Sibiu has grown to become a modern and dynamic city where there still is room for more investors, the city’s mayor, Klaus Iohannis, told BR.
Why invest in Sibiu?
Sibiu has already proven that it is a successful economic destination, as the investors who came and started businesses in the city have remained here and even extended their presence. This is a big advantage for a business destination and shows that Sibiu has a stable and solid business environment. Another reason is that Sibiu is in a continuous process of development as an economic destination. The market is open and there still are many sectors where potential investors could find a place. Sibiu produces new and qualified workers – and I refer here to the approximately 15,000 students who graduate each year from one of the city’s universities. Sibiu also offers a good living environment. I therefore believe it has the elements of an attractive business location for the economic and industrial sectors that best suit it.
What fiscal incentives do you offer investors?
We support investors who want to open a business in Sibiu by helping them obtain all the necessary authorizations and approvals faster. Under the existing laws this is one of the few means we have to support potential investors as a public administration. Another important element is the openness the authorities have towards these investors, guiding them through the local intricacies.
What is the city’s economic development strategy for the coming years?
The economic development is set by the companies themselves. For example, heavy industry is not common in Sibiu because it does not suit the city’s profile. Instead, the automotive parts manufacturing, food and textile industries are well established. This is the direction that the economic development will probably follow. The service sector, I believe, will definitely have a more dynamic development.
A major sector where we as the local administration have an important contribution is tourism. Over the past ten years this sector has probably had the most constant and significant development and the local administration has created the premises for it. Another sector that has developed very well over the past five years is healthcare, where there have been several private projects.
For which projects do you want to obtain EU financing during the 2014-2020 framework?
We are working with a firm to create a portfolio of projects we want to finance through the structural funds available between 2014 and 2020. We started this some time ago but we are still waiting for the paperwork to establish the financing axis and domains at national level. This portfolio includes infrastructure works, street renovation, the creation or modernization of public spaces, renewable energy projects, the construction of a conference and entertainment center and social centers and the expansion of green areas.
What infrastructure projects are underway in Sibiu?
Our way of supporting the business environment as a local administration is to create as functional a city as possible through modern transport networks. The city’s modernization process started in 2003 and it continues. Until 2007 it focused on central areas while after 2007 investments were directed towards the neighborhoods. In 2012 we started a broad reconfiguration program of the city’s neighborhoods. Over the past ten years, 250 streets have been fully rehabilitated. As a result, the city is more functional so the inhabitants and business environment benefit from modern infrastructure.