Bank CEO: There’s “blue pen” Romania and there’s app Romania
Romania is a country of contrasts when it comes to digitization, points out Steven van Groningen, the president of Raiffeisen Bank Romania and Concordia Employers’ Federation.
“I live in two Romanias: the blue pen Romania, with which I have to sign twice a year the health records, labor safety records and other official documents that need my signature, and in the Romania of local apps, which help us act faster and safer,” van Groningen said in an online conference on Wednesday, July 29.
He added that the contrast is also visible in the European Commission’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). Romania fares well in terms of connectivity (5th in Europe) and IT graduates. Still, the country is the last in Europe in terms of digital public services.
“We must ask ourselves why it is important to have access to digital services in the public sector. It’s essential, not only to avoid personal contact in the COVID context but also to increase productivity,” the Concordia president said, quoted by Agerpres.
He pointed out that Romanians still have to waste hours waiting at public offices to register their cars and properties even if they can pay the property taxes online.
“It’s not hard to imagine that, if we have one million people who register their properties each year and waste several hours in offices, or with stamps and copies after documents, that we are wasting a lot of time and resources. We all want better wages and higher pensions, but productivity also needs to increase,” he concluded.
(Photo source: Confederatia Patronala Concordia Facebook page)