The event's hot topics referred to the recently restructured fiscal code, the problem of VAT refunding in Romania, the fractured link between suppliers and developers in the real estate industry, and the lack of good professional local project managers in Romania. Jaap Werner said that since 2007 the approach in choosing business partners has changed and Dutch companies operating in Romania focus on the priority sectors as infrastructure, logistic, structural funds and industrial due to availability of EU funds in these sectors.
VAT refunds were also a hot issue on the discussion panel, with Pieter Wessel, Deloitte Balkans's partner on tax partner specializing in VAT, referring to “a big unwillingness” from the part of authorities involved to solve this problem in Romania. “The new fiscal code seems to surprisingly have a more pro-crisis structure,” Pieter Wessel stated.
The problem of delays in recovering VAT has been highlighted by Avrig 35's CFO Edwin Warmerdam. The representative described the Romanian economy as flexible, estimating that, 2009's autumn will bring a “fresh start”. Avrig 35 is working on several residential, office and retail projects in Romania, of which 3 project are under construction and few others are on the planning stage. As Edwin Warmerdam stated, “the company is still building at this stage, within a very difficult business climate. The banks are not lending yet, but they are softening their approach on this matter.”