Remarks By U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Ad-Interim Dean Thompson, At The Launch Of The Amcham Romania Competitiveness Report (March 29, 2016)

Daniela, thank you very much for those important remarks and congratulations as you wrap up your tenure as President of AmCham and as AmCham moves towards a new board in the coming days.  We have some very exciting times ahead of us and we appreciate all the support and effort that this current board has made under your leadership in taking us to a very important point.

Mr. Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Daraban, distinguished guests, it is really a great pleasure to be here today and to have the chance to congratulate the Chamber on launching this very important report. I had an opportunity to review the Executive Summary of it this morning and I have to say I think it’s going to be a very important tool for dialogue and for efforts to move forward and I think Daniela did an excellent job of outlining the very real consequences and opportunities for Romania as we look at the different types of issues that need to be tackled through this effort.

As Romania tackles necessary reforms, and establishes a solid foundation for future growth, the United States will be a strong and dependable partner for all stakeholders, including the government, parliament, and the business community.

By working with the American Chamber of Commerce, the Coalition for Romania’s Development – Coalitia, and others on fiscal and regulatory regime changes, the government has signaled its commitment to transparency.  Notably, the government recently agreed to a third Action Plan for Good Governance.  Improvement of the business climate is also a very important element of the US-Romania Strategic Partnership.

But, Romania’s work remains unfinished.  The government and parliament must continue reforms focused on sustainable development and full adherence to the rule of law.  Building and maintaining investor confidence is essential for new investments to be made and for existing investments to expand.

One excelent recent symbol of the progress that is being made in this area is Ford’s recent announcement that it is moving a second vehicle production line to its plant in Craiova and I had the very distinct honor of joining the Vice Prime Minister for that opening and announcement last week and it was a very exciting event to be a part of.  If a firm as well-known and respected as Ford is having success in Romania, it signals to other potential investors that Romania is a good place to do business.

Romania’s regulatory climate still lacks some cohesion and long term vision, Romania must meet this challenge by passing and implementing regulation in a transparent, predictable and stable manner.  Continued improvement of the consultations process with stakeholders is going to benefit all parties.

Romania remains in need of structural reforms that will reduce regulatory barriers, encourage greater entrepreneurship, and open sectors to greater international competition and investment.  These reforms include improvements to the country’s physical infrastructure, a deepening of administrative capacity and the professionalization of state owned enterprises and I would note all of these are areas that the report talks about in great detail.

We support Romania’s efforts to ensure sustainable growth, based on a transparent, predictable and stable investment climate, and reinforced by stakeholder consultations and sound corporate governance.

I would like to close by applauding AmCham’s publication of this report.  The United States looks forward to working with Romania to further strengthen our trade and investment ties and to make it an even better place to do business as we go forward.  Thank you.