AmCham: Romania risks losing competitive advantage of well-trained employees

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Romania risks losing the competitive advantage of well- trained labor force because of lower education standards, say representatives of the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham).

„Romania had this advantage in the region and now it is losing it because of the poorer trained students over the past few years, which increases the employers’ costs,” AmCham executive Director Anca Harasim said.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Romania is a non-profit and non-political organization that promotes the commercial and economic interests of U.S., international and local business community in Romania.

Established in 1993 by American investors in the country, it is now one of the 105 international AmChams in 91 countries affiliated to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, based in Washington D.C., and a member of the European Council of the American Chambers of Commerce (ECACC).

Currently, AmCham has over 300 members, consisting of major U.S., foreign and local enterprises doing business in Romania, as well as small and medium-sized firms and business executives in the country, who support and abide by the policies of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The association is entirely autonomous, with no subsidy from any government body, and relies on income from membership dues and other activities.
Major investors in Romania, AmCham members entered the Romanian market in the 1990s and appreciated the labor force that could be easily trained for the new jobs, the AmCham representatives said.

Investors are unsatisfied with the Romanian labor laws, which they see as „bureaucratic and excessively procedural.”
„If companies benefited by a more flexible labor legislation, the effects of the crisis would have been less serious,” stated Sorin Mindrutescu, AmCham Romania President.

AmCham Romania, through its working group on labor, education and human resources has elaborated a set of proposed amendments to the Labor Code, Unions’ Law and Collective Bargaining Agreement Law, which have been submitted to the Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Protection.

‘AmCham Romania has advanced these recommendations to the authorities along with its members expertise accumulated both locally and globally, in order to meet the objectives of increasing the occupation rate of active population, performance use of the labor force and observance of employees’ rights, all essential for maintaining current investors and attracting new investments’ Sorin Mindrutescu stated.

AmCham’s recommendations are lined up to the short-term measures included in the Governmental Program 2010-20 12 for diminishing the negative effects of the crisis and ensuring financial stability, protecting the economic interests of the population, as well as maintaining Romania’s investment attractiveness in the current economic context.

At the same time, the proposed measures are aimed at reaching the governmental program’s Labor Market related objectives regarding a balanced labor market and reduced labor force deficits for certain industries, increased labor market flexibility or strengthened social dialog at all levels in order to increase its contribution to the economic and social development.

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