„The economic situation is still difficult all over Europe, Romania included. But we are no longer facing the severe situation at last year-end and this year-start.
Things started to move for the better.
First concrete signs appeared that the Romanian economy slowed down its fast decline, attempts to stabilize and indicates some sectoral positive values. I wish to stress that the situation is yet to be solved, but the Government’s measures are starting to prove their efficiency”, said Emil Boc.
He enumerated nine indicators, which would mark an economic recovery, among which the stabilization of leu’s exchange rate, layoffs slowdown, rise in exports, revival of foreign investments in Romania, tax collection to the state budget.
„Starting March 20, 2009 the national currency recorded a steady appreciation move. Leu’s value began to follow a slight upward trend. Population’s lei savings stopped losing value due to a weak rate of exchange…
Romania’s National Bank (BNR) reduced its reference rate and this signal is conducive to facilitate access to needed loans for funding investments.
We expect output to rise and new jobs to be created…, the unemployment rate slowdown. In April, just 4,000 people were laid off, meaning a 0.1 percent rise. Unemployment in 15 counties was reduced and remained steady in April, around 5.5-5.6 percent, under conditions in which the unemployment in many countries is still a two-digit one…”, stressed Emil Boc.
Head of the Government also emphasized that in the investments field things are moving, the number of applications for residential construction permits being on the rise in February 2009 – 3,739 as against 2,469 in January”, he said.
As for the tax collection to the state budget, the Prime Minister said that it reached 15.3 billion lei in April, after 15 billion in January, 10.9 billion in February and 12.1 billion in March.
As well, Emil Boc appreciated the beneficial effects of the flat tax upon foreign investments in Romania.
„Another positive sign is linked to the increase of direct foreign investments volume. In the first two months of 2009, the foreign investments volume advanced 38.1 percent compared to the similar period of the previous year – to some 1.4 billion euros…
The flat tax of 16 percent, one of the most attractive in the EU, offers us the opportunity to continue to represent an attractive investment location”, said the Executive’s head.
At the same time, Boc gave assurances that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) accessed funds will consolidate BNR foreign currency reserve. „As a result of the 13 billion euros going to BNR for the consolidation of the foreign reserve, we created the premises for stabilizing leu’s exchange rate”, explained the Premier.
Emil Boc said that following the conclusion of the foreign financing agreement with the European Commission and with IMF, the Executive is to launch a „plan II” of economic recovery, through the aid given to big companies in strategic fields and facilities for youth wishing to acquire a first dwelling.
„This plan II of economic recovery is pursuing, on one hand, guarantees and state aid to enterprises, to companies in the strategic fields for the development of the national economy.
And I refer here to sustaining agriculture, and some other fields, where Romania has a competitive advantage reported to other European countries, as constructions, infrastructure, investments in tourism, environment, health care”, underlined Emil Boc.
Secondly, he continued, a constitutional mechanism is targeted in order to guarantee loans for housing units acquisition.
„We wish to help young people to acquire a first dwelling, in order to give an impetus to the real estate market and to the constructions sector, which create and protect Romanians’ jobs”, added Boc.
Likewise, the Premier emphasized that the „agriculture becomes an absolute priority for this Government, given that Romania can become an exporter of food products instead of an importer”.
Referring to the business milieu encouragement, Emil Boc maintained that 179 taxes will be eliminated and the state co-financing in case of the European funds accession will be boosted to 20 percent.
„We eye the reduction of the contributor’s administrative burden by reducing the financial burden and creation of a more attractive business milieu. We will secure the European funds co- financing, including VAT. We raised the co-financing quota from 15 to 20 percent, exactly to bolster the absorption degree of the European funds”, underlined the Government’s head.