Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta paid on official visit to Washington on Monday.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s agenda on Monday during his official visit to Washington focused on Romanian-US economic relations. Ponta assured US businesspeople that the Government in Bucharest was a stable and predictable partner. The Prime Minister met with representatives of American corporations during a meeting of the “Business Round Table” Association, among which Motorola, IBM, ExxonMobil and Chevron.
The latter has been under a lot of media and public scrutiny in Romania, after Romanian authorities granted the US company environmental clearance for starting shale gas exploration. Last week, hundreds of people protested against the exploration and exploitation of shale gas, which has led to the temporary halt to shale gas exploration in Pungesti, in the Eastern County of Vaslui. Tom Holst, Manager of Chevron Romania, said that shale gas drilling would resume only after the locals were convinced that exploitation operations posed no environmental danger but even more so, it would bring more jobs and long-term benefits. Victor Ponta said that that his Government would support explorations of unconventional resources, if their subsequent exploitation did no harm to the environment.
“For Romania, energy self-reliance is a national strategic objective. The Government is determined to support all explorations of unconventional resources, that is shale gas, conducted not only by Chevron, but by other companies as well, as long as all environment standards are observed. The economic benefits of such projects are huge”.
Prime Minister Ponta pointed out that the Romanian-American economic relations must reflect the Strategic Partnership between the two countries, which has had excellent results at political and military level. In turn, US officials say investment in Romania has always been of interest to US businesses.
State Secretary for Trade Francisco Sanchez expressed confidence that underdeveloped trade relations between Romania and the United States will continue their upward trend. The chairman of the Romanian-American Business Council Eric Steward announced that representatives of this business community would send a mission to Bucharest in November.