The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) has published a set of recommendations for Romania, outlining what AmCham’s members believe should be the country’s priorities over the coming years. AmCham makes wide ranging comments around four main areas – competitiveness, anti-corruption, public consultation in adopting legislation and use of the 2014 – 2020 EU funds in its Priorities for Romania 2012 report.
AmCham’s comments do not contain any real surprises, reduction in bureaucracy and employment law reform are touted as means of increasing competitiveness. Corruption is underlined as still a major problem and only possible to tackle with sustained efforts by national and international institutions. However where the report differs a little from the rest of the pack is in the detailed and extensive policy proposals given openly as a plan for the Romanian authorities to follow in areas such as tax reference, the labor market, education, pensions and social benefits, capital markets, ICT, public procurement, health, energy, mining and environment, infrastructure, public-private partnership and tourism. In each case, specific changes or improvements are recommended.
Throughout the document AmCham recommends greater participation by business associations, such as AmCham itself, in everything from government policy making and targeting corruption to the use of EU funds. “Romania needs immediate and long-term solutions. AmCham Romania continues its proactive actions and, through this report, proposes concrete solutions to improve the business climate in Romania, to encourage investment, leading to an increased economic competitiveness and to a better life for each citizen,” said AmCham Romania President Sorin Mindrutescu. The report suggests that greater international cooperation would help reduce cross border corruption, while overall, in all levels and sections of the business and political worlds in Romania, greater transparency is urged.
The AmCham report makes complaints about how the authorities pass laws without getting approval by businesses. “AmCham believes that business associations should actively participate in the decision-making process,” reads the Priorities for Romania report. Romania’s record on EU funding is dreadful and with a new six year financing period beginning, AmCham recommends a series of practical measures for the improved organization of mechanisms to ensure better use of the potentially gigantic EU money pot.
Overall, ‘cooperation’ is the key word in AmCham’s report; greater cooperation between all stakeholders in Romania, politicians, institutions, businesses and citizens. “I encourage the Government to work together with the business community and civil society to foster Romania’s economic competitiveness; this will increase Romania’s attractiveness as a destination for investment and a flourishing environment for its citizens,” said the US Ambassador to Romania, Mark Gitenstein.
Liam Lever, email@example.com
photo source: sxc.hu