A look at measures aimed at supporting the business sector.
The new Minister for business, trade and entrepreneurship, Florin Jianu, has recently set up the Consultative Committee for Entrepreneurship. Its purpose is to consolidate partnership with private businesses and to approve programs and measures to stimulate business in Romania. Minister Florin Jianu said: “I believe this endeavor is an important step in intensifying dialogue with businesses, our partners in building the agenda of future public policy for supporting entrepreneurship.
The purpose of the committee is to strengthen public-private partnership, to increase transparency in public administration, to encourage consultation and an active participation for all participants.” This consultative body is made up of 67 organizations representing social partners, business NGOs, chambers of commerce and industry, expert bodies part of the central public administration, as well as local authorities. Minister Florin Jianu is former president of the National SME Council in Romania and of the Employers' Association of Young Entrepreneurs. He is closely acquainted with the issues facing SMEs and businesses in general. Here is Florin Jianu in an interview with Radio Romania:
“My activity is closely associated with SMEs. I believe I know the kind of problems they have to deal with, and that I hold the solutions. First of all, we want to reduce red tape. Secondly, we have a problem with SME financing. Thirdly, we have a problem with labor shortage and a lack of business education. To this end, we have several initiatives for cutting red tape by eliminating certain forms relating to VAT. At the same time, our ministry already has a campaign for cutting red tape. We will also have a whole department dedicated to this at the Government General Secretariat, and we plan to issue a package of measures for cutting red tape every three months, because bureaucracy is a horizontal problem, so to say. It is rather tangled, and is present in the lives of entrepreneurs. It is not a problem that rests with a single ministry or another, it is a cross-sector problem. You can find it at the Justice Ministry, the Finance Ministry, and other ministries, which is why I think that the government has to have a unitary approach with respect to cutting red tape”.
Minister Florin Jianu also spoke about a legislative initiative:
“We have proposed a Law on Prevention. This is the first bill the government proposes with regard to business. This law will be submitted for public debate in the next few weeks, in order to allow the Government to adopt it in the meeting on February 23rd, and send it to Parliament. The Law on Prevention includes an article that we believe is quite simple, in the sense that the state has to take measures for information dissemination and prevention before applying punitive measures.”
The new minister also talked about the budget allocated to his institution:
“The good news for entrepreneurs is that our budget provides for a record amount for the last 27 years, namely about 480 million Euro, addressing national programs. Some 444 million Euro will be allocated to a program that I think is revolutionary, the Romania Start-up Nation program, supporting 10,000 star-up businesses this year, with a grant of a maximum of 50,000 Euro, without co-financing. This money is granted on condition that the business should create at least two jobs and be sustainable in a competitive business area. The other 36 million Euro is dedicated to national programs that are already well in the running, and here we will be increasing the budget of several successful programs. I am referring, for instance, to the trade program, which has been neglected in the last few years, and which every year has had four or five times more applicants than companies receiving financing. At the same time, we are introducing a new program to help Romanian SMEs go international, because it is very important for Romanian businesses to have access to the international market. We also want to support the participation of SMEs to fairs and economic missions, as well as the development of proprietary brands, participation in courses on going international as a business. It is very important for us to have Romania export as much as possible, and to have its businesses expand abroad, because we believe this is the battle we have to win at regional level.” (Translated by C. Cotoiu)