The Foreign Investors’ Council (FIC) represents some 128 companies doing business in Romania, making its president, Eric Stab, a voice to be reckoned with.
Last year Stab was elected for his second consecutive term as head of the FIC, an organization representing foreign investors doing business in Romania. “I believe the FIC is an important voice of the business community and a well-respected one in the whole country. I think it is important that the foreign investors who represent a significant share of Romania’s GDP can also express their views on the business climate in the country, on the issues they are facing and how to address them,” he told BR in an interview last year.
The voice of an institution such as the FIC becomes particularly relevant in the context of potential legal changes, such as those proposed by the government this February. At that time the FIC had expressed its concern regarding the amendments the government had made to the Penal Code. “The FIC has always supported a predictable and transparent legislative process and has appreciated the results of the anticorruption policies in Romania. The FIC believes that any government, regardless of electoral cycles, should consider the fight against corruption and structural reforms to the Romanian economy as top priorities,” the organization said this February, after the government issued an emergency ordinance that would have partially decriminalized abuse of office.
The FIC said it believes that the way the government had planned to introduce these changes could have sent a negative signal to investors and international institutions and Romania would have thus lost “the opportunity of attracting new investments. Investors’ trust in Romania as a friendly country for doing business can be easily lost and rebuilding this image will require significant effort and take a lot of time and energy,” the organization warned at the time.
As head of the FIC, Stab has always talked about Romania’s potential for growth. During the latest edition of BR’s Foreign Investors’ Summit, he expressed his confidence that it was possible for Romania to become one of the top ten economies in the EU.
In this context, the FIC’s general priority remains to ensure that Romania has an attractive business climate, he previously told BR. “This is what we are very focused on, with the goal being to attract additional investments and to ensure that the investors that are already here are happy with their investments, so that together, through those investments, we can boost economic growth,” he outlined.
Stab has been in Romania since 2010, initially as executive chairman, and from 2012 as executive chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ Energy Romania, which in 2015 was rebranded as Engie Romania.
The head of the FIC has vast professional experience in the energy sector. He joined Gaz de France in 1991, and went onto hold positions in the German subsidiary of Gaz de France and in GASAG, the Berlin gas company. Stab was later promoted to manage gas sales in Europe, and led the UK subsidiary from 2004 to 2008, when he became head of activities for Eastern Europe.
The FIC’s self-declared main objective is to promote sustainable economic growth by improving Romania’s investment landscape. The organization considers its key roles to be contributing to the improvement of the Romanian legal framework for commercial and tax matters, the promotion of sound business ethics and projecting a good image of foreign investment and business in general.