Company representatives attending the Swiss Business Forum organized by Business Review declared with one voice that the most important issue which they have to contend with is the high level of corruption.
Corruption, excessive and nontransparent bureaucracy, poor transport infrastructure and government policies are some of the barriers in the path of further foreign investment in Romania. These problems were debated by Swiss companies with local operations who attended the Swiss Business Forum organized by Business Review.
Markus Wirth, country manager at Holcim Romania, said one of the major issues he has to deal with here is getting construction permits, a process often beset with corruption. Jean Valvis, CEO and GM at Valvis Holding, added that in his opinion there are considerably fewer business opportunities and today’s Romania is nothing like it was in 1993 when he first came to the country. “While in the past you could resolve something with a packet of cigarettes, now the corruption is at an unacceptable level,” said Valvis. According to him, inconsistent government policies are another obstacle these days. “While some years ago the problem was that the laws were changing very fast, now we can say that laws are stable but there are no implementation rules for them, such as for instance the renewable energy law,” said the CEO.
Present at the event, His Excellency Livio Hurzeler, Swiss ambassador to Romania, said he was concerned about the implementation of the IMF agreement, because in his opinion it focuses more on covering expenses and less on implementing government measures meant to fill the state coffers.
The event, which gathered about 60 companies’ officials, is one of a series of country focus events. More information can be found at www.business-review.ro.