01 January 1998

"Capitalists better than politicians for economic development" (Romanian Daily)

Bucharest - Representatives of the Industrialists General Union of Romania (UGIR-1903) say a timeliness occurred in Romania between political and economic entities, the privately-owned economic sector being more quick to develope than the political milieu.

"Romanian capitalists have greater experience in economic development than the politicians and this generates the problems the country is confronting," Ion Hohan, deputy-president with the UGIR-1903 says.

This dysfunction between political and economic entities emerged after talks at the Cotroceni Palace between business leaders and President Constantinescu.

Both sides recognized unanimously that the lack of a homogenous communication link between them slowed down Romania's economic development, therefore "President Constantinescu vowed to mediate between us and the political factor," Ion Hohan added.

Employers' federations, business leaders and foreign investors alike are not happy with the present legislative instability. "A law which has been endorsed and then suspended arouses nothing but discord and discontent to both domestic and foreign investors," Hohan said. That is why the UGIR-1903 supports the idea to establish a presidential commission for economic development and proposes the nomination of certain representatives to draft the fiscal Code.

Development of the domestic privately-owned and of the industrial sector is a fundamental condition for Romania's development. The policy of denigration of domestic capital against the foreign one casts the country's image in a very bad light. "In any country among the developed ones, foreign capital constitutes more than 20%-25%," Hohan said.

Essential as well is development of the industrial sector. A country lacking a strong industry able to meet international technological criteria has no chance to survive. "Until now, industry was considered only a loss-making " scrap-iron pile", and the lack of competence caused the failure of this sector, the UGIR representative said.

Referring to the stand-by loan agreement with the IMF, deputy-president Hohan says that the accord would not be signed quickly. He added that the 2% budgetary deficit is artificial, as an abnormal condition."

UGIR-1903 is the leader of employers confederations of Romania, including most of the associate employers federations, and it is the only confederation which signed the cooperation protocol with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania.

Members of the organization include Radu Berceanu, Minister of Industries and Commerce; Constantin Stroe, director general of Dacia - Pitesti; Gheorghe Tofan, president of Tofan Grup and Gorea Valica, president of Apemin a. s. o.

Mihaela Iosif

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