(P) NRCC White Paper: Defining the „New Normal” and a Roadmap for Economic Recovery
According to a survey conducted by the Netherlands Romanian Chamber of Commerce (NRCC), one of the most active bilateral chambers in Romania, 70% of the respondents indicated to require support in the area of advocacy. The organization, which has been supporting and promoting the Dutch-Romanian business community for more than 15 years, has recently published an extensive White Paper which summarizes the priority areas and policy recommendations of NRCC for the next period.
The document (available here) highlights proposals in areas such as taxation, infrastructure, agriculture, labor market, and education, EU funds and consumer/competition law, and each section was prepared by members active in those fields and NRCC representatives in the Coalition for the Development of Romania (CDR).
Serge Offers, President of the NRCC: “After a year of unprecedented uncertainty, we are now looking forward optimistically and take this occasion as our opportunity to contribute to defining the «new normal», support the recovery roadmap and reform unclear or contradictory legislation. Our purpose is building a stronger and more resilient economy that is capable of coping with current and future challenges”.
The NRCC appreciates the measures introduced last year by the government to support both companies and individuals cope with the impact of the pandemic. A gradual and sustainable fiscal consolidation is recommended in the coming years, and the stimulus packages should not be discontinued too abruptly or too soon. Premature fiscal tightening is one of the biggest threats to the post-pandemic recovery and could jeopardize the foreseen real economic growth in 2021, according to the NRCC.
At the same time, investments are needed in areas like education, health, agriculture, and infrastructure to improve the competitiveness and resilience of the economy. Together with further digitalization and innovation, these investments should result in higher productivity, increased exports, and a greater participation in high value-added activities of value chains. As part of the circular economy and in response to current and future agricultural challenges, the importance of farmers and agriculture in the society and economy is more important than ever. The future of agriculture is education, to ensure a well-prepared workforce adapted to new market requirements. Thereof, the knowledge exchange and the need to deliver up-to-date technical skills in agriculture brings together NRCC members, NL Embassy in Romania, and NL Borderless Network expertise as well as Romanian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Agri high schools for connecting the Agri education with Agribusiness.
Given that there is a record amount of EU funding available next year to support these developments, the bilateral chamber recommends using Public Private Partnerships to maximize absorption of EU funds and accelerate the implementation of projects. By use of institutional intermediaries, simple requirements, and minimized administrative burden, eligible parties will have much better access to much-needed funds.
“The NRCC is looking forward to continuing the collaboration and constructive dialogue with representatives of the public sector, employee, and employer organizations to develop concrete action plans to seize the current opportunities”, says NRCC Executive Director Maurits Dohmen.
The Netherlands is one of the largest foreign investors in Romania. The latest available data show that of the total companies with foreign capital that are active on the local market, the largest value of the subscribed share capital belongs to Dutch companies and international holdings based in the Netherlands.
NRCC supports the Dutch-Romanian business community through premium events, member-driven Task Forces, close relations with the Netherlands Embassy in Romania, and active membership in The Coalition for the Development of Romania. The association creates business opportunities within its active community of members, acts as a consultation partner between the business sector and the Romanian Government focusing on the following strategic points: facilitating networking between companies and institutions in developing Dutch – Romanian trade; providing education and knowledge sharing to support members in developing their business; representing its members and their business interests in front of authorities and other entities and contributing actively to ensure a healthy and stable business environment in Romania.
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