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Big investors can be attracted to Romania by further privatizations – Interview with Italys Ambassador Mario Cospito

Italy’s Ambassador to Bucharest Mario Cospito thinks that the big investors might continue to be attracted to Romania by further privatizations, Business Standard daily reads on September 15.
“If you can come up with the some other state companies, such as those in the telecommunications field for instance, you can offer other opportunities to the big foreign investors”, said Mario Cospito.
In his opinion, Romania’s European Union accession brings more opportunities to the big Italian investors, but SMEs should adapt to the new legislative environment. “Some competitive advantages this segment had found in Romania ceased to exist, so that we must find out other cooperation means in order to attract new investments to this sector”, underlined the Italian Ambassador.
Cospito also said that the European structural funds which could be directed to Romania would represent a competitive advantage compared to some other markets.
“SMEs are to lose one thing, but they will gain another in return. Some companies might even decide to leave, but this is normal. They might try to establish on other markets, such as the one in Russia. Yet, in case they are seeking higher standards than those offered by markets such as those in the Republic of Moldova or Ukraine they should stay in Romania”, underlined Cospito.

Following a significant labour force deficit on the local market some investments migrated to other Eastern European states, reads the newspaper. “The labour force deficit is a problem. We have received complaints from Italian investors in Romania. Specialized labour force is increasingly difficult to be found. A solution must be discovered. One might be to attract the Romanian workers abroad, even though it is difficult. I suggest as well the improvement of the educational system in order to train the labour force here. Higher wages could also help. But I know that the graduates wish to work abroad”, added the Italian Ambassador.
Despite some problems created by a few Romanians settled in Italy, the labour market continues to be opened. “There are fields where Italians cannot fill in the jobs the companies there need.
They need now European labour force, as Romanians, Bulgarians, but also from the other international markets. This is the law governing the market, one cannot help in this regard”, the official said as well.
The diplomat pointed out at the same time that Romania’s promotion abroad would be beneficial to the tourist segment, given that the number of Italian tourists in Romania is still very low.
In 2007, the value of Romania-Italy commercial exchanges stood at 12 billion euros and the direct foreign investments implemented by Italian companies in Romania at some 800 million euros, placing Italy among the top five investors in Romania, according to this indicator.
On the other hand, the Italian Ambassador included among his priorities the development of the Italian-Romanian economic relations. “I will see as a big success if, at the end of my mandate here, Romania could climb among the top ten partners of Italy in the commercial exchanges field”,
Ambassador Mario Cospito was also quoted as saying by the aforementioned daily.

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