The Romanian companies are rather shy on going international, including state owned companies, and they should take advantage of opportunities like the sale of the port of Giurgiulesti, Moldova’s main gate for oil products, Razvan Nicolescu, a former Energy minister and currently energy consultant at Deloitte said at BR’s Foreign Investors Summit.
“Romanian companies are rather shy on going international, including state owned companies, just like Hidroelectrica is not rushing to open offices in Hungary or Moldova. But there are positive signals right now,” Nicolescu said.
According to the former minister, Romania companies have several financial sources for scaling up, but they also need courage.
“The easiest way if you don’t know a market well enough is to make an acquisition so you would have the know-how. Another way is to open an office there and learn one step at the time how that market works,” he points out.
“Companies that came to Romania didn’t know the market very well but they invested anyway. There is no such thing of a zero risk, you have to take risks if you want to expand. Banca Transilvania is a positive example that shows that things can be done if you take the decision,” Nicolescu added.
The former Energy minister indicates that Romania needs a strategy at the state level and a higher interest of companies to invest abroad.
“The main gate for oil products in the Republic of Moldova, the port of Giurgiulesti, can be an interesting investment for Romanian companies,” he indicates.
Nicolescu warns that for Romania is very important that the Black Sea offshore gas project to be started.
“If not, we will lose at the state level in taxes, at the consumers level, where we could have a good price due to the fact that the local production will exceed the consumption. Everybody will lose if we don’t implement the project,” Nicolescu said.
The former minister also pointed out that there is too much state secrecy about how much gas is in the Black Sea.
“The geological data base should be open or available for buying for any company that wants it,” he said.
Nicolescu estimates that Romania will have half a million electric cars by 2030.
“We need infrastructure for electric cars. We are very generous with the subsidies for electric cars (EUR 10,000 for an electric car), but anyone who wants to buy asks about the infrastructure of charging station around the country. Also, the law about this needs to change,” he points out.
“Someone might say that we give subsidies for buying these cars and also there are no taxes taken from using them, but we have a high level of pollution and several thousands of people die every year from pollution,” Nicolescu added.