tourism, collective activities, research and development or banking, insurance and investment funds,” says Sorin Dimitriu, President of the Bucharest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Bucharest CCI) and Vice President of the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Romanian CCI). He adds that members of the Bucharest CCI account for 70% of Bucharest’s production per year. A major role for the Bucharest CCI is to assist local companies to apply for support from EU funds. “Romania has a good chance of overcoming the global financial crisis but it depends on foreign investment. Romania’s private sector is still drawing investment during the crisis, which is a good sign, but to overcome the crisis, we must co-ordinate investment with EU funds,” Sorin Dimitriu says. He cites agriculture, tourism and the automobile sector as well as research activities.

Renewable energy, a key sector The Bucharest CCI has concluded 56 co-operation agreements with its counterparts abroad, many in EU member states, and has been working very closely with the former Soviet Union, North Africa and Asia. Over the past four months alone, the Bucharest CCI has organised missions to the UAE, China, Serbia and Tunisia, with a mission to Turkey and one to the UAE planned for the near future. “The Bucharest CCI deems that this is the right time to reconquer such markets where, until not so long ago, Romanian products were highly appreciated,” Sorin Dimitriu says.

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Sorin Dimitriu, President Bucharest Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Bucharest CCI recently organised a seminar on renewable energy in partnership with the UK Embassy in Bucharest. “The Bucharest CCI encourages Romanian companies to develop, in co-operation with EU firms, production facilities for hydro, solar and wind power as well as for developing equipment for green energy production. The Bucharest CCI organised a forum on this subject with the Austrian Embassy in April this year,” Sorin Dimitriu says. The Bucharest CCI is currently involved in nine major projects, many of which it is developing with foreign partners. The Bucharest CCI is ready to assist foreign companies in Romania. “Supporting technology transfer is one of our priorities,” Sorin Dimitriu says, noting that the Bucharest CCI operates a Technology Transfer Centre.


• Dynamic Ministry Building a New Romania • Infrastructure and Construction Projects Continue to Attract FDI

Construction & Infrastructure

“I invite investors – domestic and foreign companies – to tender because all these contracts we have established need to be fulfilled. We need contractors and they need us.” Vasile Blaga, Minister of Regional Development and Housing

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Dynamic Ministry Building a New Romania The Ministry of Regional Development and Housing, headed by Vasile Blaga, Minister, is building a new Romania. Vasile Blaga explains, “The Ministry has a very ambitious programme called REGIO - Regional Operational Programme, which finances road infrastructure, urban development, social and health infrastructure, tourism facilities and small enterprises. We have received € €3.72 billion from the European Union for this programme, and we are also funded nationally.”

established need to be fulfilled. We need contractors and they need us! Romania’s government is ready and willing to provide assistance.” The REGIO programme was launched in 2007 and has resulted in a total 446 contracts being signed, with 16 work contracts totalling €100 million already concluded.

On July 22 this year, Vasile Blaga signed three financing agreements bringing the collective value of the contracts concluded so far under the Regional Operational Programme to 1 billion euros, and the Minister aims to reach €2 billion in signed contracts by the end of the year. “We also intend to finalise the contracting of the entire financing available under the Regional Operational Programme by the end of 2011,” he says.

Romania needs extensive investment in infrastructure, including tourism infrastructure, and the private sector has a key role to play. Vasile Blaga says, “Funding must go to public works with private companies involved.” The Ministry includes two state owned companies which focus on construction, one of housing and the other of community infrastructure. These two agencies -- the National Housing Agency (A.N.L.) and the National

The programme includes five types of projects: developing Romania’s cities in an integrated way; upgrading and expanding road infrastructure; developing social facilities and fostering the growth of micro enterprises.

Infrastructure and tourism

Vasile Blaga, Minister of Regional Development and Housing

Investments Company (C.N.I.) -- work hand in hand with the private sector through a tender process. The Minister notes that the tourism and construction sectors have huge potential in Romania. He says, “For tourism, this country has many wild, completely undeveloped areas, and world class monuments like the world’s oldest basilica -- older than any in Rome! And we have many, many kilometers of roads to be built, for example connections to the European Corridor 4 transport corridor which crosses Romania. We have a lot of money for projects for infrastructure, and this is a great opportunity for Romania and for the companies.”

Foreign investors and partners welcome Vasile Blaga welcomes partnerships with foreign investors and companies. He says, “I invite investors – domestic and foreign companies – to tender because all these contracts we have

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Model of a sports hall built through one of the national programmes managed by MRDH


Construction & Infrastructure

Infrastructure and Construction Projects Continue to Attract FDI Romania urgently needs major investments in infrastructure and construction to support its economic growth and to meet the needs of the country’s citizens. Prime Minister Emil Boc has announced massive public investments in infrastructure and has said he considers infrastructure investment to be “the best anti-crisis measure”. Around 20% of the 2009 budget ((€10.2 billion) has been earmarked for such investments.

In addition to state funding, Romania is benefiting from significant support from international organisations investing in infrastructure and construction projects. The World Bank, for example, has announced that it “plans to assist Romania improve its infrastructure, including the transport sector, to ensure enhanced regional co-operation, improved trade and the utilisation of Single Market benefits.” The World Bank will focus on improving the administrative capacity for structuring public private partnerships in the infrastructure sector and supporting private sector capital in key transport infrastructure projects that will enhance economic development. In addition, the World Bank will continue its activities in the municipal sector throughout the country, helping the Romanian economy take advantage of EU post accession structural and cohesion funds earmarked for infrastructure.

Public-private partnership model The public-private partnership (PPP) model is viewed by many analysts as essential for Romania if it is to come up with the funding necessary to keep its infrastructure programmes on track. According to KPMG Romania, many of the infrastructure projects planned in Romania and other transition

economies “are essential to life itself, which national governments simply cannot afford to put to one side, pending a return to happier economic times. The constraints on public sector funding remain, though, and are exacerbated around the world by governments’ various commitments to bail-out packages for other purposes. This is why we could now see up an upswing in the number of infrastructure projects being delivered by PPPs, tapping into private sector funds and resources to deliver public infrastructure amenities.”

€1.6 billion in cumulative turnover by top 10 construction firms Meanwhile Romania’s construction sector, which had been booming up to last year, has been experiencing a downturn which most analysts believe will be temporary. The country’s top 10 construction firms reported €1.6 billion in cumulative turnover in 2008, according to the Ministry of Finance. Of these firms, most of them local, one specialises in civil engineering and the others in infrastructure projects. Nonetheless, despite the good financial results reported by the major players last year, some 70% of these construction firms witnessed a decline in revenues of up to 30% in the first quarter of 2009 compared to first quarter 2008. The volume of construction

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projects decreased by 15% in the second quarter of the year, and value added, generated by construction, saw its first negative performance, with a 14.2% decline in the second quarter. Recent infusions of funding from the IMF, the World Bank and other financial groups, as well as continued private sector investment in the infrastructure and construction sectors is expected to lead to a turnaround by 2010.

Taking advantage of lower costs Many analysts recommend that investors should look into resuming work on infrastructure and construction projects that have been halted as a result of the crisis, to take advantage of lower costs of labour and construction materials. Examples include developments in Bucharest, 45% of which have been halted by developers over the past six months. Most of the projects that are currently stalled are in the first stages of construction.

An upcoming project is a bridge across the Danube-Black Sea waterway

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The new supply of industrial spaces in Bucharest shrank by some 90% in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the previous year, resulting in a shortage of available space. Only some 40,000 sq m were delivered during the first half of the year, as compared to 350,000 sq m the first quarter of 2008. The total stock of industrial space reached 920,000 sq m at the end of June this year and will probably remain unchanged to the end of the year. New schemes entering the market are almost exclusively built-to-suit and mainly service logistics firms. The residential sector continues to be the most affected segment of the local construction and real estate market, but the launch of a new state home loan programme, Prima Casa, is expected to jump-start the residential housing market by the end of the year and to stimulate new construction activity. The construction materials market has of course been affected by the decline in new projects, but the market is expected to recover by next year. Domestic


Construction & Infrastructure

production of bricks continued on a downward path during the first five months of the year, but the segment still presents opportunities for long-term investors. A group of Spanish investors is considering investing €18 million in a brick plant in Bustuchin, Gorj county, which would employ around 100 people and produce some 400 tonnes of bricks per day, mainly for export. A Chinese company is negotiating with local authorities to build two ecological brick plants in Motro, with a total value of €28 million.

© Energobit

Major projects moving forward Even during the crisis, some key infrastructure and construction projects are moving forward. In July this year, Romania’s Ministry of Dwellings and Public Works, which oversees the country’s construction and infrastructure projects, announced it would spend €37.4 million for three transport and social infrastructure projects in Western Romania: the modernisation of a country road in Caras Severin, budgeted at €31million; modernisation of streets and social infrastructure in the town of Petrila, budgeted at €5.9 million; and the rehabilitation of elderly care home in Jimbolia, for approximately €437,000. Romania’s Ministry of Transport recently received RON756.5 million (€180.1 million) for road and railway transport infrastructure projects in the government’s second adjusted budget this year; most of this funding will go toward road improvements. In addition to this, the government decided to earmark an additional RON900 million (€214.3million) for public investments, of which €119 million will be spent on road infrastructure and the rest on schools and county road infrastructure.

€8 billion earmarked for Bucharest underground system The Ministry of Finance also announced in July that it had finalised the details of a €300 million loan from Japan Bank for International Co-operation for the construction of a new underground route to link downtown Bucharest with Henri Coanda International Airport, a €1 billion project. The European Investment Bank has approved a €370 million tranche for the construction of another underground line that will link the large neighbourhood Drumul Taberei with the downtown area. The

Windfarm at Fantanele

development plan for Bucharest subway involves investments of about €8 billion and includes a rail ring around the city. The government has also announced that it will sign a contract with the consortium formed by the construction companies Vinci and Aktor for the construction and operation of the 55-km BrasovComarnic motorway, a major section of the Bucuresti-Brasov motorway which is to link the capital with the country’s western border. The project will begin in mid-2010 and the consortium will operate the motorway for 26 years. Another project in the works is a bridge across the Danube-Black Sea waterway. The maritime ports administration of Constanta launched a tender in early August for the contract, budgeted at €23 million,VAT not included. The ports administration also launched a bid for supervision of works at the

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bridge, with an estimated value of €1.6 million, VAT not included. Water infrastructure is also being upgraded. In late June the European Commission approved a €189 million project to upgrade water infrastructure in Brasov county, an initiative scheduled for completion in 2013.

Residential, commercial and industrial projects Mixed use construction projects underway include a €50 million contract to local construction company Concefa Sibiu by INR Management Real Estate, to build the first stage of the Silver Mountain development in Brasov (central Romania). The project will include residential units, hotels and leisure facilities. Dutch real estate developer Axion Leisure Development plans to build an indoor multipurpose complex in Snagov, near Bucharest, in a €500 million project that will be financed by institutional investors, private investors, banks and structural funds. The project is scheduled for completion in 2012. Meanwhile, Immorent Romania, the real estate leasing division of Erste group, will launch a €300 million real estate project in northern Bucharest next year; it will include residential, commercial and office spaces. Construction group Menatwork (Italy) plans to build a €10 million industrial park near Bucharest by 2012.

Biggest logistics park in Eastern Europe to date Belgian company Alinso Group and its local partner Petrica Usurelu recently announced the opening of the Ploiesti West Park, a €750 million logistics park in southern Romania, the largest such park in Eastern Europe to date. It will create 16,000 jobs and will serve as a hub for logistics, research and development, retail and industrial activities. The park lies on the route of the future Bucharest-Budapest motorway, and will be connected in the future to a railway terminal. Real estate developer GTC Romania plans to invest €60 million in an office project in northern Bucharest, close to the existing City Gate project,

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while Italian diversified group Euroholding, which partners with a number of local firms, will complete two construction materials plants in Timisoara (western Romania) this year; the company will invest €11.5 million in a prefab plant and €4.2 million in a concrete station. Euroholding has also signed a €20 million contract to deliver and install bridge piers on the Timisoara-Arad highway. In another vote of confidence in Romania’s future, Investment fund Charlemagne Capital has launched a new fund dedicated to office development projects in Romania and Bulgaria. Clearly international investors are betting on the recovery of Romania’s infrastructure and construction sectors in the near future.


Construction & Infrastructure

Tehnologica Radion

Construction Sector Leader Serves as Benchmark Tehnologica Radion has grown to become a leader in Romania’s construction sector. The dynamic company specialises in road construction but is also involved in the construction of bridges, ports, factories, and much more as it helps to build the Romania of tomorrow. Tehnologica Radion achieved €165 million in revenues in 2008, a 20% increase over the previous year, and it plans on continued growth this year. It is ranked among Romania’s top 100 companies. Theodor Berna, General Director

Theodor Berna, General Director, says that his goal is to remain the leading enterprise in Romania’s construction sector. He adds that one reason for Tehnologica Radion’s competitive edge is that it has 15 production units (aggregates quarry, natural aggregates, concrete, asphalt mixture, bituminous emulsion, prefabricates) just for its own needs. In fact, Tehnologica Radion manufactures a diverse choice of construction materials for its own use and for the Romanian market. “We do not like to depend on others,” he explains, noting that the company’s focus on self sufficiency is one reason it can offer very attractive prices for high-quality work.

Wide range of major projects throughout Romania

Local market has strong potential In Romania, Theodor Berna is a well-known local leader who has sponsored programmes on television to support environmental protection, among other issues. As for the future, he is very optimistic for his company and for Romania. He says, “We already foresee an end to the global financial crisis here in Romania, so we are not worried. We are a very serious company open to new types of endeavours. Many European investors have already realised that Romania is a market with potential, a market with many good things and many successful companies like ours.”

Tehnologica Radion has won a number of awards for its high-quality performance and serves as a benchmark for Romania’s construction sector. “Our competitors know that we can handle any situation and can face any competition,” Theodor Berna says. Theodor Berna explains that the company often works with partner companies, both Romanian and foreign, and that he welcomes contacts with potential collaborators. In the future, he says, he would like to expand his company’s activities abroad, particularly in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, two markets with strong potential in the construction sector.

Tehnologica Radion SRL Strada Dambovita no. 59-61 Sector 6 Bucharest , Romania Tel: +40 372 118 300 Fax: +40 372 118 330 www.tehnologica.ro contact@tehnologica.ro

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• Ministry Promoting Ambitious E-Romania Development Programme • ICT Sector Offers Significant Growth Potential

IT & Telecommunication

“Romania’s number one priority is to digitalise its telecom and IT infrastructure. Our objective is to have full telecom coverage throughout the country and to have a fully digital telecom network by the end of 2011.” Gabriel Sandu, Minister of Communication and Information Society

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IT & Telecommunication

Ministry Promoting Ambitious E-Romania Development Programme Romania’s Ministry of Communication and Information Society is spearheading the country’s drive to upgrade its telecom infrastructure while also promoting an information-based society and developing thriving telecom and IT companies.

Gabriel Sandu, Minister of Communication and Information Society

Minister Gabriel Sandu explains, “Our Ministry, which is part of the government of Prime Minister Emil Boc, has very clear objectives: we want to raise the telecom and IT sectors’ contribution to Romania’s GDP from 11% to 15%. In addition, everything we do contributes to the government’s national strategies for information technology, our e-strategy for a digital Romania.”

Going digital is top priority In fact, the Minister says, “Romania’s number one priority is to digitalise its telecom and IT infrastructure. Our objective is to have full telecom coverage, including broadband Internet access throughout the country and to

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have a fully digital telecom network by the end of 2011.” Romania has already transformed around 60% of its telecom infrastructure from analogue to digital. “We are at the same time focussing on broadband, including WiMAX technologies, and hope to have a fourth-generation network,” the Minister says. The Ministry oversees some dynamic public sector enterprises, including Radiocom, which specialises in television and radio production. “Radiocom has very ambitious goals of passing to the digital system over the next few years,” the Minister points out. Radiocom has already received some €60 million in investments for the period 2010-2011.

Upgrading postal service The Romanian postal service is also overseen by the Ministry, and Gabriel Sandu outlines his ambitious goals for this key enterprise. “My aim is to make our national postal company one of the top 15 postal companies in Europe by the end of 2011. We have launched a massive investment programme to achieve this. The postal service’s monopoly will end in 2014 and we want to upgrade the company as much as possible before then,” he says. Developing IT services, including online payment services, are among the Ministry’s key objectives for the postal service. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development recently agreed to provide €50 million for the modernisation of the postal service, which is around a quarter of the total the Minister believes the service needs. Other organisations overseen by the Ministry include the Agency

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for Information Society Services, which is charged with implementing the national e-government strategy; and the Institute for Digital Research, which is involved in research and in controlling cyber crime, and also administers the .ro and .eu domains in Romania. It will also administer Romania’s biggest information portal, which will include 3,500 cities and villages. The Ministry also oversees the National Institute for Telecommunications Research, which formulates telecom development strategies.

€390 million in EU funding Romania has received €390 million from the EU for the development of its IT sector, but this funding is inadequate, according to Gabriel Sandu. He says, “It will cost over €1 billion just to implement high speed Internet throughout the country. We received €90 million through the EU Structural Fund, but most EU funding towards Romania has gone to agriculture. For the IT sector and our e-government initiative, we would need around €500 million and we now have around €62 million.” The Minister points out that Romania’s national broadband has developed at a rate of 40%, showing that Romania has already progressed substantially using its own resources. To boost the development of national companies in the IT and telecom sectors, the Minister has created an investment programme for these companies in co-ordination with the ministries of transport, education, health and the economy. “We want all the investments to interrelate,” he explains. The World Bank is supporting the development of a knowledge-based

economy in Romania through a €60 million investment but around €300 million is needed to achieve all the programme’s goals. “We have already linked 255 communities through broadband but want to extend this to another 1,000 communities and at least 6,000 new access points,” the Minister explains.

Outstanding investment potential Romania’s telecom and IT sectors offer outstanding growth prospects and investment potential. Gabriel Sandu cites Radiocom, projects to implement WiMAX technology, e-government projects and software development as areas with particularly strong prospects. Radiocom has already attracted interest from Euromedia, TDF (France) and Austria’s national radio communications service, while Romania has signed memorandums of understanding with the UK and Austrian governments concerning Romania’s e-government projects. Concerning software, Romania plans to launch 10 technology parks specifically devoted to software development by 2010, and the Minister aims to achieve this goal through publicprivate partnerships. Several major players in the global telecom and IT sectors have already established thriving operations in Romania, including Nokia, Oracle, Hewlett Packard, Sony Ericsson, IBM and Microsoft. “Our e-Romania project offers investors all kinds of opportunities for partnerships with the private sector, and we are open to public-private partnerships as well,” the Minister says. He welcomes European investors to Romania.


IT & Telecommunication

ICT Sector Offers Significant Growth Potential Romania has developed an advanced telecom infrastructure but its telecom and information technology (ICT) sector still has significant room to grow and has been attracting significant interest among foreign investors.

The government’s drive to foster a knowledge-based society in Romania is helping to encourage further investment in ICT. Romania offers investors a huge domestic market of more than 20 million, a youthful population interested in new media, and a highly skilled workforce for ICT activities. As competition in the local ICT market increased last year and the effects of the global financial crisis cut into customer spending, ICT players in the Romanian market focused on increasing their customer base, including the prepaid segment, while also trying to preserve the current level of profitability and liquidity.

Telecom sector, IT outsourcing performing well The ICT sector is expected to grow by 2.7% this year to reach €5.5 billion, while the telecom sector alone is expected to grow by 12.5% over 2008, when it rose by 13.7%. The strong performance of telecom is offsetting a decline in euro revenue terms in the ICT sector. Information technology outsourcing activities are performing particularly well as more and more foreign firms in Romania decide to outsource their software and technical support services to local enterprises.

EU’s lowest rates of Internet usage Romania’s ICT sector still has significant growth potential: broadband coverage is still limited and Romania has the lowest rates of regular and frequent Internet use in the EU. Analysts note that the data segment offers particularly strong prospects. Mobile data, internet based telephony/ VoIP and internet based television/ IPTV are expected to register the most dynamic growth over the near term, while mobile voice and fixed broadband services will advance at a slower pace, according to one recent study. A study by local company Digital Cable Systems (DCS) shows that average household spending on telephony, Internet

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and TV services in Romania is around €17-19 per month, which is significantly lower than the western European average of €60-80 per month. Romania’s information society is clearly still in its early stages of development, as Europe’s Digital Competitiveness Report released in August this year reveals; it states that some 64% of Romanian citizens have never used the Internet.

New technologies and products launched Telecom operator Romtelecom reported operating profits of €12.3 million in the first quarter of 2009 compared to a €16.1 million loss in the same period last year. Romtelecom plans to launch internet based television (IPTV) services by the end of the year. Concerning WiMAX licenses, telecom regulator ANCOM has said that it might change the frequency band allocated for them from 3.5GHz to 2.5GHz, postpone the auction by late 2011 or 2012 and change the selection procedure from comparative selection to competitive selection based on the highest offer. ANCOM launched the tender for the WiMAX licences in November 2008 at the price of €7.5 million for each. ANCOM has also presented for public consultation three draft proposals reviewing the fixed-telephony wholesale and retail market. The move is meant to re-assess competitive conditions and regulatory measures, given the evolution of the telecom sector.

Digital TV licenses to be offered by end 2009 In another move, the government has authorised the Ministry of Communications to start tender

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procedures for granting terrestrial digital TV (DVB-T) licences by the end of 2009, according to Minister of Communication and Information Society Gabriel Sandu. The ministry also received approval to start the transition process from analogue to digital TV; EU member states must switch from analogue to digital TV by 2012, but the technology necessary for terrestrial digital TV broadcasting has not yet been implemented in Romania.

Acquisitions driving ICT sector forward Acquisitions are continuing to drive the ICT sector forward. Cosmote Group (Greece) has acquired Telemobil (Zapp), which holds an operating license for providing 3G services; Cosmote operates the third largest wireless network in Romania, with 6 million subscribers. Telecom operator Prime Telecom acquired Internet

service provider Vip Net in August in a move to consolidate its presence on the market and launch integrated data transmission, Internet and voice services. Prime Telecom owns a data transmission network with fibre-optic infrastructure of over 8,000 km across Romania and Bulgaria. In another move, Neusoft Corp announced it acquired the entire share capital of three subsidiaries of Sesca Group in Finland and Romania, all of which specialise in mobile telecommunications software development. The three firms are Sesca Mobile Software (MSW), Almitas Oy and Romania-based Sesca Technologies SRL. New products being launched onto Romania’s ICT market include Orange Romania’s upgraded free prepay card promotion and Romtelecom’s triple-pay package, among many other new products and services.


• High-Potential Agriculture Sector Gets Stimulus from EU Funding • Agriculture Sector Could Feed over 80 Million

Agriculture

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ROMANIA

High-Potential Agriculture Sector Gets Stimulus from EU Funding Romania’s agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors are enhancing their contribution to the country’s economy with the help of significant funding support from the EU.

Significant EU funding support Promoting rural development is a cornerstone of the government’s economic development programme, and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) has been providing support for Romania since 2007. “The EU funds Romania is receiving are quite significant, more than €8 billion for the national programme for rural development and €230 million from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) for the fishing sector,” says Ilie Sârbu, Romania’s former Minister of Agriculture, Forests and Rural Development. Ilie Sârbu oversees the ministry as well as key agencies, including those which handle the distribution of EU funds. These key agencies include the National Agency for Fishery and Aquaculture, the National Forest Administration, the Authority for National Rural Development Programme through Paying Agency for Rural Development and Fisheries, and the Agency for Payments and Intervention for Agriculture. The last one makes direct payments to Romanian farmers.

Focus on forestry The forestry sector has been designated a key activity for Romania and the ministry’s name was recently changed to include mention of forestry as a reflection of its importance to the national economy. The National Forest Administration, founded in 1991, plays a major role in the sector’s development by devising and implementing a national forestry strategy, managing state forests, managing private forests on a contract basis, and ensuring that development is sustainable. According to Ilie Sârbu, “The National Forest Administration has a certain autonomy in comparison to other agencies. It is overseen by the ministry but it has a mechanism for self financing which other agencies

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Ilie Sârbu, former Minister of Agriculture, Forests and Rural Development

do not have. In the framework of this agency, we also have an agency dealing with the breeding of horses.”

Major support for fisheries Romania has received the second-largest funding support for the fisheries sector of any EU country, a reflection of the sector’s importance for the country’s economy. In fact, the European Commission recently approved the Romanian Operational Programme for Fisheries for the period 2007-2013, which is budgeted at €307 million. The programme aims to develop a competitive, modern and dynamic fisheries sector in Romania based on sustainable fishing and aquaculture activities which take into account environmental protection, the demands of consumers, and the local food industry.

Outstanding investment potential Romania’s agriculture, forestry and fisheries activities offer outstanding investment attractions. As Ilie Sârbu points out, Romania has a large domestic market of over


Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Rural Development

22 million people and its agriculture sector also has significant export potential. “Romania could provide enough agricultural products for an estimated 80 million consumers,” the former minister says. Nevertheless, the agriculture sector is facing a number of challenges. In 1989, after the revolution, Romania’s large farms were broken apart and agricultural production stalled. After Romanians began to farm their own land again, the agriculture sector became “very, very fragmented, with many small farms, and Romania became a net importer of agricultural products instead of a net exporter,” Ilie Sârbu says.

Activities with particularly strong growth prospects That situation is changing with the government’s drive to promote agricultural development. The minister singles out pork and poultry production as activities with particularly strong potential. “In 2004 Romania supplied 70% of the domestic demand for pork products, but that situation changed and now we only cover 30%. This is an activity with huge potential. We have large enterprises involved in pork production, including American companies, but there is still room for more investment. Poultry production is the same; we had high production of poultry in 2004 and now it could be higher since we are now importing poultry,” Ilie Sârbu explains.

Beer and wine production are other high-potential activities in Romania’s agriculture sector, according to the minister. He says, “Dutch, French, and German investors have already gotten involved in Romania’s wine industry and we are also attracting investors from Spain, Italy and the UK in our agriculture sector.” The value of Romania’s wine market amounted to some €500 million in 2008, up 11% over 2007, and Romania ranks fifth in the EU in terms of vineyard surface, with 186,900 hectares of fruit-bearing vines. Food processing, including by small and medium sized enterprises, and agro- and eco-tourism are other activities with strong growth potential in Romania’s agriculture sector, according to the ministry.

Investors can benefit from EU funding An additional advantage for investors in Romanian agriculture is that Romanian agricultural land is currently amongst the cheapest in the EU, costing less than 10% of UK prices. Another key incentive for investors is that they can benefit from EU funding for Romanian agriculture. “Investors can work with one of the agencies distributing funds and can receive a 50% payment in advance for their investments in Romania. Young farmers under age 40 get an even greater boost,” Ilie Sârbu points out.

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ROMANIA

Agriculture Sector Could Feed over 80 Million Romania’s agriculture sector, the traditional backbone of the economy, represents outstanding potential for foreign investors. The sector’s attractions include low priced agricultural land, vast areas devoted to agricultural production (Romania is fifth in the EU in the amount of land devoted to agriculture), fertile soil, a large domestic market, a strategic location for exports throughout the region and the EU, and the support of EU financing.

Potential to feed over 80 million people According to a recent study by the Romanian Cultural Bank (BCR), Romania’s agriculture sector has significant growth potential but it must get an infusion of direct foreign investments and European funding

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support in order to remain competitive. Ilie Sârbu, Minister of Agriculture, Forests and Rural Development, points out that Romania offers investors in agriculture a large domestic market of over 22 million people as well as outstanding export possibilities. “Romania could provide enough agricultural products for an estimated 80 million consumers,” the minister says. Agriculture in Romania is intensive, highly mechanised, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of the country’s food needs with only 5% of the labour force, and contributing around 2% of GDP. Agricultural areas include Baragan, which has large wheat farms; production of dairy products, pork, poultry, and apples is concentrated in western Romania, while beef production is located in central Romania, and fruits, vegetables, and wine are produced in the country’s central and southern regions.


Agriculture

Products include grains, rice, corn, sugar beets, soybeans, meat, fruit, dairy products, vegetables, olive oil, and wine – Romania is Europe’s second-biggest wine producer. Romania is also expanding its forestry and fishery activities, and in general is working to bring the sector up to EU standards.

75% of agricultural exports go to EU Romania is ranked the world’s eleventh-largest agricultural producer and the sixth-largest agricultural exporter, with some 75% of its exports to other EU member states. Wheat, beef, pork, poultry, and dairy products are the principal exports, but Romania also exports wine, cheese and other products. Romanian farmers have to compete internationally without large subsidies; the government provides subsidies only in the case of natural disasters. Farmers focus mainly on the Romanian market and rely on tariffs to limit the amount of agricultural imports.

Ranked high in ecological farming practices Romania is ranked among the world’s top countries in ecological agricultural practices, according to the BCR study. This evaluation is based on low use of chemical fertilisers and insecticides, the smaller scale of most farms, very good soil quality, and low cost labour. What the sector needs, the BCR study points out, is foreign capital, technologies, and distribution systems. Currently, around 50 major agricultural enterprises are using only around 4% of the country’s agricultural land. In addition, centralised distribution and marketing systems are lacking and most small farmers sell their products on their own, with mixed success. Around 70% of the country’s agricultural production lacks sufficient distribution and marketing support, according to BCR.

The agriculture sector has been lagging behind other sectors concerning FDI; it has attracted less than 1% of total FDI directed to Romania to date. The country urgently needs more support for its agricultural activities; foreign investment could help lower inflation, helping to make euro adoption a feasible target for Romania. Supporting agriculture could also reduce poverty in rural areas, home of around 45% of Romania’s population.

FDI could jump start Romanian agriculture The implementation of a taxation system that stimulates the creation of large agricultural holdings through land mergers, better supervision of the consumer markets for the protection of the small producers of agricultural products, and more investments in irrigation systems are a few of the solutions which could jump start the sector, put Romanian agriculture on a growth curve, and bring in significant returns for investors.

Better distribution, boosted productivity needed

Both European and local government aid programmes are aimed at promoting growth in the agricultural sector. The European Commission recently approved a government plan for a €1.5 billion second stimulus package, and Romania’s agriculture sector will be one of the targeted sectors. European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) has been providing support for Romania since 2007, and Romania has received more than €8 billion for its rural development programme and €230 million from the European Fisheries Fund.

The sector also needs to boost productivity to help it weather such challenges as this year’s drought, which will significantly reduce wheat production; Romania’s cereals output is expected to drop by around 30% this year. Nevertheless, Romania is still ranked sixth in Europe in cereals production overall.

The government’s Rural Development Programme includes around 15,000 projects, most related to agriculture, with a total value of €9 billion, but only 3,000 contracts had been signed as of August this year. Significant EU support funding for agriculture projects is also waiting to be tapped.

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Agro Chirnogi

Agriculture Sector Leader Boosting Exports Agro Chirnogi demonstrates the potential of Romania’s agriculture sector. The company, which is part of the Maria Group, owns approx. 35,000 hectares of arable land and is ranked one of Romania’s largest agricultural enterprises. It belongs to a powerful and self sufficient group whose corporately owned resources provide integrated business solutions to Agro Chirnogi’s companies, including sales facilities, distribution networks, collection points, high storage capacities, and technological innovation.

In 2007, Agro Chirnogi boosted its turnover by 50% over the previous year to reach around €70 million. In 2008, the company began to export its products, including exporting cereals to Iraq, Syria and Egypt. This year it expects its exports alone to total around €100 million.

Moving into exports tripled turnover Jihad El Khalil, President, explains that Agro Chirnogi began in 1992 and that it has been expanding ever since. “Exporting has allowed us to triple our turnover. Having the Black Sea nearby is definitely a plus for us on the logistics front, since it helps us to control our costs,” he says. Agro Chirnogi has invested in upgrading its facilities, modernising its equipment and establishing new operations, including a new livestock farm and a dairy. In addition, Agro Chirnogi will soon open a slaughterhouse that will be the largest facility of its kind in southern Europe; this facility will help boost Agro Chirnogi’s growth significantly. The company has proven it can adapt to challenges and still achieve strong performance. In 2007, for example, drought forced it to reduce the amount of land it allocated for soy crops to focus on maize instead, which resulted in better performance

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since production costs for maize are lower. Agro Chirnogi recently harvested seven tones of wheat per hectare, four tones of rapeseed per hectare, 10 tones of maize per hectare, and 3.5 tones of soy beans per hectare.

Ready to serve European clients Jihad El-Khalil points out that Romania’s agriculture sector offers strong potential, and that his company is ready to serve clients in the EU. “We have the largest facilities in the country and we would like to work directly with large clients. We are very reliable and efficient,” he concludes.

SC Agro Chirnogi SA 17, Principala Street Chirnogi Commune Calarasi County, 917025 Chirnogi Baneasa Business & Technology nr 42-44 Bucharest Ploiesti Av. Park 3rd floor District 1 Phone: +40 (0) 21 361 05 31/32 Fax: +40 (0) 21 361 05 30/37 groupmanagement@toneli.ro


• Ensuring Romania’s Energy Security • Energy Sector Strategy Focuses on Efficiency and Renewable Energies

Energy

“The energy sector of Romania is being restructured, and the primary goal for this reconstruction is to ensure Romania’s energy security.” Adriean Videanu, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy

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Ensuring Romania’s Energy Security Adriean Videanu, Minister of Economy, has outlined an ambitious strategy for Romania’s energy sector, which is seen as a key driver of the national economy. Romania has diverse natural resources for energy development, and the ministry aims to make the best use of all of them. During a recent visit to the country’s Pitesti Nuclear Fuel Plant, the minister commented, “The energy sector of Romania is being restructured, and the primary goal for this reconstruction is to ensure Romania’s energy security. The first principle is to capitalise on Romania’s basic energy resources, which include water, uranium, coal, petrol and gas.” He adds that developing renewable energy sources is also a focus of Romania’s energy development plans. Concerning nuclear power, which accounts for 17% of the country’s generated energy, Romania is accelerating the construction of units three and four at its Cernavoda power station to boost its energy output. The Pitesti Nuclear Fuel Plant supplies the fuel for the power station and is the only plant of its kind in the EU. “Touring this plant and seeing the advanced technologies employed here makes one proud to be Romanian,” the minister commented on his recent visit. Adriean Videanu, Minister of Economy

Nuclear power targeted for its efficiency The government has targeted nuclear power for its efficiency compared to coal as an energy source. The Cernavoda power plant will double its production capacity by 2015-2016, according to the minister. Romania will also build a new nuclear power facility to help take care of its future energy needs. The Ministry of Economy aims to cushion Romania against the potential shocks of a future energy crisis. As Adriean Videanu says, “Romania is duty bound to preserve all its basic energy resources so that the

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energy crisis – which we have seemed to forget lately – that will hit the world in the next decades, will have the smallest possible impact on Romania.” In line with the ministry’s strategies for Romania’s trade and industrial activities outlined in the industrial development plan for 2009 to 2012, the government is focusing on encouraging strategic alliances concerning technological, industrial, economic and financial issues in the energy sector; supporting research and development; and bringing Romania’s energy sector up to EU standards.


Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant

Energy Sector Strategy Focuses on Efficiency and Renewable Energies Romania’s energy sector is among the oldest in the world, since Romania was the first country to produce oil commercially and among the first to generate electricity commercially. Romania is working to ensure adequate energy supplies for the country’s future development and is strongly emphasising renewable energies in its long-term energy development strategies.

The energy sector is ranked one of Romania’s most promising sectors for investment, given the country’s proven reserves and urgent need for foreign capital and expertise to modernise and streamline energy production and distribution facilities.

refining capacity of approximately 504,000 bbl/d. Capacity far exceeds domestic demand, and in spite of a need for modernisation, Romania exports lubricants, bitumen, fertilisers and other petroleum products throughout the region.

Region’s biggest refining capacity

Reorganisation of gas sector

Romania has proven oil reserves of 955 million barrels, and is ranked the largest oil producer in central and eastern Europe in spite of a marked decrease in oil production since 1976. Romania also has the region’s largest refining industry, with 10 refineries (all privately owned) and an overall

Romania has proven natural gas reserves of 3.56 Tcf but has had to rely on imports, mainly from Russia, to meet its needs. In 2000, Romania began to reorganise Romgaz, the state-run natural gas utility, and in 2001 Germany’s Ruhrgas became the first foreign company to invest in Romania’s s natural gas distribution

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network, which includes a pipeline opened in 2002 that links Romania with Ukraine and Bulgaria. Romania now has the ability to transport up to 988 Bcf of natural gas per year, and has boosted its capacity for underground storage of natural gas to 159 Bcf. Romania is also rich in coal deposits, with an estimated 4 billion short tonnes, much of which is lignite and sub-bituminous coal. Forced to shut down mines and lay off miners, the country has adopted a policy of attempting to extract as much coal as possible from existing mines.

street lighting, schools, and a range of public buildings including sports centres, museums and libraries. Above the municipalities are the 42 counties, responsible for co-ordinating the actions of the municipalities. Local authorities are fairly autonomous with regard to budgets. Local taxes and a share of income tax form the bulk of the budgets of municipalities. Only 36% of local government expenditure comes from central government. Partnerships with municipalities can serve as an opening for foreign investors and companies interested in the Romanian market.

Largest power sector in South-Eastern Europe.

Stepping up role in regional and international infinitives

Romania has the largest power sector in South-Eastern Europe, with 22.2 gigawatts (GW) of installed electricity generating capacity. Around 60% of Romania’s existing power capacity is more than 20 years old, however, and about 8 GW will need to be rehabilitated or replaced by 2010. Romania is currently reforming its power market, having already split up Conel, the state-owned powergenerating company, and is working to restructure its electricity distribution networks.

Romania is currently stepping up its role in regional and international energy initiatives. At a recent United Nations meeting in New York, Romania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cristian Diaconescu, met with the US special representative on energy matters, Richard Morningstar, to discuss Romania’s involvement in the Nabucco project, its co-operation with Turkey and with Azerbaijan, and its involvement in European energy issues in general. In late September, Romania and Spain organised an energy forum in Madrid to discuss potential cooperation in the energy field and Romania’s contribution to the EU’s energy sector.

Romania has already rehabilitated 10 thermal power stations, with a combined capacity of 1.36 GW, at an estimated cost of €313.22 million, and has built a second unit at Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) to boost its energy production.

Local authorities play a key role in energy sector A total of almost 2,700 municipalities, including 182 cities, are responsible for environmental protection, housing, heat supply,

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New oil wells in offshore fields According to the National Statistics Institute, Romania’s energy production totalled 13.28 million tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) as of mid 2009, while imports reached 5.960 million toe through July. Romania saw a 6.7% decrease in its production of oil to 2.41 million

toe this year, and recent reports state that Romania’s energy output fell by 7.7% on the year in the first seven months of 2009, while imports decreased by an annual 39.3%. To fill the gap, Romania’s largest oil company, Petrom, recently began production at its new Delta 6 and Lebada Vest wells on Histria XVIII block in the Black Sea; according to Petrom, the production of the two new wells together accounts for 10% of Petrom’s daily offshore production. Petrom is currently operating five producing commercial fields: Lebada Est, Lebada Vest, Sinoe, Pescaru, and Delta. The country’s offshore production stands at 32,000 boe/d or about 18% of PETROM’s domestic production.

Heat and hot water Approximately 30% of Romania’s total building stock receives its heat and hot water from district heating systems, a figure that rises to 58% in urban areas. District heating accounts for about 60% of the country’s total heat and hot water demand. A total of 68 towns and cities have district heating networks. The performance of the district heating systems tends to be poor, partly because of insufficient insulation of pipes, fuel shortages and excessive corrosion leading to hot water loss. Certain systems can only meet about 60% of peak heat demand, and investment in district heating systems and technologies is urgently needed.

Focus on renewable energy means investment opportunities Romania is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, and has undertaken to cut greenhouse


gas emissions by 8% relative to 1989 levels by 2008-12. It has also ratified the Energy Charter Treaty. The country’s 1998 Energy Law, which lays down the principles for energy sector restructuring and privatisation, contains some elements placing a responsibility on utility companies to promote energy efficiency.

enterprises (SMEs) in Romania. Energy efficiency standards have been introduced for most household appliances and for buildings; power sector modernisation has been supported from a fund created through a levy on electricity and heat sales.

Romania has the potential to achieve emission reductions through the use of cleaner fuels and renewable energy in the power and heat generation sectors and the modernisation and rehabilitation of hot water transmission networks; investments in energy saving measures in the residential and service sectors; reductions in methane emissions in gas transportation and distribution networks; and improved waste and agricultural management. The involvement of foreign companies and investors is crucial for Romania in achieving these goals.

Trading “green” surplus emissions allowances

Funds have been provided under the EU PHARE programme to promote energy efficiency improvements in small and medium-sized

According to a recent World Bank report, Romania has the potential to generate up to €1.02 billion in carbon revenues over the next three to five years through trading of surplus emission allowances. By the terms of the Kyoto Protocol, OECD countries will have to purchase around 2 billion tonnes of surplus emission allowances to meet their commitments; transition economies together have about 6 billion tonnes of surplus allowances, and about 6% of this is available in Romania. OECD buyers have indicated their interest in purchasing surplus allowances only if they are

“greened”, i.e. sales are linked to investments that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and/ or increase carbon sequestration, so called “Green Investment Schemes” (GIS). One benefit of “greening” is that Romania, by selling a part of its existing surplus allowances (estimated at around 350 million), can invest in emission reduction projects up to and beyond 2012. Indications are that Romania could mobilise funds in the range of €476.64 million to €544.73 million from these transactions, with the prospect of leveraging similar amounts from the private sector. Romania has requested the World Bank to assist in developing GIS.

Promoting energy efficiency It is estimated that 50% of industrial energy consumption in Romania is by electric motors driving pumps, fans and compressors. Many of these motors are oversized and therefore inefficient. It has been estimated

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that variable speed drives (VSDs) could result in savings of 5% in total electricity consumption. Particularly promising candidates for electric motor efficiency improvements are public water pumping stations and pumps in the petroleum industry. In both cases, savings are possible both through more appropriate sizing of motors and through the use of VSDs. Various pilot projects have indicated the potential for savings. Reductions in power consumption of 40-50% were achieved in the pumps at a petroleum refinery through the use of VSDs. In a water pumping station in Craiova, 18% savings were achieved through the

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use of VSDs. A similar project is also under way at Targu Mures as part of the ongoing joint implementation agreement between Romania and the Netherlands.

competitiveness) by promoting energy efficiency projects, for municipalities, industries and households.”

The World Bank will continue to invest with both the public and private sectors in energy generation, transmission and distribution in Romania to help the country meet EU standards, upgrade its energy grid, and develop renewable energies through the bank’s Sustainable Energy Initiative. The World Bank states, “The Bank will work to help address Romania’s high energy intensity challenge (which is negatively affecting the economy’s

Centre for wind energy in Europe Wind energy is seen as having particularly strong promise in Romania. Europe’s largest onshore wind farm is currently being developed at Fantanele near Constanta. The project, budgeted at €1.1 billion, is for a 600MW facility, and investment group Invest East offers opportunities for investors in this and other renewable energy projects in Romania.


Energy

EnergoBit

Energy Sector Leader Welcomes New Partners EnergoBit specialises in energy and electricity solutions. The dynamic enterprise, formed by three professionals coming from the energetic sector, has played a major role in upgrading Romania’s energy infrastructure. With around €100 million in turnover anticipated this year, EnergoBit illustrates the potential of the Cluj region in northern Romania. Stefan Gadola, one of the three executives who founded the company, explains, “The name of the company comes from ‘energy’ and ‘byte’, energy and information. We began as a consultancy firm in 1990 but after two years we started trading. We have introduced many new energy infrastructure products to the Romanian market.” EnergoBit first imported and installed energy equipment and then, in 1995, launched its own production facility. Today it has two factories, one in Cluj and the other in Jibou. “They are both very successful Greenfield investments,” Stefan Gadola says. For the past seven years, EnergoBit has been actively involved in renewable energy, with a focus on energy efficiency and sustainability. Today, EnergoBit produces world-class equipment in this field and is the partner of choice for several companies in Romania. Installation of electrical systems is another specialty for EnergoBit. “We

compete for turnkey projects in which we can provide the equipment as well as the installation. We have been very active in setting up wind farms, and have a project in Dobrogea which we started from zero and which is developing according to schedule,” Stefan Gadola says proudly. EnergoBit has also established a new company, EnergoEco, to provide solutions for corporate, industrial and residential customers seeking to boost energy efficiency. EnergoBit has its own wind farm and collaborates with other companies in waste water treatment initiatives.

Seeking new joint ventures “We have formed many successful joint-venture partnerships, and we are looking for more!” Stefan Gadola says. He adds that EnergoBit is a leading customer of the most important players (suppliers and contractors) in the energetic field in Romania. EnergoBit aims to build a factory to produce transformers and is also planning to expand regionally and beyond; it has already won a tender in Albania and completed a project in Nigeria. It will continue to support the local economy; EnergoBit has an ongoing project to upgrade the public lighting in Cluj-Napoca and is a part owner of the local football team. EnergoBit can serve as the ideal local partner for foreign investors. Stefan Gadola says, “Our philosophy is to promote the highest quality at the

Headquarter in Cluj

best prices. Our clients and partners have learned that they can expect the best from us.” Presently, EnergoBit forms a group of 400 employees from which more than 120 are specialised engineers. The group has its headquarters in Cluj, 4 branches in the country and 2 factories. EnergoBit Group offers the full solution in electricity: produces electric equipment, realises turnkey projects with a specialisation and high involvement in wind farms projects, provides solutions concerning energy efficiency and renewable energy, supplies energy, produces equipments for urban, architectural and industrial lighting and it is specialised in interior lighting.

EnergoBit Group S.A. St. Taietura Turcului no 47/11 RO 400221 Cluj-Napoca, Parcul Industrial Tetarom I Phone: +40 (0) 264 207 500 Fax: +40 (0) 264 207 555 ebit@energobit.com www.energobit.com

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ROMANIA

CET Govora

Energy Provider Set for Strong Growth CET Govora, Romania’s first independent producer of electrical and thermal power, has become a role model for the country’s energy sector in its commitment to international standards and its emphasis on reliable quality and good practices as well as very competitive prices.

The company, which is based in Valcea and overseen by the local city council, specialises in the production and trade of electric and thermal power; supply of materials, equipment and spare parts, fuel, and services; maintenance and repairs; and provision of water and sewage services. CET Govora achieved profits of €1 million in the first six months of 2009 in spite of the global financial crisis. In 2002, CET Govora implemented a Quality Management System based on SR EN ISO 9001/2001, and it has also been certified ISO 14001/2004 for environmental management. CET Govora has been steadily building up its list of customers and serves both the public and private sectors.

Co-generation: greater efficiency, lower costs CET Govora provides power and water for Valcea as well as for Baile Olanesti and Calimanesti, for which it has long-term concessions. It aims to extend its services to other cities. It is a member of the professional association COGEN Romania, which is affiliated with COGEN Europe; COGEN refers to “co-generation”, or the production of both thermal and electrical power at the same time. “Co-generation results in greater efficiency and lower costs,” explains Mihai Balan, General Manager. CET Govora employs coal from a coal mine around 40 km from

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Mihai Balan, General Manager

the company’s production facility; the mine’s resources ensure CET Govora’s needs for the next 40 years. Because of its reliable source of power, CET Govora was launched as a pilot project and has proven the potential of an independent company operating in Romania’s private sector. Mihai Balan says, “CET Govora is the first company of its kind that came out of a local authority. Many companies have followed our example. Today, there are 35 CET companies, all united under the COGEN Romania umbrella, of which I serve as president.” CET Govora has strengthened its ties to the EU by forming partnerships not only with COGEN Europe but also with Euro Heat and Power in Brussels and German company LISEGA. “We formed these partnerships in order to help implement a strong regulatory environment in Romania’s heat and power sector,” he points out.


Energy

Investment appeal Mihai Balan is very positive about CET Govora’s prospects, and plans to list the company on the stock market once the global financial crisis has lessened. He says, “This company has very strong growth potential as well as the capacity to get involved in other fields. We are trying to attract an investment fund which can finance some of the projects we are planning. We hope that once the financial crisis has passed, we can move forward with these efforts.” Possible projects include biomass initiatives and efforts to use some of the waste ash from CET Govora’s production, for example in road building. Outlining CET Govora’s investment appeal, Mihai Balan says, “We have a very good allocation of CO2. We also have a very close source of fuel, which means we don’t have transportation costs. We also have a stable market in this area; around 96% of the city of Valcea is connected to our distribution network. We are working on a project to build a second coal-fuelled power station.” CET Govora signs bilateral contracts with other power producers as allowed by Romania’s energy laws. Mihai Balan explains, “We sign bilateral contracts with as many producers as possible, working only with producers which we view as trustworthy. We also sign contracts through which we can obtain energy at a lower rate than our selling price.”

Govora has access to non returnable EU funding for both environmental issues and economic development. Mihai Balan says that he is hoping to access around €50 to €60 million, with which he hopes to reduce emissions not only of CO2 but also of other harmful emissions, and to reach 75% efficiency. “We are already ahead of other companies in reaching these goals, even though others began before we did. Our goal is to be first in receiving financing, and we are well placed because our colleagues have been slower than we have been,” he explains. Mihai Balan adds that CET Govora is committed to improving Romania’s international image by demonstrating the potential of a reliable, well-run Romanian company.

Effort to reduce CO2 emissions CET Govora is a major player in Romania’s effort to reduce CO2 emissions. Mihai Balan says, “We achieved a 20% reduction in 2007 and over the period 2008 to 2012 we are contributing to the reduction for the whole country.” The EU launched a €485 million programme to reduce CO2 emissions in Romania over three phases. CET

Industriilor, St. 1 240050 RM Valcea, Romania Tel: +40 250 739 623, Fax: +40 250 739 491

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ROMANIA

DG Petrol

Dynamic Private Firm Providing Expert Diesel Distribution DG Petrol has been evolving with the Romanian economy. The company has achieved remarkable growth over the past two years, increasing its turnover from around €55 € million in 2007 to €116 million last year, following its switch from focussing on the transport sector to concentrating on the distribution of oil products. DG Petrol anticipates turnover of around €140 million for 2009. Dan Igniska, Director and majority shareholder in the company, explains DG Petrol’s success story. He says, “The main advantage we have is our good approach for doing business. We have been active in the oil sector since the 1980s, when many of us activates in the only oil company involved in oil imports and exports under the communist government, Petrolexportimport. This helped us when the system changed. So over the years we have built on our knowledge in the oil trade a solid network within the sector. However we understand that the business environment will change and we are flexible and willing to learn in order to adapt.” DG Petrol is very committed to implementing EU standards. “We aim to show our partners that we are reliable and that we comply with all EU regulations concerning investments and technologies. We are focussing on maintaining EU technical and environmental standards, and on strengthening our EU relationships in every way,” Dan Igniska says.

Expanding distribution network of depots and oil terminals DG Petrol aims to continue to expand its network of depots and terminals from the current seven to 10 to 15, and is planning to expand its network of service stations around the country. Final goal is to become one of the top five retailers. The company continues to provide transport services; it imports cargo from Constanta which it then transports

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on the upper Danube and by rail and road. “We are investing in the whole logistics chain,” Dan Igniska says. He explains that DG Petrol handles transport in Romania, as well as to Bulgaria, Serbia, and is looking to form partnerships in other countries. DG Petrol will continue to provide high-quality services and to expand regionally, and it welcomes the support of investors. Dan Igniska says, “We are a dynamic, serious, ambitious company which is a reliable supplier and which provides quality services. We have long-term projects, and rather than wait for the market to pick up, we will continue to develop. We have recently undergone a branding campaign to strengthen our position; this has included the rebranding of our filling stations and creating DG PETROL own top trade mark products. We are constantly trying to improve the quality of our products and thus to help our clients improve their businesses.”

ONE STEP AHEAD DG Petrol S.R.L. 22, Miroslavei Street, 060127, Bucharest Tel: +40 (0) 31 805 25 65 - Fax: +40 (0) 21 411 50 05 www.dgpetrol.ro - office@dgpetrol.ro


• Thriving Pharmaceuticals Sector; Healthcare Facilities Being Upgraded • Pharmaceuticals Sector Offers Tremendous Growth Potential

Health

“Our mission is to ensure that both government and pharmaceuticals companies share a vision of what Romania’s healthcare sector should become.” Dan Zaharescu, Executive Director Association of International Medicines Manufacturers

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Thriving Pharmaceuticals Sector; Healthcare Facilities Being Upgraded Romania has developed a modern pharmaceuticals sector that meets EU standards and is growing rapidly, although its healthcare sector still urgently needs upgrading. The current administration has placed a high priority on implementing EU standards in the healthcare sector and in making high quality healthcare available throughout the country, including in rural areas. In the pharmaceuticals sector, Romania has become a regional leader. In the third quarter of 2009, Romania placed sixth among 20 key markets in a recent survey by Cegedim titled “Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Business Environment Rankings.” The report states that Romania’s current position reflects “the robust nature of the industry in the country and the strong growth it has made in recent months.”

Strong growth in pharmaceuticals imports The report also predicts that sales of pharmaceutical products in Romania will increase over the next five

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years, with imports playing an important role in terms of sector growth. Sales of prescription drugs and over-thecounter (OTC) medications are expected to grow from €2.04 billion to €3.16 billion, representing a compound annual growth rate of 9.09%. The Romanian pharmaceutical market grew by 6.6% in 2008 to reach a value of €1.94 billion, although in volume terms, the market actually decreased by 2.3%. Analysts expect the market to stagnate in 2009, but rebound next year. Romania’s pharmaceuticals market has already attracted significant foreign investment. Roche is ranked the leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in Romania with a market share of 7.3 %, followed by Sanofi Aventis and GlaxoSmithKline, both with 6.9%.

OTC sales developing rapidly The OTC market has been evolving rapidly in Romania, with prices rising exponentially. According to representatives of the Romanian pharmaceutical industry, the price of OTC medicines has increased by up to 50% in some cases since the beginning of 2009. A 50% price rise has also been registered for some cold medications, while


Health

considerable price increases have also been registered in the analgesic therapeutic segment. Distributors and importers say that the increase in price is primarily due to the fall of the Romanian leu against the euro, as most OTC medications are imported.

Healthcare system a top priority for government In contrast to the modern pharmaceuticals sector, Romania’s healthcare system urgently needs upgrading. The leader of the Social Democratic Party, Mircea Geoana, recently said that improving the healthcare system should become one of the country’s top priorities, along with education, justice, infrastructure and agriculture. “These fields need all the resources and support we can give,” he said.

Urgent need for better healthcare facilities Health care in Romania is generally poor by European standards, and access is limited in certain rural areas. In 2001, healthcare expenditures added up to 6.5% of GDP, and in 2005 there were only 1.9 physicians and 7.4 hospital beds per 1,000 people. The state-owned healthcare system has been one of President Basescu’s key targets for decentralisation as a means of bringing in private sector investment and new expertise as well as halting the “brain drain” of healthcare professionals from Romania.

Hospital upgrades in progress The government has already launched some ambitious projects in the healthcare sector. Romania’s Minister of Public Health, Ion Bazac, recently inaugurated a new obstetrics and gynaecology hospital in Bucharest; the facility, which has 195 beds, is the first medical unit to meet EU approved standards in the country. The hospital, which is designed to provide labour and delivery assistance, prenatal care as well as gynaecological examinations, is the result of a €7 million investment. It is intended to serve as a benchmark for Romania’s hospitals in the drive to implement EU standards. Elsewhere, Medlife, one of Romania’s leading private healthcare providers, announced major plans for capital expenditure this year. Medlife aims to invest €5 million in enlarging Memorial Hospital and the Maternal-Fetal Medical Centre in Bucharest. Each site is to be expanded by 500 sq m. As a result of the investment, Memorial Hospital will have state-of-the-art birth facilities and will offer new medical services, while the Maternal-Fetal Medical Centre will have the capacity to diversify into genetics and in-vitro fertilisation services. Medlife will also create a further 250 jobs this year, raising the total number of employees to 1,200.

Romania’s healthcare system has been funded by the National Health Care Insurance Fund, to which employers and employees make mandatory contributions. The Statutory Health Insurance system was introduced in 2000 and is overseen by the National Insurance House.

Private health insurance has promise Private health insurance is slowly developing in Romania. Signal Iduna, the German mutual insurer who is pioneering healthcare insurance in Eastern Europe, has set up a corporate healthcare offering for Romania, and Vice President Rainer Schoenberg says, “We want to recruit all the best facilities, private or public, for the new insurance offering.” Most medical instruments, diagnostic kits and medical equipment used in Romania are imported, and the Romanian market has significant potential for suppliers of such products.

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ROMANIA

Association of International Medicines Manufacturers

Pharmaceuticals Sector Offers Tremendous Growth Potential The Association of International Medicines Manufacturers (ARPIM) is a strong advocate for investors in Romania’s high potential pharmaceuticals sector. ARPIM represents 26 pharmaceuticals companies, all of them active in research and development in Romania. Dan Zaharescu, ARPIM’s Executive Director, explains, “ARPIM has consolidated its position in the pharmaceutical market, and we are known as a reliable link between pharmaceuticals R&D and healthcare authorities.”

levels in order to make them more accessible for the public, but this measure has cut into pharmaceutical companies’ revenues. “The healthcare system here is underfunded, with only 3.2% of GDP allocated to healthcare, down from 4.1% last year,” Dan Zaharescu explains. ARPIM’s member companies are responsible for around 75% of Romania’s pharmaceuticals research, so ARPIM has a key role to play in ensuring that innovative products are developed in Romania and brought onto the local market.

Strength in numbers Now ARPIM is working to strengthen its influence with the government as well as to ensure long-term positive developments for Romania’s pharmaceuticals sector. Dan Zaharescu explains that ARPIM’s mission is to ensure that both government and pharmaceuticals companies share a vision of what Romania’s healthcare sector should become.

For any pharmaceuticals company entering the Romanian market, membership in ARPIM is the right choice. “There is strength in numbers, and through ARPIM companies can be represented in dialogues with healthcare authorities as well as in the process of upgrading the regulatory environment for Romania’s pharmaceuticals sector,” Dan Zaharescu points out.

Challenges Romania’s healthcare sector currently faces include a need for more healthcare professionals, particularly since many are leaving Romania to find better paid employment elsewhere in the EU. Another challenge is that the government has lowered prices for medicines below average EU

ARPIM is working to promote EU standards, international best practices, and transparency in the healthcare sector, and has already adopted an ethical code concerning promoting medicines to healthcare professionals and interaction with patient associations.

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Dan Zaharescu, Executive Director

ARPIM helps its members achieve their goals in Romania. One success story is GlaxoSmithKline, which distributes products throughout Europe from its manufacturing facility in Brasov. Dan Zaharescu believes that in spite of the current challenges there are tremendous opportunities for pharmaceutical companies in the Romanian market. He says, “Per capita consumption of pharmaceuticals products in Romania is around €100 per year, compared to the EU average of around €430 per capita per year. Given Romania’s large population, an increase in expenditure would have a significant impact on companies’ revenues.”


• Transport Infrastructure Currently Being Upgraded • Union Serves as Advocate for Road Hauliers

Transport

“We always strive to give added-value services to all our members. We are a true one-stop shop. We offer lower prices on goods, and we are stepping up imports to reduce prices still further. Radu Dinescu, Secretary General of Romania’s National Union of Road Hauliers

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ROMANIA

Transport Infrastructure Currently

Henri Coanda International Airport

Thanks to its strategic location at the crossroads of major European transport corridors, along with its access to the Black Sea, Romania has the potential to become a major European transport hub. Due to insufficient investment, maintenance and repair, the country’s transport infrastructure does not yet meet the needs of Romania’s economy, but the government has placed a high priority on upgrading Romania’s road, rail, waterway and air transport facilities.

approximately 30,000 km village roads serving rural communities.

EU structural funds and support from the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and other international organisations are assisting Romania in its drive to upgrade its transport infrastructure, and significant opportunities are available for European companies. Romania’s Ministry of Transports, Constructions and Tourism (MTCT) oversees the country’s transport infrastructure and awards assets for concession.

Public-private partnerships

Road network Romania’s total road network totals about 78,000 km. Public roads in Romania (excluding street networks) are classified in a three-tier system: national (main) roads (14,500 km), district roads (36,000 km), and communal roads (28,000 km). In addition there are

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National roads are administered and managed by the National Company for Motorways and National Roads (RNCMNR) within the MTCT. District (county) roads are administered by County Councils and managed by each county’s technical department. Communal roads are administered and managed by village councils aided by county councils’ technical offices.

To keep its infrastructure development on track, the government is actively pursuing new external financing as well as public-private partnerships. The communal road network has recently begun receiving support from EU’s SAPARD program and the World Bank’s Rural Development Project. Romania’s railway network includes 22,298 km of track, of which 36% is electrified and 27% is double track. In 2003, the railways carried 8.1 billion passengers per km in addition to 17.3 billion tonnes per km of freight, and rail transport accounted for 45% of all passenger and freight movement in the country. The government launched a railway reform program in 1996 which included separating the state railway company


Transport

Being Upgraded

(SNCFR) into five companies, which were subsequently merged into three: an infrastructure arm (CFR), a freight arm (Marfa), and a passenger arm (Calatori), with the state as the sole shareholder in all three. The restructuring also created a regulatory agency (AFER) within the MTCT, in addition to the Ministry’s railway department. The three railway companies own several subsidiaries, which sell services to them and to other purchasers. The MTCT has also licensed a few private rail freight operators, which share the use of the rail tracks for a fee. Private operators now have a 10%-15% of the rail freight market. Road transport competes aggressively with rail and has continued to gain in the share of the combined freight market (in terms of tonnage), and of the intercity passenger transport market (in terms of number of passengers). International trade is still important for Romanian railways with imports accounting for 11% of the traffic, exports about 6%, and transit about 1%.

Private operators handle port operations In the maritime and inland waterways transport sector, state owned bodies or entities are in charge of the port infrastructure (quays, breakwaters, landfill, etc.) while private enterprises operate ports on a concession basis.

Henri Coanda International Airport Romania’s Henri Coanda International Airport is the country’s main gateway for travellers and the hub for national carrier TAROM. It is located in Otopeni, around 16.5 km northwest of Bucharest and named after Romanian flight pioneer Henri Coanda, the builder of the world’s first jet powered aircraft. Until May 2004, its official name was Bucharest Otopeni International Airport, and locally it is still frequently referred to by its former name. Henri Coanda International handled over 5 million passengers last year.

The airport is embarking on Phase III of its development program, which will involve the expansion of the departure and arrival halls and of the boarding area. At the end of this phase (2010) the terminal will have a total of 24 boarding gates (13 equipped with jet ways) for the International Departure Hall, while the Domestic Flights Hall will gain five more gates. The expansion will boost the airport’s capacity to 6 million passengers per year. A new terminal building (Henri Coanda 2) and a hotel are envisaged; the new terminal will be built at the east end of the current site and consist of four halls, each capable of handling 5 million passengers annually; by 2020 Terminal 2 alone should be able to handle the 20 million passengers per year the government anticipates. The terminal will be connected to the future A3 Bucharest - Bra-ov motorway, to the railway system and to the Bucharest Metro system; construction of a new metro link to the airport is moving forward. The construction of the second terminal is due to start in 2011.

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ROMANIA

National Union of Road Hauliers

Union Serves as Advocate for Road Hauliers Romania’s National Union of Road Hauliers (UNTRR) has registered 13,000 members, since the establishment of which around 300 are companies operating internationally. UNTRR is a non-governmental, independent, apolitical employers’ organisation established in 1990; it has proved instrumental in helping to upgrade standards of road transport in Romania. UNTRR’s mission is to promote and protect the interests of road hauliers at both the national and international levels. It aims to increase the role and efficiency of passenger and goods transported by road in and from Romania, to promote proper maintenance of Romania’s road vehicles, to advocate professional training for road transport personnel, and to serve as an advocate for road hauliers in discussions with the government. All transport and forwarding companies are eligible to join UNTRR. The companies, who have a minimum of 21 employees, are represented in the negotiation of collective labour agreement with trade unions (sindicates). Secretary-General Radu Dinescu explains that UNTRR provides a number of services for its member companies, including access to road transport information, consultancy, professional training, visa and insurance assistance, courses in preparing for ISO 9001:2000 certification, and the possibility to contribute to discussions between the UNTRR

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and the Ministry of Transport, among many other services. UNTRR keeps its members abreast of developments in Romania’s transport sector, from new regulations to waiting times at the country’s borders. For international companies entering the Romanian market, UNTRR and its web site, which is available in English, can provide essential support. The recent Romanian Road Transport Market comprehensive analysis developed at UNTRR’s request presents the road transport market of Romania, the passengers and goods road transport market, development priorities, opportunities and strategic options and also forecasts up until 2013. The study is of importance to companies that are connected with the road transport market, for the analysis of the business from both national and European perspective and also for cross-countries or crossindustries analysis.

One-stop shop UNTRR serves as a one-stop shop for its members. Radu Dinescu says, “We help members develop new activities and form partnerships. We also arrange discounts for our members and have had a one-year partnership with Mol Romania, which provides petrol cards for UNTRR member companies. We have also formed a partnership with two foreign companies, one in Hungary providing legal services based on success fee – no upfront payment – and one in Austria providing assistance in case of vehicle break down with full cost

Radu Dinescu, Secretary General

control, to offer UNTRR members better conditions .” UNTRR has been successful in promoting the implementation of measures favourable to transport operators in Romania’s new fiscal code, and a current goal is to continue to upgrade the country’s transport regulatory network. UNTRR is also promoting continued investment in Romania’s transport infrastructure.

Added-value services for all member companies UNTRR serves small and medium-sized companies as well as multinationals. “We always strive to give added-value services to all our members. We are a true one-stop shop. We offer lower prices on goods, and we are stepping up imports to reduce prices still further,” Radu Dinescu says. UNTRR is an active member of a number of national and international organisations. UNTRR urges transport companies operating in Romania to take advantage of everything UNTRR membership can offer and further develop together for a better future.


• Promoting Romanian Tourism At Home and Abroad • Undiscovered Treasure for Tourists; High-Potential Choice for Investors

Tourism

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ROMANIA

Promoting Romanian Tourism At Home and Abroad Romania has exceptional natural and cultural attractions which will help make it a leading European tourism destination in years to come. The Ministry of Tourism, headed by Minister Elena Udrea, has launched a number of ambitious programmes designed to jump start the development of the tourism sector. One key effort is a project to create, develop and implement an information portal which will promote Romanian tourist destinations, record tourist data, provide information about available accommodation and centralise this information, and manage approval, authorisation and inspection activities in the tourism sector, including the assessment of tourism programmes.

Promoting Romania in Germany The Ministry of Tourism is working to attract more international visitors, and has targeted Germany as a top potential market for Romania. The ministry recently signed an agreement with TUI Deutschland, the biggest international tour operator present in the Romanian market, to print a brochure on Romania’s tourism attractions which will be distributed to some 10,000 travel agencies throughout Germany. The ministry is also working to promote domestic tourism through a series of television spots to be broadcast locally. Foreign investment is crucial to the development of Romania’s tourism sector and to this end the government has liberalised the sector, upgraded the tourism industry regulatory environment, and developed a new tourism law. The government is targeting public-private partnerships as one avenue for tourism investment, and EU structural funds are helping to finance many tourism infrastructure projects. As a result, a number of major tourism investment projects have already been launched in Bucharest

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Elena Udrea, Minister of Tourism

with a total value of around €200 million, and projects are also in the works in other areas of the country, from ski resorts in the Carpathian mountains to luxury hotels along Romania’s Black Sea coast and ecotourism initiatives in Transylvania. International and domestic hotel groups have been investing heavily in Romania, Bucharest and beyond. Given the strong influx of foreign direct investment in Romania in recent years, the country has been upgrading its facilities and services for business travellers, and the ministry aims to continue to develop new business services and exhibition facilities. The Ministry of Tourism is committed to keeping this momentum going by continuing to launch new projects and helping to make Romania’s tourism sector an even more attractive target for international investors. Through its website, available in English, the Ministry of Tourism provides up-to-date information on recent developments in the tourism sector.


Tourism

Undiscovered Treasure for Tourists; High-Potential Choice for Investors Romania offers a wealth of tourist attractions and vacation experiences. Visitors can explore perfectly preserved medieval towns in Transylvania, the world famous painted monasteries in Bucovina (many of which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites), traditional villages in Maramures, vibrant Bucharest with its magnificent architecture and rich cultural offerings, the romantic Danube Delta, fairy-tale castles, Black Sea resorts, the majestic Carpathian Mountains, an incredible diversity of wildlife, spas, and much more.

Art and architecture plus the great outdoors

Romania has tremendous untapped tourism potential, thanks to its very varied and unspoiled natural and cultural attractions, its large domestic market, and improving infrastructure links with the rest of Europe and the world. The World Travel and Tourism Council has ranked Romania number four on its list of the world’s high potential tourism investment destinations, and forecasts that Romania’s tourism industry should grow by 6.7% a year through 2018 to generate 3% of Romania’s GDP.

Special interest visits are often organised to showcase Romania’s famous Dracula legends, colourful festivals and cultural events, and outstanding food and wine. In recent years, an increasing number of visitors have come to Romania to trace their own roots.

Among Romania’s offerings are its treasure trove of art and stunning architecture, including the Voronet Monastery Church in Bucovina, founded in 1488 by Stephen the Great and known throughout Europe as “the Sistine Chapel of the East” because of its stunning interior and exterior wall paintings marked by a colour that has come to be known as Voronet blue. Visitors can also take a leisurely cruise on the Danube, or bask on the beaches of the Black Sea. Lovers of nature and outdoor sports will find that Romania, with its varied landscapes, is a paradise for hikers, skiers, bird-watchers and anyone who enjoys the outdoors.

Bucharest: “The Paris of Eastern Europe” Bucharest, Romania’s capital, is known as a little Paris because of its wide, tree-lined boulevards, elegant Belle Epoque buildings and cosmopolitan culture. Bucharest

The General Department for the Promotion of Tourism within the Ministry for Small and Medium sized Enterprises, Trade, Tourism and Liberal Professions has allocated €75 million from EU structural funds to the implementation of “Romania’s Tourism Brand” tourism promotion project, running from 2008 to 2012. The National Statistics Institute (INS) says that the number of foreign tourists visiting Romania in the first five months of 2008 totalled 3.16 million, a surge of more than 35% compared to the same period of 2007. Considered the most beautiful country in Eastern Europe, Romania is just beginning to build its tourism industry and remains an off-the-beatentrack destination where visitors can be sure of a warm welcome and unspoiled sites and attractions.

Romantic Danube Delta

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Voronet monastery

even features a Triumphal Arch on the lovely Soseaua Kiseleff, a boulevard longer than the Champs-Elysées. Bucharest has already invested around €10 million in renovating its historic city centre. In Bucharest and throughout the country, hotel and resort complexes are being improved and expanded, and business services in top hotels in major cities meet world-class standards.

Outstanding investment opportunities Foreign investment is essential to get Romania’s tourism industry on track. The government is targeting public-private partnerships as one avenue for tourism investment, and EU structural funds and other international funding sources are helping to finance many tourism infrastructure projects. The European Investment Bank, for example, recently awarded Romania loans totalling €140 million to support investment projects in tourism, among other sectors, with a focus on small and medium sized enterprises. Various initiatives with a total budget of around €200 million have already been planned for Bucharest, while areas outside the capital are also the target of tourism investment, from ultramodern ski resorts in the Carpathian mountains to log cabin resorts in Transylvania and new luxury hotels along the Black Sea coast.

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Unspoiled Transylvania Transylvania (where the blockbuster film “Cold Mountain” was shot to take advantage of its dramatic, unspoiled landscapes) is considered an excellent investment choice for tourism projects, including eco-tourism initiatives. The government welcomes projects which protect the country’s natural beauty while also bringing in new visitors. Spa tourism is another opportunity, since Romania has a very well developed system of spa centres, some of which date back to Roman times. A €300 million project to upgrade the country’s spas began in 2007.

Hotel sector attracting significant FDI Romania’s hotel sector is attracting increasing investment from hotel groups. Radisson has invested €70 million in its new 424-room Radisson SAS Hotel Bucharest, and the Rin Grand Hotel Bucharest will be the biggest hotel in Europe with a total 1,459 rooms. Romanian hotel chain Continental Hotels has announced a €125 million investment in new two-star hotels. The government is upgrading the regulatory environment for the tourism sector and a new tourism law is expected to be voted in by parliament sometime this fall.


Tourism

Ramada Majestic Bucharest

Four-Star Hotel with Five-Star Service in the Heart of Bucharest The four-star Ramada Majestic Bucharest Hotel enjoys an ideal location in the very heart of the city within easy access of all the city’s top attractions, including Universitatii Square and one of the city’s oldest streets, Calea Victoriei. A perfect choice for business or leisure travellers, the hotel offers 111 rooms and suites as well as a range of luxury amenities. The hotel has become a favourite among prominent international travellers and regularly hosts members of visiting delegations from all over the world.

State-of-the-art conference facilities

Landmark property in the city centre

All guests can take advantage of the hotel’s Wellness Club, which has a swimming pool and fitness centre as well as a sauna and massage services, aerobics and aqua-gym sessions, and more. Guests can also use the hotel’s Business Centre, which has photocopiers, fax machines, a PC with Internet connections, a meeting room seating up to 25, and other services. Other amenities include a beauty salon, car-hire services, laundry services and 24-hour room service.

Mihail Acatrinei, General Manager

Guests can dine at the gourmet Majestic Restaurant, which specialises in Romanian and international cuisine, or at the Majestic Bar&Bistro, which serves a selection of light meals and snacks and a wide range of cocktails and drinks and offers a lovely view over Calea Victoriei.

Ramada Majestic Bucharest Hotel Calea Victoriei No. 38-40, Sect. 1, Bucharest, Romania Phone: (+40 21) 310 27 15/20/35/46/72 Fax: (+40 21) 310 27 99 reservations@ramadamajestic.ro www.ramadamajestic.ro www.ramadainternational.com

The landmark property opened in Bucharest in 1920 and was totally renovated in the late 1990s to become a luxurious four-star hotel, the first joint venture in Romania’s hotel sector. In 2003 the hotel was upgraded and expanded to include exceptional conference facilities. All rooms, from single rooms to the Majestic Suite, come with air conditioning, safe boxes, satellite TV with PAY-TV options, international direct dial telephones, and in-room Internet connections as standard. Guests staying in the hotel’s opulent Executive Suites enjoy complementary access to the Ramada Majestic’s Wellness Club and to the hotel’s business centre.

With its state-of-the-art, new conference facilities, which can accommodate around 400 guests, the Ramada Majestic is a top choice for international conferences. The hotel’s conference centre has two multi-functional ballrooms that can host up to 180 guests each and four meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 25 people each. The latest telecommunications equipment is on hand, including simultaneous translation facilities.

Guests can pamper themselves in Wellness Club

The Ramada Majestic has earned a stellar reputation among international travellers for its friendly, professional service and for providing excellent value. For visitors to Bucharest, the Ramada Majestic is the right choice.

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ROMANIA

JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel

A Hotel with a Lucky Story It was meant to be a guest palace for visiting heads of state from “friendly communist states”; but tables turned and this is now the first hotel of the JW Marriott brand! In Europe! Grand in every way, the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel surrounds you with style and friendliness, befitting the chosen hotel of European royalty, international dignitaries and music stars. Prestigiously located next to the stunning Parliament Palace, the Bucharest JW Marriott is its own “city within a city” complete with five restaurants, a shopping gallery and casino, a stateof-the-art fitness centre, a Spa by World Class designed to heal the mind while relaxing your body, plus nine floors of class A office rental. The five-star hotel, which opened in 2000, lives up to the “grand” in its name with truly exceptional facilities and services. Igael Porecki, General Manager, points out that the Bucharest Marriott Grand Hotel became the first JW Marriott hotel in Europe in 2004; the JW Marriott brand is a luxury product in the global Marriott hotel group. “There are just two other JWs in Europe. That we have a JW Marriott here in Bucharest is quite an achievement,” he says proudly.

Luxurious amenities The JW Marriott Bucharest pampers guests with the most spacious rooms and suites in the city (an average of 36 sq. m), all featuring an array of amenities and around-the-clock butler service. All 379 rooms and 23 suites are equipped with broadband Internet connections, an ergonomic work area, direct telephone lines, a flat-screen television, cable TV, a mini bar, a safe, an iron and ironing board, a separate tub and shower, a lounge area and more. Beds are the new Revive Bed by Marriott, which guarantees a restful night. The strategy is to be warm towards the customer without being intrusive. The hotel’s five restaurants and lounges are among Bucharest’s finest.

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Cupola’s menu of modern classics is served in a smart, sophisticated restaurant, topped by an impressive glass dome. The comfortable dining experience comes with friendly service at the daily breakfast and lunch buffets, as well as with dinner’s signature menu. Turn-of-thecentury Marketplace Sunday Brunch is a special event accompanied by great and varied food, fine drinks and excellent atmosphere. Reminiscent of a Tuscan farmhouse, the rustic setting of Cucina restaurant features an open kitchen and exceptional Italian cuisine accompanied by a fine wine list. Champions, the American Sports Bar and Restaurant, is a place for winners at lunch, happy hour, dinner, sporting events or a game of pool or darts. A collection of memorabilia from world-famous sport stars, both Romanian and international, decorate the walls, and 27 flat-screen TV-sets allow the visitor their choice programme. Vienna Café is an enchanting Austrian Coffee House offering an elegant array of coffees paired with delicate pastries and chocolaterie. Pavilion Lounge is the international bar for business or relaxation that welcomes with friendly service, favourite cocktails and the Executive Chef’s daily selection of canapés. The Garden, open May to September, is an inviting greenery, which blends tasty food with a laid-back atmosphere. An interesting advantage is a well-stocked playground, allowing for parents’ relaxation and children’s amusement.

Ideal choice for events For executive travellers, the hotel’s professional staff can organise all types of business and social events in the magnificent Grand Ballroom, in one of the 12 meeting rooms, or even in the historic Parliament Palace. Igael Porecki explains, “Around 95% of our guests are


Tourism

business travellers. We have to be able to cater to their every need.”

Exceptional service The JW Marriott Bucharest attracts visitors from all over the world looking for the very best accommodations and service..” Many heads of state (including the King of Spain and former US President George W. Bush) have stayed in the JW Marriott Bucharest’s opulent presidential suites, while executive travellers usually opt for one of the hotel’s special business suites, each having a bedroom, living room, dining room, and meeting room.

Adjacent office complex Igael Porecki says that the JW Marriott Bucharest will continue to focus on business travellers and has set up an office complex intended to be the ideal business base in Bucharest. “Companies which want to start new businesses in Romania or which are already operating here can set up in our office complex, which has state-of -the-art facilities. The Marriott works closely with many foreign chambers of commerce in Bucharest. We are ideally placed to facilitate networking,” he says.

Helping to promote tourism The JW Marriott Bucharest also aims to do its part in promoting Romania’s tourism sector. As Igael Porecki points out, “Romania is extraordinary. It has the Black Sea, the Danube Delta, mountains, historic towns with fantastic medieval architecture, and a lively culture which is deeply European. I have very high hopes for Romania

Lobby of the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel

convivial bar, five well-appointed conference rooms for up to 450 guests, and the New Montana Health Club with its heated pool, Jacuzzi, fitness equipment and spa services. To get a whiff of the city stroll through the old streets of Bucharest, discover turn-of-the-century architecture, or stop at a small restaurant to taste local treats. When you’re done, pay a visit to the Peasant Museum, an island of authentic peasant traditions. Take a tour of the Parliament Palace, the second-largest building in the world, located across the street from the JW Marriott. Have a first-hand experience of monumental architecture, and have a grasp of what the communist era meant. If you have more time discover the Botanical Garden for a glimpse of the most unusual flora, or take a 20-minute ride to the Mogosoaia Palace, on the city outskirts. The palace was built in the 17th century and is to this day a masterpiece of architecture.

We are an international luxury hotel geared towards the business traveller. Our staff exemplifies Romanian hospitality.” Marriott gives business and leisure travellers even more reasons to visit Romania. The New Montana Hotel, ideally located in the heart of Sinaia Resort, offers 177 elegant rooms and suites featuring modern amenities as well as spectacular views of the Carpathian Mountains. The hotel pampers guests with a gourmet restaurant, a

JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel Calea 13 Septembrie no. 90 Bucharest, 050726 Romania Phone: +40 21 403 00 00 Fax: +40 21 403 00 01 marriott.bucharest@marriotthotels.com www.marriott.com/BUHRO

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Tourism

Avis Romania

Exceeding Clients’ Expectations Avis Romania provides the world-class service that customers expect of the global Avis group. As Gabriel Galeteanu, General Manager, puts it, “If customers want high quality car hire service, here we are.”

All the advantages for which Avis is known worldwide The company’s membership in the global Avis group is a significant advantage, because customers can not only find the service they are familiar with; they can also access the international Avis reservation system online. “We have the same culture and values as Avis worldwide and all the services that Avis offers anywhere are offered here in Romania,” Galeteanu says. Avis Romania specialises in serving corporate customers from all over Europe and beyond. Now Avis is working to attract local customers as well. “Twenty years ago, Romanians could not afford to hire or buy cars. Now the average income is higher, and our domestic market is growing,” Galeteanu says.

Modern fleet of over 500 vehicles

Gabriel Galeteanu, General Manager

Anticipating clients’ needs Avis Romania’s staff members speak Romanian and English and many are learning other languages, particularly French, German and Italian. As Galeteanu explains, “We know that it gives a positive image to clients when we can speak to them in their native languages. Our main objective for the future is to continue to anticipate our clients’ needs and to be ready to satisfy them.”

The Avis fleet -- which includes over 500 vehicles in a choice of more than 20 models -- is modern and well maintained, and all vehicles are replaced after a year or 30,000 km. Vehicles are replaced in case of any problems. Optional GPS systems are available. Avis also offers an extensive network of 14 offices throughout the country. “We really do try harder! Our service brings smiles to our customers’ faces,” says Gabriel Galeteanu proudly. Chauffeured vehicles, 24-hour roadside service, airport transfers, and long-term car hire are a few of the services, which have given Avis Romania a competitive edge.

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AVIS Romania 9 Mihail Moxa St., Bucharest, 1 Tel: +40 21 210 4344 Fax: +40 21 210 6912 office@avis.ro www.avis.ro


The European Times - Romania  
The European Times - Romania  

The European Times is an independent media agency that specializes in in-depth promotional reports on different countries and regions worldw...

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