Connect with us

ENGLISH

Romania’s West Region Is Enhancing Competitiveness and Developing a Smart Specialization Strategy, Assisted by the World Bank

Published

on

world bank logoThe World Bank and the Agency for Regional Development – Region West, Romania today hosted a closing-project conference in Timișoara on “Advisory Services on Competitiveness Enhancement and Smart Specialization Policies in the West Region”.

About 50 participants attended, representing local entrepreneurs, companies involved in the preparation of the report, the local and national institutions and administration, and the local chamber of commerce.

Sorin Maxim, General Director of the Agency for Regional Development – Region West, delivered the opening remarks, together with Arabela Aprahamian, World Bank Senior Private Sector Development Specialist. Mr. Maxim also presented the Regional Development Plan 2014-2020.

The event in Timisoara focused on the West Region economy, with a special focus on those sectors with smart specialization potential. Mariana Iootty, World Bank Economist, and Delia Ionica, consultant, presented the findings of the Romania Western Region Competitiveness Enhancement and Smart Specialization report, as well as the conclusions and recommendations for policies and interventions in the West Region.

The aim of the Europe 2020 Strategy, launched in 2010, is to tackle structural weaknesses in Europe’s economies, while reducing regional disparities in income, wealth, and opportunities.  Since the late 1990s, Romania’s West Region has experienced rapid economic growth, which translated in rising real wages and improved productivity. The annual growth rate of output per worker amounted to 15 percent during the period 2000-2009. Entrepreneurial activity in the region is significant – the region has one of the highest concentrations of enterprises and exporters in the country. The region is ranked third in Romania regarding the number of firms per capita. In the West region, there are over 200 companies per 100,000 inhabitants. The region also has the third highest percentage of exporters in the country, at 15.7 percent.

According to the report, the physical, human, natural, and cultural endowments of the region can be leveraged to achieve more inclusive and sustainable growth. The West Region benefits from competitive strengths: relatively plentiful infrastructure, access to neighboring countries, skilled workforce, a tertiary education that is strong in natural sciences, mathematics, computer sciences, food and agriculture, medical and veterinary sciences, a largely pristine natural environment, and unexploited cultural and archeological assets.

The report notes that the region has an apparent comparative advantage in automotive, textiles, and information and communication technology (ICT), and a latent comparative advantage in agro-food and tourism.

Each industry cluster has constraints and specificities that will shape the future, according to the report, and might increase the smart specialization. The automotive sector should diversify towards higher value added activities and move up the international value chain. The textile sector should build skills and capacities allowing firms to design and produce their own brands. In the agro-food sector, the challenge is to better market the local produce and link to large distribution chains. In ICT the challenge is to expand the current set of activities, and overall productive capacity. In tourism, ownership at a high political level and institutional coordination are key to fully use the existing potential and endowments.

There are policy areas common to all the sectors that need to be enhanced in the future. The most important four relate to (i) education and training for management and industry-relevant curricula and skills, (ii) the road and rail infrastructure, (iii) access to finance, and (iv) enhancement of the institutional framework for innovation.

The report points out that EU structural funds and other sources can support cross-sectoral and sector-specific actions. National resources and private sector financing can enhance ownership and effectiveness of specific interventions deemed relevant for the West Region, in accordance with the objectives formulated by the EU Cohesion Policy: (i) strengthen research, technological development, and innovation, (ii) enhance competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises,  (iii) enhance institutional capacity and efficiency of public administration, (iv) protect the environment and promote resources efficiency, and (v) invest in education, skills, and lifelong learning.

In West Region Romania, economic development has been somewhat unbalanced, with significant territorial disparities and a high concentration of economic activity and exports.  Territorial disparities in wages, productivity, and exports indicate that the fruits of the strong growth of the past decade have not been distributed evenly. Furthermore, economic activity is concentrated in a few sectors that represent about half the region’s turnover and employment. This might lead to high volatility in value-added growth, and sharp drops in per capita gross domestic product and employment during a crisis. Finally, the export-driven growth model of this past decade is vulnerable to shocks in export markets.

This project is a reimbursable advisory service delivered by the World Bank, and co-financed by the Agency for Regional Development – Region West, from the European Regional Development Fund through the Technical Assistance Operational Program 2007-2013. The project is part of the World Bank strategy to offer technical assistance to Romania, to support economic growth, and support the socially excluded.

Source:  World Bank

ENGLISH

Foreign Affairs Minister Ramona Mănescu: The Strategic Partnership with the US is the central focus of the Romanian diplomacy, while the accession to Schengen remains a priority

Published

on

Foreign Affairs Minister Ramona Mănescu said on Thursday that Romania’s accession to Schengen remains a priority of the Romanian diplomacy.

“Evoking the period when I was MEP, I can certainly tell you that (…) all the time both [the European] Parliament and the Commission said Romania was prepared to join Schengen, from a technical and logistical point of view. (…) Practically, we function de facto as a Schengen member state, but de jure we are not regarded as such. Romania doesn’t ask anything but the observance of the Treaty, we are members with full rights, we met our commitments and we seriously continue to meet them, no one can challenge Romania’s contribution to the security space, because we are not talking only about the eastern flank of NATO, we are also talking about EU’s eastern flank,” Ramona Mănescu told Antena 3 private television broadcaster on Thursday, quoted by Agerpres.

She maintained that the Romanian citizens “have all the right to get this well-deserved position of Schengen member state.”

“This is not something we must beg for, or be made a favour. It is provided in the Treaty and it must be observed. (…) I assure you we keep this on the agenda as priority topic, and all bilateral and extended discussions will include the Schengen accession component, we won’t stop from telling our colleagues in the EU that the Romanian citizens have the same rights,” Mănescu underscored, mentioning that, at present, in the Council half of the states support Romania’s accession to the free movement area, and the others oppose.

The Foreign Minister also pointed out that the Strategic Partnership with the US must remain the central focus of the Romanian diplomacy.

She also showed that Romania has the same position towards Russia as NATO and the EU.

“Romania’s position towards Russia starts in the first place from the vicinity we are in, but it is also part of the EU’s position regarding Russia, as we are part of the EU, we must get in line with EU’s stand. I am referring to sanctions, to certain limitations that we have in the dialogue and cooperation with Russia and I am particularly referring to the firm position we have as EU member, which we have always had, of observing the international legislative framework. We don’t ask too much from Russia as an actor on the geopolitical stage if we ask them to respect the international legislative framework. (…) It is the principle which we start from and which we cannot fail to keep not even for Russia, which is here, close to us. We have no reason to make an exception, because nothing is negotiable in this story,” Ramona Mănescu said.

According to the Minister, the relation with Russia represents “a key point in the stability in the area, in securing NATO’s eastern flank, in the manner in which we can further manage the discussions in the Black Sea. “The threats and gestures which Russia has repeatedly done in the Black Sea space, from a military stand, have been sanctioned all the time. (…) Both NATO and the EU have the same discourse. Romania cannot have a different discourse, because it is both part of the EU and NATO, and we are at the Black Sea,” she added.

Mănescu also said that she expected “the energy diplomacy to have its word,” in regards to the resources in the Black Sea.

“Our desire is for a partner such as Exxon to stay here and continue to work together as much and as well as possible. This entails our making some steps in an expected direction. I believe things will settle in the end, enter the right track and I even want to clarify this position shortly and the US partners must be convinced that we’ll be keeping the same line. (…) Mrs PM wants this as well,” Mănescu said.

Continue Reading

ENGLISH

Romania has a new Foreign Affairs Minister. Ramona Mănescu took the oath of office

Published

on

Ramona Mănescu, Nicolae Moga and Mihai Fifor took the oath of office on Wednesday in the presence of President Klaus Iohannis for the Interior and Foreign Affairs Ministries office, Deputy Prime Minister for implementing Romania’s strategic partnerships office respectively.

The head of state wished success to the new three members of the Dancila Cabinet.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, ministers, Deputy Speaker of the Deputies’ Chamber Florin Iordache, Government Secretary General Toni Grebla and presidential advisors.

President Klaus Iohannis signed on Wednesday the decrees appointing Nicolae Moga as Interior Minister and Ramona Mănescu as Foreign Affairs Minister, according to a Presidential Administration release.

Through another decree, Mihai Fifor was appointed Deputy Prime Minister for implementing Romania’s strategic partnerships.

Furthermore, Iohannis took note of Carmen Dan’s resignation from the Interior Ministry and signed the decree dismissing Teodor Meleșcanu from the Foreign Affairs Minister office.

Ramona Mănescu is a Romanian politician and lawyer. She was a Member of the European Parliament serving 2007 to 2013 and 2014 to 2019 from the National Liberal Party (till July 2017), active within the European People’s Party group in the European Parliament.

As part of this group she is a member of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, vice-chair in the Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries and a substitute member in the Committee on transport and tourism and in Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula.

Between 2007 and 2014 she was part of the ALDE group in the European Parliament, where she also held the position of Vice-President (11 November 2012 – June 2014) of the ALDE Party (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party). As a member of this group she is a coordinator in the Regional Development Committee and a member in the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.

At the European Parliamentary elections from June 2014, Mănescu renewed her mandate within European Parliament, where she became a member of the European People’s Party group in the Parliament European.

Continue Reading

ENGLISH

Romania: President Klaus Iohannis appoints former MEP Ramona Mănescu as the new Foreign Affairs Minister

Published

on

President Klaus Iohannis signed on Wednesday the decrees appointing Nicolae Moga as Interior Minister and Ramona Mănescu as Foreign Affairs Minister, according to a Presidential Administration release.

Furthermore, Iohannis took note of Carmen Dan’s resignation from the Interior Ministry and signed the decree dismissing Teodor Melescanu from the Foreign Affairs Minister office.

Through another decree, Mihai Fifor was appointed Deputy Prime Minister for implementing Romania’s strategic partnerships.

The swearing-in ceremony takes place on Wednesday at 11:00hrs, at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace. 

Ramona Mănescu is a Romanian politician and lawyer. She was a Member of the European Parliament serving 2007 to 2013 and 2014 to 2019 from the National Liberal Party (till July 2017), active within the European People’s Party group in the European Parliament.

As part of this group she is a member of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, vice-chair in the Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries and a substitute member in the Committee on transport and tourism and in Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula.

Between 2007 and 2014 she was part of the ALDE group in the European Parliament, where she also held the position of Vice-President (11 November 2012 – June 2014) of the ALDE Party (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party). As a member of this group she is a coordinator in the Regional Development Committee and a member in the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.

At the European Parliamentary elections from June 2014, Mănescu renewed her mandate within European Parliament, where she became a member of the European People’s Party group in the Parliament European.

Continue Reading

Cum pot vota românii din diaspora la alegerile prezidențiale

Facebook

Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending