The automotive industry is shaping up as an important economic element, probably the most important economic sector in Romania, Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu said on May 16 in Sibiu.
He added that Romania is already the most important automobile manufacturing country in South-Eastern Europe, and with the expected commissioning of a Ford factory in Craiova, Romania will indeed become the main automobile manufacturing country in Central and South-Eastern Europe, ahead of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.
"This is something that will significantly contribute to the consolidation of Romania’s economy, to the achievement of the objective of developing an economy that would be, so to say, proportional to the size of the country. Romania is the seventh largest European country.
Normally, its economy should match the same level, but the Romanian economy will have to be supported and surely there are two poles of competitiveness shaping up in the country: the IT industry and the automotive industry. There is no complete automotive industry without developing the component industry,which is a sizeable one and generating very many jobs, and our future policies should consolidate the two sectors. I do not believe, or rather I am convinced that Romania should not remain an attractive country to investment merely because of labour costs, which are currently low," said Tariceanu.
He added that economic growth would support further pay rises and that competitive elements should be sought other than labour costs.
"On my visit to Germany on May 15, I had a frank discussion with German investors and told them not to make any illusion, because we should not think of Romania as being competitive in Europe only because of cheap labour. We have to develop the research, innovation and creative sectors where the human resources can be capitalised on and thus to gain competitiveness in the process. Then, we have to adjust the educational system as soon as possible so that it may support highly trained professionals," said Tariceanu.
He added that for one job in an automobile manufacturing factory there are at least three jobs created in the automotive spare parts and components industry.