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Presidency of the European Council 2019

I offer you a brief reflection on the strategic issues of Romania for the coming year. A centenary obliges us to note that Romania enjoys today an unprecedented security and prosperity. Our efforts are based primarily on major objectives: the Great Centenary as a point of reflection and projection.

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Mr Teodor Meleșcanu

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Romania

I offer a brief reflection on Romania’s strategic challenges for the coming year.

Centennials may note that Romania benefits today from an unprecedented security and prosperity.

Our efforts are based primarily on major objectives : the Great Centennial as a reference for reflection and projection; the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2019; the candidacy for a non-permanent member seat for Security Council; joining the OECD in its next enlargement.

The Presidency of the Council in the first half of 2019 is at the top of our list of priorities. This is the most complex responsibility we have had to assume in recent decades, and a historic opportunity.

The European future is being built right now, through a process of crucial debates and decisions. We must do our best to ensure that it is a sustainable future. Romania wants more cohesion, unity and convergence in our European values, to restore citizens’ trust in the European project. The EU Summit will be a highlight of this journey on 9 May 2019 in Sibiu.

We aim to strengthen the vocation of the EU as a credible global player by supporting the High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini. The effectiveness of external action, through progress in the implementation of its overall strategy, therefore remains vital.

We are particularly focused on the future of the CFSP and the CSDP – where our accents are resilience, valorisation of EU civil niche capabilities, EU-NATO cooperation, complementarity and synergy.

On the agenda of our presidency, a special place is reserved for the Western Balkans, whose future is a real strategic issue for Europe. The Union must keep its commitments and boost the enlargement process.

For our European stability, we owe it to neighbouring countries to support their efforts to build resilient institutions, to consolidate their security, sovereignty and prosperity. On the neighbourhood front, we are also aiming to strengthen the Eastern Partnership. Supporting the European future of the Republic of Moldova remains a key objective for our country.

We are also pushing for increased EU attention to the Black Sea, through a new sectorial agenda that is revitalizing Synergy and regional cooperation.
Our Presidency of the EU Danube Strategy, which we took on the 1st of November, will focus on its visibility and concrete impact.

Given that the global environment is accelerating turbulence, security issues become decisive, in a context of increased interdependence by the ever faster movement of news, people, resources, products. Populisms arise, exploiting or even raising doubts about our projects – local, European, multilateral. Sources of conflict are multiplying.

Romania is taking part in the decision and implementation of Allied security objectives. We are making a substantial contribution to strengthening NATO’s defensive posture and deterrence on the eastern flank, we host missile defence system facilities, we are major contributors to Afghanistan and we are managing the cyber defence fund for Ukraine. Our credibility is reinforced by the increase of the defence budget to 2% of GDP.

A strong, pragmatic transatlantic relationship based on common values and interests remains essential to safeguard the world order. In this context, our strategic partnership with the United States is a fundamental pillar.

We remain fully committed to multilateralism based on principles and rules, capable of ensuring peace, stability, respect for human rights and reducing disparities in development on a global scale. Romania wants to help adapt the upcoming United Nations with new solutions to global problems: this is the message of our candidacy for the Security Council.

For the purpose of economic convergence and deeper European integration, we have an interest in renewed growth policies – as witnessed by the recent Summit and Business Forum of the Three Seas Initiative, held in Bucharest, aiming to capitalize on the connectivity potential of the Adriatic-Pontic-Baltic arc, to reduce the gaps in EU and to strengthen the transatlantic link. This platform is supported by European institutions and the major partners that are Berlin and Washington. Many transport, energy and digital projects are already planned.

These are the main lines of our European and global action for 2019, serving the Union, our citizens and our partners!


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Calendar 2019

Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union



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Mr George Ciamba


On 1 January 2019, Romania will take over its first mandate at the Presidency of the EU Council. The rotating Presidency will unfold at a crucial moment for Europe’s future, when widely shared answers to the current challenges faced by the EU will shape its architecture and decision-making process for the next decade.


In a challenging context both within EU and beyond, an ambitious, yet realistic and pragmatic approach will guide Romania’s upcoming mandate at the helm of the EU Council. Romania will focus on important political dossiers during a particularly dynamic semester marked by Brexit, the negotiations regarding the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021–2027, the final stage of the reflection process on the future of Europe, as well as the elections for the European Parliament.

Romania defined its priorities as Presidency of the EU Council based on the ongoing legislative agenda at European level, as well as on a strong input from the society. The process of drawing up the main pillars of the working agenda has been completed after a wide consultation and public debate.

The Romanian Presidency of the EU Council aims to consolidate, through the joint efforts of the Member States and the European institutions, the unity and cohesion at the EU level. From this perspective, we have designed the Presidency working programme around the cohesion principle and consequently “Cohesion as a European common value” has become the motto guiding our mandate.

In our view, cohesion is a horizontal issue, touching upon many objectives that are important for the EU to pursue, especially the need for common approaches and jointly assumed initiatives. Furthermore, we have declined this principle in all the four pillars of our Presidency Programme.

The first pillar of our working programme is focused on the essentials of a converging Europe, namely sustainable development and bridging development gaps between different regions and different socio-economic categories, cohesion, employment and social rights, innovation and digitization, interconnectivity and competitiveness for a stronger Internal Market.

Acknowledging that the European Union is confronted with a wide range of risks and threats that challenge the security of our societies and the safety of our citizens, the Romanian Presidency will focus on ensuring a safer Europe, and thus promoting a cohesive response to these challenges.

In a world facing global challenges that ask for globally agreed solutions, we aim to contribute to the overall goal of facilitating the common efforts towards a stronger Union as a global actor, ensuring the continuity of the EU’s actions in the vicinity, as well as with respect to the enlargement policy. This goal requires political will to further advance on the implementation of the Global Strategy, providing the Union with the most appropriate external action instruments, preserving the EU common engagement towards the candidate countries and the potential candidates, as well as towards the partners in the EU’s neighbourhood.

Last but not least, the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council will further promote the EU common values and principles. We strongly believe that all EU’s policies and actions should be underpinned by this approach and that new efforts to fight discrimination and promote gender equality could serve this important objective that we all assume. Hence, we will pay a particular attention to the initiatives regarding reducing social disparities, ensuring equal opportunities, equal treatment between men and women, as well as providing access to education and training of disadvantaged categories.

We strongly believe in the EU’s chances of moving forward in a viable way, only through a united, inclusive and open approach for all Member States. There cannot be but one Union and this is a key message to reinforce citizens’ trust. Romania is fully aware of the great challenges ahead and intends to showcase its commitment towards building a stronger and more cohesive Europe during its mandate at the Presidency of the EU Council.


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Mrs Luminița Odobescu

Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Romania to the European Union

Romania at the helm of the Council of the EU- promoting cohesion, with a citizens-oriented agenda (January- June 2019)

Romania will hold for the next six month the presidency of the Council of the EU, first time since it joined the European Union, period in which it will be at the core of the EU legislative process. The Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU opens the Trio of Presidencies composed of Romania, Finland and Croatia, being the last Presidency of the current legislative cycle of the European Parliament.

In these challenging times, that will shape the future of the Union – as Brexit, the negotiations for the future MFF, the European Parliament elections – Romania will uphold the commitment towards a united and cohesive European Union. As the next rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU, Romania will act as an honest broker, working “to build bridges” in order to advance the European agenda on all relevant files. Furthermore, in this endeavour, Romania will uphold the commitment towards a united and cohesive European Union and a citizens-oriented agenda, focusing our efforts on legislative and non-legislative files with a concrete impact on the daily life of European citizens.

The motto of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU – “Cohesion, a common European value” – reflects equally the need for unity and cooperation among all EU Member States, with the European institutions, as well as the need for enhanced economic, social and territorial cohesion. We promote “cohesion” in the sense of “unity”, as after Brexit more unity inside the EU is needed for all of us.

The agenda of the Romanian Presidency will focus on four priorities:

  1. Europe of convergence, taking into consideration that a cohesive Europe has to provide equal development opportunities to all citizens and companies and we should make use of all available instruments in order to ensure economic, social and territorial cohesion throughout the Union. We will do so by promoting connectivity, digitalization, implementing regional cooperation projects, stimulating entrepreneurship and competitiveness of the European industry.
  2. A safer Europe, through an increased cohesion between Member States against the new security challenges threatening the citizen’s safety and through supporting cooperation initiatives in the areas of justice and security.
  3. Europe as a stronger global actor, consolidating the role of the European Union through supporting the enlargement agenda and the European path of our neighbours in the Eastern Partnership, as next year we celebrate its ten years anniversary. Ensuring cohesion around the common commitments and through developing citizen-oriented actions in third countries.
  4. Stimulating European cohesion through dialogue about the common values embraced by the European citizens, focusing on bringing EU decision – making closer to them.


Romania’s presidency will also be a future oriented presidency, ensuring the transition at the European institutional level to the next Commission and Parliament, as well as building on the reflection on the future of Europe that will conclude with the Summit in Sibiu. From this perspective, the Sibiu Summit – symbolically taking place on Europe Day, 9 May 2019 – two weeks before European elections, will represent a landmark meeting of our presidency, focusing on a strategic projection on the European Union’s future course of actions, that would bring hope and the renewal of the European project.


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Mrs Angela CRISTEA

Representative of the European Commission in Romania

Could you talk to us about the European Commission Representation in Romania, your missions and skills?

The Commission has a presence in Romania since 1993, when a Delegation was opened for the first time. It has provided support to Romania throughout the accession process and has become a Representation since the moment of accession in 2007. The Commission has Representations in all Member States. A Representation is the voice, the eyes and the ears of the Commission in the Member State in question, and its spokesperson on the spot. The Representation follows public opinion, keeping the Commission in Brussels informed about the latest economic, political and social developments that are relevant for European affairs. It also plays an interface role with the authorities, stakeholders and citizens. It is part of the institutional communication service, under the authority of the President of the Commission.

One of our main objectives is to contribute to the implementation of the Commission’s political priorities. We carry out this mission from communication activities towards the Romanian public, on the one hand, and monitoring and reporting on our services in Brussels. (For more details on our activities and fields of action, we invite you to consult our internet page:


What are the major activities that have been carried out in recent years?

With regard to communication with priority target groups, we organize specific actions for different groups.
For the parties concerned (professional groups, civil society, etc.), we hold annual conferences and debates on topics of major importance at European level and on the political priorities of the European Commission. They are called “Here, Europe”, a title adapted to any region in Europe and, in addition, for Romania, which is a fairly new Member State.

For the potential beneficiaries of European funds, we have organized several editions of a European funds caravan, which sets up meetings in each macro-region of the country with beneficiaries of European funds so that they can have the opportunity to exchange their experiences, as well as a gala to reward the best projects entered in a competition associated with the caravan. We regularly visit ambassadors from other Member States, who have projects implemented with European funds in the country. For journalists and bloggers, for years now we have been organizing regional seminars, the “Reporter / European Blogger” competition, and visits to European institutions in Brussels or work placements as press correspondents to the Commission. For students, we organize every year the “Europe, our home” campaign with hundreds of schools through a national competition of general knowledge on the European Union called the “Euro quiz”.

We also carry out “public” actions either directly or with the help of our local Europe Direct information network, which is present in almost 30 localities in the country. Europe Day, May 9th, remains one of the great annual communication opportunities for our representation. This year, because it is the country’s centenary, we celebrated Europe Day in “the country’s other capital”, the capital of the great national union of 1918, in Alba Iulia. For two whole days, we organized several events, among which the 5th edition of the Cross of Europe, which is a competition for amateur athletes, as well as a dialogue with the citizens with the participation of the Minister Delegate for European affairs.

In previous years, we have also organized major public events, such as “UrbanFest or RuralFest”. The first was a festival of sustainable urban development, aimed at promoting European values in the mentioned area. The second was a fair for producers and artisans, including demonstrations of traditional crafts, presentations of organic products, natural and ecological, to highlight the contribution of the European Union through the Common Agricultural Policy, for food and the promotion of country-specific traditions. We also organize regular citizen debates with the commissioners who visit Romania, so that they can listen to the constraints and expectations of EU citizens.


What are the strategic sectors in Romania in which your next actions will be carried? And why?

Romania is preparing its first Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which will take place in 2019, at the time when EU leaders will discuss the long-term vision of Europe, after the exit of the United Kingdom. The process is called “The Way to Sibiu / Road to Sibiu”, because the conclusions of this great debate will be adopted in a summit of heads of state and government, which will take place in Sibiu, Romania, on May 9, 2019. This vision will be important not only for Romania but for Europe as a whole. We want to prepare this summit by organizing a mirror summit of the citizens of the 27 member countries, in collaboration with the Romanian authorities. It will take place towards the end of 2018 and the participants will be able to draw up their own agenda for the future of Europe.

As far as Romania is concerned, we will strengthen our collaboration with the Romanian authorities, including through European funds, to ensure sustainable, inclusive and smart economic growth in the country. The main goal is to reduce differences in standard of living compared to the rest of the EU. This is clearly visible in large cities, but rural areas will be the ones that will benefit most from inclusive economic and social growth. We support the country’s efforts to adopt the Euro, which should take place before the end of 2019. We follow with great vigilance cooperation and verification mechanisms in the field of justice and the fight against corruption.

As for communication, we will continue to develop the Commission’s global communication campaigns in Romania, such as the one on the Investment Plan for Europe (Invest EU), or the one targeting the young citizens of Europe (EU and Me). The goal will always be to make known to the local public the opportunities offered thanks to the membership of the European Union.


Finally, on the eve of the major European elections, what message would you like to address to Romania, to Romanians and Europeans in Romania?

A sense of optimism about the future of the European Union is predominant in Romania, 65% of the population has a positive image of Europe compared to the European average of 58%. In a sometimes difficult context for citizens, 52% of them remain confident about the European institutions.

My message is: “The future of Europe belongs to you, I invite you to invest yourself and actively involve yourself in the construction of Europe, the next European elections, in May 2019, are a great opportunity to do so!” My hope is for Europeans to use this opportunity to express their voices and their choices and ensure that they will be represented at the most democratic institution in the EU, the European Parliament.


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Mrs Corina CRETU about Romania

European Commissioner

January 2019 will be another milestone in the recent history of Romania: for the first time, it will hold the rotating presidency of the European Council.

And I must say that I am proud of this for our country and its 20 million inhabitants, as I see the Romanian presidency of the European Council as the culminating point of a steady process that started with the fall of communism in my country many years go.

The timing is also of importance: indeed, it is expected that it will coincide with the finalisation of the negotiations for Brexit, but as importantly, Romania will steer the discussions within the Council, between the 27 Member States, to reach an agreement on the future EU budgets beyond 2020; this process includes the European Council summit in Sibiu. This presidency constitutes a great opportunity for our country to make a key contribution to the future of Europe and of its citizens, by being the guiding hand behind the adoption of the framework for the 2021-2027 financial period !

I am also proud of my country when I see so many fragmenting forces at work across Europe. Romania remains a beacon of hope in that context. I personally never refrain from meeting young people, in Romania and elsewhere in Europe, to explain to them the asset that Europe is to their future.

I speak from experience: as a teenager, I could only dream of travelling abroad and discovering new countries, new ways of life: under communist rule, traveling was forbidden; today, young Romanians go on holiday, study or work anywhere in Europe. Let’s make sure they do not take their freedom for granted, let’s make sure they do not take Europe and its achievements for granted.



For many Romanians, January 1st 2007 will remain an unforgettable date: Romania joined the European Union. For me, it meant becoming elected to the European Parliament where I remained eight years and became Vice President. It was a dream come true as my fellow Romanian MEPs voted for the first time in the hemicycle of what remains the only European body directly elected by people from all over Europe. I am proud to say that to this day, Romanian MEPs have fully played their role at the Parliament, being amongst the most active in the widest range of issues.

Then I was honoured to become the Romanian member of the College of Commissioners. A genuine honour and an immense privilege. Whenever I am in Romania I dedicate as much time as possible to listen to and talk to politicians, journalists and citizens to make Europe better understood in my home country.

I am also thrilled to be the Commissioner responsible for regional policy, especially in this crucial moment in time as the Commission presented its proposal for the next financial period, including that for the future cohesion policy. As stated above, the Romanian presidency of the European Council will guide Member States’ position on our proposals, however I am proud of what we have put on the table for the future cohesion policy: a simpler, less bureaucratic policy that will make life of beneficiaries, in Romania and beyond for instance, a stronger urban dimension to allow mayors and inhabitants of Romanian and other European cities a greater say in the way EU funds are used, also.

Indeed, Europe is not the sum of its Member States or institutions; it is the sum of its inhabitants, of its cities and regions. And on this front, I commend the role played by Romania’s regions in Europe. Be it through its members in the Committee of the Regions, in the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, the Assembly of European Regions or Eurocities or within the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, the voice of Romania’s regions is heard in Europe, and the contribution of Romania’s regions to a better, stronger, more caring Europe is beyond doubt.


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Mrs Natalia-Elena Intotero

Message on behalf of the Ministry for Romanians Abroad

Romania is a profoundly pro-European country, both at a political and social level. Since becoming a member of the European Union, Romania has undergone a period of modernization and socio-economic development, aiming to improve the quality of life of its citizens.

There are millions of Romanians who work, travel or study in the European Union and who are firmly attached to European values such as peace, democracy, solidarity and respect for other cultures.

Romania, along Finland and Croatia, will be at the heart of European decision-making, playing a key role in strengthening cooperation between the Member States of the European Union in the context of Romania’s preparations for the presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2019 with the six-month mandate starting with January 1, 2019 which is a first for our country.

Romania has gained enormous benefits from accessing European funds and will continue to do so. The European funds attracted by Romania are a major source of investment, job creation, recovery of development gaps and rising quality of life for Romanians for the next period by contributing to the creation of new jobs, support for small and medium enterprises, and many other projects in various fields.

My vision for Europe and our country implicitly, is set to be a highly democratic one, which has all the prerequisites to become a space for the active promotion of European values, a space oriented towards unity and democracy. Lately, we have witnessed a series of events that have divided us and fractured our country and EU, and that is why I urge the Romanians to keep their faith in the system and to keep in mind that no matter the changes, Romania is making efforts towards its growth and cohesion within the European Union in an environment where the key words should be solidarity, cohesion, equal opportunities and social justice.

Our Ministry focuses on developing a stronger connection with all our Romanians everywhere, thus our programs and initiatives strive to offer them both financial aid in materializing projects directed towards maintaining their national identity, but also information about what opportunities they have in our country. As such our purpose is double folded. On one hand, we want to help our Romanians better integrate in the societies where they live, learn and work, while maintaining a strong bond with their heritage and on the other hand, we want them to be better informed and support them if they decide to return to Romania. Moreover, I have recently noticed, during the meetings I have had with our communities abroad, that there is a tendency among Romanians to return home. Encouraging this tendency is an important priority for the Romanian Government, as it is for Governments of other EU states who are confronted with the same phenomenon.

Every single Romanian abroad is important and, as I often say, each Romanian who chooses to live, study or work abroad represents a loss for Romania. We are living in a globalized world and we are part of the European Union, where the free movement of people and services is one of the most important pillars, which is essential for growth, yet, we are highly aware of the consequences on a social, cultural and demographic level.

Thus, the mandate that Romania will have as the leader for the Council of the European Union will be a great opportunity for our Ministry to further emphasize the value and significance that Romanians bring to their communities everywhere, but it will also be a chance for other countries facing similar issues to give voice and outmost consideration to their priorities in this area.


Natalia-Elena Intotero
Minister for Romanians Abroad


About Natalia-Elena Intotero and the Ministry for Romanians Abroad > HERE


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Territorial development, tourism and cultural heritage

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Mr Valer Daniel Breaz

Minister of Culture and National Identity

Chairing the Council of the European Union starting in January 2019 will be a favorable opportunity for promoting greater interest in Romania, as a cultural destination for those who wish to know us as a nation with a history of two thousand years, anchored in tradition but also forward-looking.


As a people with Latin roots, descendants of Geto-Dacians (whom Herodotus considered to be “the bravest and most honest of the Thracians”), Romanians have, from ancient times until the present, gone through all of the fundamental moments of our common European history, every time assuming their role as one of the most balanced political actors and as the protectors of the material and spiritual heritage of this European region. They carried with dignity their national identity and they promoted their fundamental values, being situated at the crossroads of the Eastern world and Western Europe, regardless of the socio-economic models or the cultural and aesthetic orientations that came about. Known for their hospitality and kindness, Romanians are foremost the possessors of virtues that are part of a long Christian tradition, which also enables dialogue and respect for all of the other religions, beliefs, traditions and cultures of other people.

As a place of ethnic diversity, multiculturalism and multilingualism, Romania has the special mission, within the European Union, of continuing the projects previously begun. Furthermore, Romania must also develop national policies and strategies for improving public services in the cultural sector, promoting diversity of cultural expression, supporting cultural entrepreneurship and young artists, as well as integrating culture within projects of sustainable territorial development, by focusing on tourist attractions with a more cultural approach. We consider that the vitality of the European Union is strongly impacted by culture, by the spirit of creativity, as well as by all of the main players within the cultural sector. For this reason, considering its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Romania has set itself the goal of developing large-scale projects and of organising international events that promote and encourage unity in diversity, as well as to reshape the value of cultural items and products, which are all part of the tangible and intangible heritage of each nation and culture. In this sense, we have set ourselves the goal of giving particular attention to organisations, institutions and other cultural actors which have great potential in elaborating complex, transversal, transnational and interdisciplinary programs, via private or public partnerships – in order to manage heritage and its resources so that access to culture is possible for all socio-economic levels, without discrimination, including especially the youth population, which we consider to be a core target because of its ability to disseminate the cultural values of each country and also of the European Union as an entity.

By aligning itself with the European framework of keeping, valuing, protecting and promoting the cultural heritage of nations, a primary asset of the European Union, Romania has set itself strategic goals and is currently implementing The Strategy for Culture and National Heritage 2016–2022 (SCPN 2016–2022) involving projects of international importance. The beneficiaries are both actors from the cultural sphere and the greater public (The Council of Europe Development Bank). The projects focus on encouraging the curating of European elements in Romanian culture, via modern means and applying high academic standards; and on evaluating the potential that IT&C can bring to the process of digitalising cultural heritage, having as its purpose of increasing accessibility to cultural resources by the greater public. I wish to mention 3 such projects: “E-culture: The digital library of Romania” (implementation: July 13th 2018 – July 12th 2021), “National Monuments – strategic planning and optimization of public policies” (implementation: July 12th 2018 – September 12th 2020) and “CultPlatForm_21 – Danube Culture platform – Creative Spaces of the 21st Century”, implemented by a consortium of 19 organisations from 8 European states: Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia and Luxembourg; and having as its main objective the goal of developing an innovative environment for creating policies dedicated to cultural connections in the Danube region (implementation: January 2017 – June 2019).

Among the public policies proposed by Romania, in the context of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, there are some that focus on the international evaluation of certain important cultural attractions in Romania, in order to include them in the UNESCO World Heritage List (here we refer firstly to the Monumental Ensemble Constantin Brâncuși, from Târgu-Jiu, and also to the shirts with “altiță” – the Romanian blouse – “ia”), and some that focus on expanding the interest in numerous attractions that can be found in other EU states. At the same time, we wish to catch the attention of other Europeans, and orient it towards particular renowned Romanian figures, who enjoyed internationally-recognised careers (ie. Dimitrie Cantemir, Constantin Brâncuși, Nicolae Grigorescu, Ciprian Porumbescu, George Enescu, Mihai Eminescu, Lucian Blaga, Mircea Eliade, Emil Cioran, Eugen Ionescu and many others), and who all belong to a special category of persons, declared Living Human Thesauri, a very respected title in Romania, around which many cultural events are organised.

Romania can boast of a very special geographically localised culture: from traditions to its heritage and cultural attractions, and highly respected individuals or artists who have brought fame to Romania, to cultural products of enormous value, all of which need a spotlight on abroad (especially those from the film industry, imitative arts, shows, alternative and experimental creations, and so on). In order to promote all of them in a proper and efficient manner, we shall implement a protocol between Romania’s organisations and institutions and those of the other European countries, and we propose the implementation of a strategy for valuing Romanian cultural diplomacy and the network of Romanian Cultural Institutes.

When dealing with culture, there are no borders. It does not belong specifically to one particular nation, ethnicity or social group. We are part of a bigger totality, a European asset that belongs to all and which, even though it shares its gifts with all who wish to know it, it will never become less. This is the reason for which we need to continue cultivating mutual acquaintance, interaction, dialogue, and intellectual and creative work; all the while following the same principle of respect for all national languages, histories, beliefs and cultures of all people, since they represent national identity, as encompassed by common European values.


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The Density of exchanges between romania and France

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Ambassador of Romania to the French Republic

After an exemplary career in the media, in early 2016 you take the responsibility to promote your country in France by acceding to the office of Ambassador of Romania to the French Republic, how do you approach this mission? How did your career serve you? What assessment can you make after two years?

Indeed, I am ambassador in Paris since February 2016, after a long career in media, as you mentioned, of more than 20 years. I was editor-in-chief of the channel RFI Romania and correspondent, in my country, of several francophone media, while also working for Romanian media. So I certainly had, from the beginning, some knowledge of French realities, which was very useful to me. Also, some reflexes of the job of journalist have helped me a lot in my current functions: I think that the two domains, journalism and diplomacy, are jobs for those who are curious, for those who are interested in others, for those who want to learn. So, from this point of view, I’m blessed as a diplomat. This is an exciting activity and I am very happy to be able to contribute to the development of a relationship as special and warm as that between Romania and France.

These last two years have been marked by a rise in political contacts of very high level: two visits of the French Heads of State in Romania, several visits of the Prime Ministers in France and many other official meetings. And yes, the future agenda of our relations promises to be just as rich in the perspective of the France-Romania Season and the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. At the same time, I am always happy to visit other parts of France, for there are very strong links between many municipalities, cities and French departments and the municipalities, cities and “judet” of Romania. Moreover, for France, Romania is the second country in the world for twinning and other decentralized cooperation. These direct links that are created between Romanians and French are perhaps the strongest foundations of our relations.


With Mr Emmanuel Macron in the library of the “Hôtel de Béhague”, March 21, 2017, copyright Embassy of Romania in France;

Cultural and political relations between Romania and France date back to the 19th century, let us remember “The Society of Romanian Students in Paris” in the Latin Quarter founded in 1846. What is the climate of our political and cultural relations today? An upcoming bilateral year?

The connections between French and Romanians have been present even before the 19th century. Already in the 18th century, the French language was widely distributed in Wallachia and Moldova. In the following century, Paris became the privileged destination of many young Romanians wishing to finish their studies.

We remember of course the brotherhood of arms between Romanians and Frenchmen during the First World War, through the mission led by General Henri Berthelot, and the support of France in the construction of the Romanian National State and the creation of modern Romania, of which we celebrate this year the Centenary.

As everyone knows, France has become the country of adoption for many famous writers and artists, such as Constantin Brancusi, Eugene Ionesco, Mircea Eliade, George Enescu, Tristan Tzara and Gherasim Luca.

So we can see that there is a long-standing and deep friendship, but our bilateral cooperation is currently under the banner of a strong Strategic Partnership in political, economic and cultural terms. France remains a key partner and ally of Romania within the European Union and NATO.

The decision to organize a Romania-France Season is the result of a shared desire to highlight this rich heritage. It also responds to a need for both countries to renew their image and the perception that the French and Romanians have of each other, because the clichés have thick skin, as the French say. This is why the slogan of the Season is “forget your clichés!” to erase them in order to better discover or to rediscover themselves. This Season will be a first for Romania and for the bilateral relationship. In France alone there will be nearly 300 events: exhibitions in major museums, concerts in prestigious venues and other emblematic places in Paris and in dozens of cities in France. And then we must add the 200 events that will take place in Romania.

It is also a Season bound by symbols: it will begin this year in France, a few days before December 1, date of our National Day and Centenary of modern Romania, and will end in Romania in 2019, at a date no less symbolic, that of the 14th of July.


Presentation to the Romanian Embassy in France of the French Network for Women Entrepreneurship, April 26, 2018, copyright Embassy of Romania in France.

Since Romania joined the European Union in 2007, trade relations between Romania and France have developed, where do we stand today?

Numbers are what speak best. Over the past 10 years, bilateral merchandise trade has increased by 51% in such a way that by the end of 2017 they reached the all-time record of 8.23 billion euros.

In terms of investments, the French CAC 40 companies have acquired a strategic position in the Romanian economy, with a strong presence in the key sectors of industry and services. The most visible example is that of the Dacia-Renault plant, which continues to break sales records as the brand celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The potential for developing economic relations remains very promising, both for large companies and SMEs.


What is the role of the Romanian Embassy in France in increasing our economic and cultural relations?

We work on it every day! With my team, we conduct a sustained dialogue with a wide range of French and Romanian interlocutors. I have already mentioned our rich cultural cooperation, which will culminate with the France-Romania Season. On the economic side, we are committed to promoting at the Romanian Embassy in France the commercial relations between French and Romanian companies. We help economic actors develop business projects, especially in France, but also in Romania. Thanks to our economic advisor, the Embassy coordinates the annual participation of hundreds of Romanian companies in more than 10 prestigious international exhibitions taking place in Paris. It also provides relationship support for the mutual establishment of French and Romanian companies in both countries.

It should also be noted that, as part of the France-Romania Season, the Embassy will be involved in more than 55 economic events in Romania and France.


Romania is an active member of the OIF in the same way that France is, yourself being a knowledgeable Francophile, how does the French language serve our relationships?

The French language plays a fundamental role in our relations; it facilitates cooperation in the most varied fields. French is one of the most studied and spoken languages in Romania at the academic, administration, and business levels. Romania constantly supports the pluralism of working languages in international organizations, particularly within the European Union and the United Nations. And it is no coincidence that Romania currently coordinates the EU and UN Ambassadors Group. In Paris, I myself am vice-president of the Francophone Ambassadors Group, which is a very dynamic association.

With France, we have a privileged dialogue within the framework of the Francophone institution, in the spirit of the common values which are peace, democracy, human rights, cultural diversity, solidarity and sustainable development. Among the initiatives of Romania in the framework of the Francophonie, I could mention the more recent success of the Conference of Women Entrepreneurs of the Francophonie, which took place in Bucharest in November 2017, and which will lead to the adoption of a Francophone strategy for gender equality.


What are the major projects and objectives of your Embassy in the years to come?

It’s simple: to strengthen ties between our two countries at all levels and with all Romanian and French partners. To strengthen the Franco-Romanian political dialogue, both on bilateral issues and within the European Union. We have common interests; we share the vision of a stronger Europe, more united and closer to its citizens. The France-Romania Season will coincide, as I mentioned, with the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU. This will be a double opportunity for my country to show its dynamism, creativity and deep attachment to Europe.

Romania wants concrete results for European citizens through its Presidency, which will put the principle of cohesion at the centre of its priorities. Moreover, the motto of the Romanian Presidency will be “Cohesion, a common European value”.

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, had this beautiful statement last year during a visit to Bucharest: “If Romania is not one of the founding countries of the Union, it has largely proved its capacity to be a refounding country of the European Union”. This will be a major challenge for Romania and we are counting on the support of our French partners for a successful presidency.

On the economic front, our wish is to have more Romanian companies in France. I have been happy to quite often see, in recent months, Romanian companies opening offices in France or exporting their products here. And of course, we are open for French investments and we want an even more dynamic presence of SMEs on the Romanian market.

Moreover, few people know that the Romanian Embassy in Paris also has the role of liaising with the OECD. One of the main diplomatic objectives of our embassy is to promote Romania’s candidacy in order to start accession negotiations with the OECD. As recently stated by the Romanian Foreign Minister, our membership of the OECD is a way to boost the national reform agenda. It is a natural development after joining NATO and the EU.


Finally, on the eve of major European elections, what message do you want to send to France, to the French and to the Romanian people in France?

My message is the same for the French and the Romanians who live in France: let’s talk about Europe everywhere and as often as possible! We are living in a complex historical phase, with various changes and crises, whether it is migration flows or the return of nationalism. What is certain is that we all need a united, strong and functional Europe in the face of these major challenges. The answers needed to move the European project forward must come from all European horizons. Let’s talk about Europe, find answers together and participate in the European elections next year!


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H.E. Mrs Michèle RAMIS

Ambassador of the French Republic in Romania

Centenary of the creation of the modern Romanian state

and the Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2019

Her Excellency Mrs Michèle Ramis during her speech at the celebration of the National Day of France in Bucharest in 2018

After an exemplary diplomatic journey in many places and on various and complex themes, in the light of last summer you take the responsibility to promote France in Romania, how do you apprehend this mission? How did your course serve you? What assessment can you draw after this first year?

I took in June 2017 the helm of the French Embassy in Romania with enthusiasm. This appointment, which is the fourteenth post in my diplomatic career, provides me with the opportunity to make use of my previous experience particularly in the cultural, defence and security fields. The French Embassy in Bucarest is an embassy with a very broad range of missions because the French-Romanian relation is long-standing, deep and ambitious. The French economic presence is strong, the cultural and linguistic proximity is an asset, and the French community is regularly growing. Romania is a deeply pro-European country and we wish that it will be among the countries that want to strengthen Europe in order to make it stronger, more united and democratic as proposed by the French President Emmanuel Macron.

My first year in Romania enabled me to build ties with political authorities, public administrations, cultural institutions, business actors, civil society, artists and in particular musicians. It also enabled me to discover the country, having made about 30 trips to meet local politicians, firms and French communities, and spoken to the other Romania, the one of the inside.

It is on the basis of these contacts that I was able to define a roadmap to develop the French-Romanian relation in every aspect. There are some challenges but the energy and the political will are there.

We are preparing the France-Romania Season that will be launched on the 27th of November in Paris with the visit of the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and will continue during 7 months, in France and then in Romania, comprising more than a hundred of events that will make the French-Romanian relation more visible and that will create new opportunities for both countries. This Season will coincide with the Romanian presidency of the European Union Council.

We are about to experience an emotional moment in the history of Romania and of the relations between our countries, particularly in the year of the Centenary of the creation of modern Romania in 1918.

The cultural and political relations between France and Romania go back to the 19th century, remember in the Latin Quarter of “The Romanian Students Society of Paris” founded in 1846. What is today the climate of our political and cultural relations? A coming cross year?

Romania and France belong to a common cultural space and live in an artistic communion, as several Romanian figures of arts and science in the 19th and in the first half of the 20th centuries lived in France and patronized the Parisian cultural life of the moment: George Enescu, Anne Elisabeth Brancovan, countess of Noailles, Constantin Brancusi, Eugène Ionesco, Emil Cioran benefited from French influences and the other way around there was a strong Romanian footprint in France, a kind of “crossed fertilization”.

The cultural cooperation between Romania and France reflects this common heritage. In this framework, Romania and France will celebrate between the 1st of December 2018 and the 14th of July 2019 a Season that will reinforce, by holding numerous events in both countries, the economic, scientific, cultural and societal ties between us, and will demonstrate the dynamics and the imagination of the creators in both countries. This Season, based on a common heritage and a future to build together, will put in place a dialogue between our two nations focusing on the heritage as well as on the contemporaneity.

As soon as Romania joined the European Union in 2007, trade relations between France and Romania grew, where are we today?

Indeed, the accession of Romania to the European Union in 2007 has led to a strong growth in the volume of our exchanges, but I would like to remind that our trade relation was already strong before 2007, France and Romania being historical partners. For example, the CCIFER (ndlr: French-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) which has currently nearly 500 members representing almost 15% of the GDP and 125 000 direct jobs, celebrates this year its 22nd anniversary.

This being said, our bilateral trade has increased by 71% in a decade reaching nearly 8 bn€ in 2017. France is thus the 5th supplier of Romania and its third client. We mainly export industrial and agricultural machineries, transport materials and chemicals in Romania, whereas our imports from Romania consist essentially of transport materials and capital goods.

The nature of these exchanges can be partly explained by the density of the French economic presence on the whole Romanian territory. Among the 2 300 French owned firms, there are SME’s, but there are also subsidiaries of 36 out of the 40 biggest French listed companies. Many of them are leaders in their fields in Romania.

French firms knew how to adapt to Romania’s spectacular development since 2007 and answered to the population’s will by improving the quality of their products and by creating more added value on the Romanian territory, particularly in the agri-food industry. Various opportunities are still to be seized in the next years; we work on it every day.

What is the role of the French Embassy in Romania in increasing our economic and cultural relations?

The French Embassy and its different departments build the French-Romanian political relations with institutional counterparts and interact with the private sector to promote our economic and cultural presence in Romania. This works implies formal or informal contacts and exchanges, organising official visits and events.

The Embassy also manages the “French team” that encompasses several entities, such as Business France and Campus France, and backs the French foreign trade advisers, the French-Romanian Chamber of commerce, industry and agriculture, the French speaking trade clubs and the French institutes in province. As you see, it is a team work.


Mrs Michèle Ramis, Ambassador of France in Romania, with His Excellency Mr Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania at the celebration of the National Day of France in Bucharest in 2018

France is an active member of the OIF in the same way as Romania, how does the French language serve our relations?

Romania is a big country of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and I am glad that a quarter of the Romanian population speaks our language.

French links us and is the sign that we belong to a common cultural family: the Latin world, the democratic values. The OIF gathers countries from the 5 continents and promotes our language, our culture and the principles we are attached to. But French is also a vector of economic development and of employment, it offers opportunities.

I am however sorry that French no longer holds such a high position as before in the education system in Romania and among the youth. Today, the young speak less French than their parents and that is a shame because multilingualism is a source of opportunities. The Season will have the ambition to reinforce the place of the French language in Romania.

What are the major projects and objectives of your Embassy in the years to come?

I am actively working to build a positive agenda with Romania. In three fields:

  • First, political dialogue and European cooperation. Romania and France have common political interests and the ambition to reinforce together the European Union. In that sense, the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU will be an important responsibility for Bucarest, and France will support Romania to make that presidency a success;
  • Secondly, cooperation and exchange in the economic sphere and the defence sector: in this field there is room for improvement and our investors and firms are interested in Romania;
  • Cooperation in the fields of education, universities, science and the promotion of Francophonie. We have to modernize and develop our cooperation and promote together the use of French particularly in the economic sector.

Finally, on the eve of major European elections, what message do you wish to send to Romania, to Romanians and to French in Romania?

I will first tell them to vote in large numbers in the elections because the electoral turnout to these elections will be a strong sign in favour of a stronger Europe, closer to its citizens.

I will then tell them to be interested in the European issues and to contribute to define the future of Europe by sharing their expectations about the EU. A consultation has been put online in that purpose by the European Commission and everyone is invited to give his or her opinion.

Finally, I will tell them that given the unprecedented challenges faced by the European Union we need to reconstruct the European project and consolidate this structure in order to preserve the peace and prosperity that it has offered to us throughout the last 70 years.


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Crédit Agricole Romania


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Consular Counsellor for Romania and the Republic of Moldova, Lawyer at the Paris and Bucharest Bars, Administrator of the French CCI in Romania



Since 2014, you have been Consular Counsellor for Romania and Moldova, could you tell us about your exceptional professional background and explain to us what your missions are?

Indeed, there are many links between my professional background and the representation of the French in Romania. It all started after the fall of the communist regime of Bucharest in 1990. As a French lawyer registered with the Paris Bar, I was called to assist a large French group to settle in Romania, I then started collaborating with one of the BIG4 to carry out legal audits for privatizations in Romania. The first projects were followed by others, year after year, as more French companies became interested in Romania.

I have assumed the mission of building bridges between the two countries, both of which I feel strongly attached to, by my birth and my education.
In 2002, I opened the Bucharest Cabinet, which quickly established itself as one of the first French-speaking law firms in the country, led by lawyers with a dual Franco-Romanian legal culture.

My contact with French expatriates in Romania, with the community to which I belong, has always been important. I never turn my phone off. It’s a habit and not a strategy. Secondly, I have always encouraged exchanges between the two countries, convinced that our common values and our historical ties are the guarantee of the best partnership that can exist between France and Romania.
It is to this end that I have always been a volunteer partner in initiatives aimed at encouraging social-cultural and economic exchanges, as a lawyer or member of the CCIFER Board of Directors.
In this context, I have also accepted to apply for a position of Consular Counsellor of France. The Consular Counsellor is a kind of elected representative of the French community abroad who, by the force of the permanent contact with the concerns of this community, acts as spokesperson and interface with the French consular or parliamentary authorities.
In 2014, I was therefore elected by the French from Romania and the Republic of Moldova, Consular Advisor, along with two other colleagues for a six-year term. Our honorary mandate is also unprecedented because we must combine our efforts with diplomacy and at the same time ensure that we do not overstep the latter’s powers. As a Consular Advisor, we are also the electors of the 12 Senators representing French people living outside France.

Even if we do not have specific skills, we serve as a bridge for the issues in our areas of intervention: social protection, education and vocational training, the response to practical questions asked almost daily by the community of Romania and Moldova.

Finally, the Consular Counsellors take on a voluntary mission to support French actions in Romania and we can sometimes accompany the Consul or the Ambassador in their various trips and public actions.


The consular advisers of France for Romania and Moldova: Benoît Mayrand, Dana Gruia Dufaut, Christian Lemaitre © DGD

In 1991, you founded one of the first French-speaking law firms specializing in business law in Romania, what are your views on the business world today and on Franco-Romanian exchanges?

In less than 30 years, a fairly short period from a historical perspective, Romania has had an extraordinary journey. It has succeeded in rebuilding, despite its inherent back-and-forth, a functional market economy, and has put in place a modern financial system and institutions compatible with the functioning of Western democracies. This only proves the immense recovery power of this extremely talented people, driven by authentic European values.

For several years already, the Romanian economy has accelerated momentum beyond the European average, deploying a range of business opportunities for investors.

The French were among the first to succeed. Most CAC 40 companies and many of their suppliers or dynamic SMEs are present (Airbus, Auchan, Carrefour, Crédit Agricole, Michelin, Orange, Renault, Société Générale, Total, Véolia, etc. …). These companies have an important contribution to the country’s economy.

Other French companies are encouraged to discover this Eastern European country with high potential, because there is both a common political will and extremely encouraging figures: GDP growth of 6.9% in 2017, the largest in the EU, a consumer-friendly market (2/3 of Romania’s GDP), a still soft taxation (16% corporate tax and 10% income tax), important natural resources, geographical proximity and… more than 600 years of Franco-Romanian common history.

Romania has always been driven by the desire to be a major player in its region and France has always been a model and a privileged partner of this country. Many of the country’s modern institutions were created according to a French model, as well as its administrative organization, and even its legislative system. The Romanian Civil Code was inspired by the Napoleonic Code…

French investors are thus fortunate enough to integrate in Romania the largest Francophone community in the region and to showcase their know-how in sectors where Romania needs investments most: health, infrastructures, education, services, tourism, agriculture and agribusiness.

In return, Romania shows a greater willingness to offer a legal framework that favours foreign investment. The country has recently adopted new public procurement legislation, a new PPP law and a number of tax facilities – legislation designed to protect investors and help them fight corruption.

Finally, in the new global security context, Romania offers some political stability and commitment to European values, even though the approach of an election period in 2019 sometimes gives rise to declaratory slippages.



Romania has entered the European Union for a little over 10 years, what significant changes have taken place? What conclusions can you draw?

If we consider the date of accession of Romania to the European Union the period that begins 10 years before 2007 (the date of admission as a full member of the EU) and ends today, the impact is easy to quantify. A simple recourse to the figures shows that the country’s GDP has increased five times between 1998 and 2018, exportations – eight times, inflation has fallen, the unemployment rate has also fallen significantly, and the wage gain has increased sharply.

Accession to the European Union has therefore greatly benefited Romania. It also benefited Europe, which had made the decision to expand to the East due to a need to broaden its market and to introduce new partners for further development. Let us also not forget that the migration of the Romanian workforce has also benefited a Europe that is a prey to an accentuated aging of its population.

If we add to these aspects the fact that the integration has allowed Romania to diversify its financial resources (structural, cohesion or development funds) and to access the largest commercial market, with the largest GDP in terms of buying power, then we have the image of a country for which the EU is a conduit for resources.

On the external front, EU and NATO member status has helped Romania gain credibility in the eyes of investors, who have made long-term and sustainable investments in the country.

The integration of Romania has been a success for the country and for Europe, even if two other objectives – integration in the Schengen area and the adoption of the single currency – have not yet been achieved.

Many different causes are to blame and they have a connection with the difficult pace of internal reforms in some areas in Romania, the mismanagement of the social and economic costs of the country’s transition period, superimposed on the deepest crisis period experienced by the European Union in 2008, and even after that, since in turn it had to change the rules of the game, especially in monetary policy and security.

Romania is now showing a booming economy, is discovering a pool of talent, which justifies the choice of major international groups to install their regional development centres here, as was the case of Renault, in a country that has taken steps to recognize the fundamental rights of citizens, that stands for the protection of property and which is about to assume for the first time the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 January 2019.


Dana Gruia Dufaut © DGD

Finally, on the eve of major European elections, what are the major stakes for Romania and Europe and what message do you wish to address to French companies in Romania and those who would like to establish their companies there?

Romania, like Europe, is facing a new turning point in its existence.

Both must affirm themselves as credible voices, protect themselves from populism and corruption, and prove their strength in proposing viable partnerships and joint projects.

I cannot predict the future, but I can say that Romania remains a destination for French investments, one with many advantages: it is a country open to foreign investment, which can provide an educated and accessible workforce. Finally, the potential for development is great in almost all areas of activity, with the promise of a return on investment difficult to achieve elsewhere in Western Europe.

I strongly encourage all those who have investment projects to seriously consider Romania, because we must not lose sight of the fact that in business the results of tomorrow are the effect of today’s actions. As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “As far as the future is concerned, it is not a question of foreseeing it, but of making it possible.”


November 2018


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investment climate

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A subsidiary of BNP PARIBAS specialized in professional equipment financing

Joint interview with Charlotte DENNERY, CEO of BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions & Lionel PIQUER, Country Manager of BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions in Romania


You have been present internationally and more specifically in Romania for the last 10 years, could you present us your company, its history, its “core” model and its key figures?

Charlotte Dennery

Charlotte DENNERY : BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions, a European leader, supports the development of its industrial partners (manufacturers, distributors and editors) by offering them financing solutions for their end customers; companies with finance and fleet management offers for their IT equipment, their industrial and commercial vehicles; professional clients of BNP Paribas’ banking networks by supporting their investment projects.

BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions specifically finances two major categories of equipment. Rolling logistics equipment: agriculture, construction, handling, transportation, and technological equipment: Office Equipment, IT, telecommunications, medical, specialized technologies (LEDs, security gates…)
In 2017, BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions financed 320,000 projects for a total volume of 12 billion euros. Its 3,200 employees support the growth of its customers and partners in 18 countries, in Europe as well as in China, the United States and Canada.

The leasing market is growing; it represented 384 billion euros in Europe in 2017, with growth of +9.4% vs 2016.

This increase in leasing should be compared with new consumption habits and the economy of use. Indeed, consumers today, like our business customers, prefer to privilege access to equipment, such as renting, rather than owning it. In the B to B universe, it will be a question of Spotify, Netflix.
But we also spot this trend in the professional world.
Leasing solutions allow companies to regularly change equipment in order to have at their disposal the most efficient, most innovative machines possible.


Lionel Piquer

Lionel PIQUER : BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions has been operating in Romania since 2008. With a team of 45 people at the end of October 2018, we contribute to the development of our partners’ sales by offering financing solutions adapted to their clients.
We are mainly active in the agricultural market, which has experienced strong growth in recent years. Romania ranks 6th among European countries in terms of cultivated and cultivable agricultural areas: one of Europe’s breadbaskets. The development potential of this line of business therefore remains very important. Then we have to add the fact that the equipment fleet is something that ages and must be quickly renewed and modernized.

In 2017, BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions Romania financed a business volume of 110 million euros, making us one of the leaders in the Leasing market in Romania. Despite a wide range of available financial products, credit accounts for 90% of our business. Indeed this product meets the expectations of our customers, who remain attached to the property, and also can benefit partly from the subsidies granted by the European fund.

These subsidies contribute significantly to the modernization of the country in terms of professional equipment.


What are the major developments in your line of business and the specificities of the Romanian market since your implantation 10 years ago?

CD : The rolling stock, agricultural machinery and equipment sector has worked very well in recent years. However, in terms of technological equipment, there has been a decline in the Office Equipment market, for example. This is related to the rise of digital and paper reduction strategies undertaken by companies.
We have therefore adapted our business model to serve new markets such as medical, or specialized technologies such as LED lighting for city roads or supermarkets, refrigerated display or security gates.

LP : Concerning the Romanian market, European funds make it possible to accelerate the transformation of the country, which benefits various lines of business especially transportation and construction. The demand for professional equipment is important, and the supply of financing supports the needs of these industries.
With regard to technological equipment, the medical and IT industries are also growing, which is a very positive observation for the country. This is an additional opportunity to contribute to this economic growth through financing solutions.


In relation to your external growth, you have just bought IKB, what is your strategy and your ambitions following this acquisition?

CD : Our strategy in Romania is based on three major points, to consolidate our critical size, to better serve our partners on this territory and to diversify our model by financing other types of equipment such as medical equipment and IT.

LP : Our goal was to become the market leader, with this acquisition we can now consolidate our position. Our organization, now consisting of a team of 70 people, is strengthened, and our expertise is extended to other sectors. This allows us to reach this goal today.


What is your development policy and your relationship with Europe, what are the industries with high potential in Romania and what role should Europe play?

CD : The roots of BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions are European. Our main partners are European but they wish to be able to develop internationally. Europe is therefore the starting point of our international development. Europe has put in place additional regulations since 2008, such as the role of the ECB or the GDPR. The legal framework has toughened, which has created many additional constraints and consequently additional costs in order to meet its standards. We are transforming ourselves internally to meet these expectations. These are constraints but also opportunities in the sense that it allows us to consolidate and preserve our place in this market by making it difficult for new competitors to arrive (“New Comers”).

LP : Infrastructure in Romania remains largely undeveloped. The road and highway network is the least dense in Europe, with 834 km, Romania is an important part of the pan-European corridor with an axis that extends from Germany to Greece. Romanian infrastructure is therefore crucial for interconnection. There is a real demand for a wider and better network. This will fluidify economic activities and render accessible certain areas that are quite isolated as they are poorly served. European funds will accelerate the transformation of the country and the modernization of the road network. This will benefit Europe as a whole but also Romania for many lines of business.




BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions
12 rue du port
92000 NANTERRE, France


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Schoenherr si Asociatii

Romania, a land of possibilities

Romania has, in recent years, become one of Europe’s fastest-growing economies, with data and statistics showing that the country has come a long way since becoming democratic. Whether we look at the past 29 years (since the communist regime fell) or at the past 12 years (since its EU accession), things have without a doubt improved in various ways. Now, facing the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, the country can look back at what it has achieved so far, but, most importantly, it should look ahead to the possibilities it has and start turning these into reality.


Sebastian Gutiu, Managing Partner

For over 10 years I have been the managing partner at Schoenherr si Asociatii, one of the largest business law firms in Romania. A strong regional player, Austrian-based Schoenherr was the first international law firm to enter the Romanian market back in 1996. The firm saw the country’s potential and decided to set up a local office focusing initially on transactional work and day-to-day advice for Austrian-based companies with local subsidiaries. Today, the Bucharest office is a full-service law firm, assisting hundreds of corporate clients (mostly multinationals) on virtually any legal issue regarding their business activities. We have become a force to be reckoned with in the legal market mainly thanks to our team, which includes some of the best Romanian lawyers in areas such as banking & finance, capital markets, corporate/M&A, real estate, litigation & arbitration, and competition law.

We business lawyers get to sit in the front row when the largest transactions and investments happen in Romania and in the region. We are there when some of the country’s most important deals are closed, changing the face of the relevant markets, assisting top players in financial services, energy, real estate, construction, fast moving consumer goods, IT&C and so on. We have assisted companies since their market entries through-out their expansion projects and sometimes through to market exit, seeing how investments grow or slow down depending on the economic and political context, legal changes, and even social aspects involved.

We have witnessed wave after wave of reform attempts and legislative changes aimed at giving a boost to one area or another, while we have always kept a close eye on these amendments’ impact on our clients’ businesses. From translating the new legal provisions into practical business terms, to following through with their implementation and some-times even annulment, lawyers have been very active in the recent history of the country.

Running Schoenherr si Asociatii, while also being actively involved in client work, I have had the chance to stay on the pulse of investors in times of growth, as well as during times of economic downturn. Also, our being a part of a major regional network has kept me in contact with the views and perceptions of our more-Western offices.

If I were to draw the line and summarise the overall feeling I get from our clients and partners, from our network and connections in the region, and from the market in general, Romania is a land of possibilities. Putting things in a positive perspective, it is still possible to achieve a stable and predictable legislative and taxation framework that could further encourage foreign direct investments, to increase the attraction of available EU funds, to develop the country’s infrastructure, and ultimately, to improve its status from being one of the poorest countries in Europe to one that flourishes.




Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA
RO-010413 bucharest, 30 dacia blvd, sector 1
t: +40 21 319 67 90


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Mr Bogdan Hossu, General Manager

Presentation of WISE FINANCE SOLUTIONS, history, competency, services

WISE FINANCE SOLUTIONS is a consultancy company for business and project management. The main area of its activity is providing expert advice on non-reimbursable financing, with extensive experience in accessing European funds, government funds (state aids) and other types of grants, as well as in the management of investment projects funded by non-reimbursable funds. WFS constantly provides support to the clients in implementing their investment projects and mediating the relationship between potential beneficiaries and institutions that coordinate the implementation and the management of non-reimbursable financial assistance.
WISE FINANCE SOLUTIONS offers the following main services:

  • Financial investment assistance,
  • Development of the grant projects which includes: identifying sources of funding, eligibility review and the development of documentation necessary to access grants,
  • Project management (Implementation of funded projects) which includes: Planning and controlling project activities, Preparing tender documentation, Elaboration of applications for reimbursement, Preparing project progress reports.


In addition, WISE FINANCE SOLUTIONS offers complementary services for business or project development such as: Legal consultancy (drawing up contracts and legal opinions, negotiating contracts on behalf of the client, complex legal activities); Legal deeds and representation before various authorities – creating new companies, preparing documents; Legal representation in court; Design services such as: Design of civil and industrial buildings, including: Fesability Study, Technical documentation for construction authorization, Technical design project and execution details, Expertise for preparation of technical documentation for non-reimbursable financing projects (EU funds and State aid) according to specific requirements; Financial advisory.

WISE FINANCE SOLUTIONS can be considered a One Stop Shop, offering all necessary services for investment projects or business development.

Having a vast and very experienced team Wise Finance Solutions can analyze not only the financing project, but also, the technical part of the investment, because it has technical specialists and technical auditors in the team. Also it can analyze all the documents from the legal point of view because in the team there are lawyers specialized in EU FUNDS and STATE AIDS.


Why WFS is the right partner to access to EU fund, in term of quality (certifications) and result (success 100%) ?

WFS is the right partner to access to EU fund because:

We have more than 10 years experience in the field of non-reimbursable funds (European Funds and State Aids) and an whole and experienced team of experts – One Stop Shop – European funds experts, Project Managers, Financial Experts, Project Evaluators, Public Procurement Experts, Technical specialists, lawyers specialized in European funds and state aids.

We have developed and managed a large variety of investment projects including major investment projects (over € 100 million/ project), in different fields of activity. Most of our projects belong to the manufacturing sector especially automotive, but we also have projects in agriculture, tourism, health, food industry, plastic industry, business incubators, industrial parks and so on.

Many of our projects are foreign investments because our aim is not only in Romanian companies support but also in foreign companies support.

We have a 100% success rate of the projects we have submitted, because we carry out an accurate analysis of the applicants and the project idea and we decide to involve only in development of the projects that we know that are eligible and have real chances to get financing. Our success rate of 100% is based not only on hard work but also on the enthusiasm and flexible approach trained during working on large scale projects that include multiple stakeholders.

We are a One Stop Shop company, offering all necessary services for investment projects or business development such as: Specific consultancy on EU Funds, State Aids and other grants, Project Management services, Design services, Legal services and Financial Advisory.

We are members of: Netherlands Romanian Chamber of Commerce – NRCC, British Romanian Chamber of Commerce – BRCC, French Romanian Chamber of Commerce – CCIFER, Italian Romanian Chamber of Commerce, Israel Romanian Chamber of Commerce, Japanese Business Association

We have partnerships at regional level so we can help any investor to get into countries such as Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Serbia, Czech Republic, Moldova, Greece.


Could you present important success today and for tomorrow ?

One of our successful projects was Glasscorp Romania project. Glasscorp is part of SISECAM Turkish group, one of the largest producers in Europe of basic glass, automotive glass, energy glass and home appliances glass. Glasscorp is a manufacturer of automotive glass for car producers as Volkswagen, BMW, Ford, Audi, Renault. Their investment in Romania with a total value of approx. 60 million euros was partially financed through a state aid scheme by the Romanian Government.They created about 300 new jobs and developed a new plant for automotive glass production.

Collaboration with Yazaki Romania is another important project of us. Based on the state aid project developed together, Yazaki obtained a state aid for financing the wage cost related to the new jobs created (830 employees) in one of their plants in Romania. Yazaki is one of the largest automotive wiring harness production companies in Romania. YAZAKI Group has been present in Romania since 2003 and has continuously expanded its activity here and has over 12.000 employees in Romania at present.
At present we collaborate with many companies from automotive sector but not only and development of investment projects in Romania is on going.

In addition to the current strategy to keep attracting main-stream investments coming from European Union and Turkey, Wise Finance Solutions aim at another frontier, Asia.

We have delved the potentials of this continent allegedly ammasing a large sum of global wealth stemmed from the sustainable economic growth and innovation, and eventually reached a conclusion that it is plausible to foster our approach mainly towards Japan,South Korea and subseqently to South East Asia including Oceanian region.
Having a faith in it, we have newly welcomed a senior executive officer having a Japanese nationality to intensify our strategic support towards Asia, and also prospect to open an office in the Far East to more swiftly serve potential investors.

Our vision may be unbridled and reckless, but under the rapidly changing business environment that convulses and beleaguers business sectors, we are certain galvanic projects are the way to thrive during coming years.





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Diversification of the economy

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BDR Associates

A Warm Welcome to Romania from BDR Associates

Let’s have a look at the Romanian market and business opportunities open to investors in this country which has taken over the EU Council presidency starting this January 2019. Mrs. Catalina Rousseau, President and CEO of the reputed strategic agency BDR Associates, part of the Hill & Knowlton/WPP global group, speaks about her 23 years professional and business experience in Romania.


Catalina Rousseau, Senior Partner, President and CEO Romania & Republic of Moldova

Mrs. Rousseau, you run an agency leader in the communication industry in Romania, highly reputed in the market, and known internationally. How did you manage to grow the business in a country which joined EU only in 2007, and which are the major differences that you’ve noticed before and after the integration of the country in the European Union?

BDR Associates was created back in 1995 as an independent agency acting in an emerging and promising market for business in communication, at that time. Later on in early 2000, we joined the global network Hill & Knowlton Strategies/, part of the WPP group, as we quickly realized the need to have constant access to high professional standards, and to align our work to the worldwide latest trends in strategic communications, including PR and PA. That was the first good step towards growing the agency business. We have started cooperation with multinational companies since about 20 years ago, yet our turnover increased significantly closer to the integration in the EU and after the process was completed. Therefore the EU integration was the step forward for Romania making the big difference. It had strong influence and positive impact on economic and business development, bringing image capital to our market and building investors’ trust. This new era determined the significant increase in the demand for strategic communication, PR and Public Affairs consulting. We adjusted our marketing policy looking carefully at what were the communication needs of the new investors coming to Romania, who did not know much about the local environment, culture, mentalities. It was the right time for us to create our public affairs division, developing necessary skills and competences for government relations, for sector monitoring , SWOT analyses and market overviews. In parallel, we formed a specialized professional team for various communication trainings. We paid special attention to strengthening our capacities in issue and crises management. The next challenge was the social media explosion. We made a new step forward and integrated the latest innovative communication tools in our professional offer to clients. In parallel, branding era was raising in Romania and creativity has started to be highly valued in the market. So, in 2005 we brought the Superbrands Programs in Romania and build a solid platform for evaluating brands performance ever since.


Traffic trails on Transfagarasan pass at sunset. Crossing Carpathian mountains in Romania, Transfagarasan is one of the most spectacular mountain roads in the world.

Now, after almost 11 years since Romania has joined the EU how do you feel the market and which are those positive aspects which impact significantly the local business environment.

Investment opportunities existed, of course, before our integration in the EU. Yet, after 2007 the improvement has been substantial, the local market has become more trustable, it was perceived as safer by investors from everywhere. Almost all multinational companies which count in the process of economic development of a region are now present in Romania in all economic sectors, helping them grow and flourish, and contributing to a better standard of living for the population. Not in the least, the business organizations and associations have consolidated their presence, playing a key role in the attempt to build and sustain a healthy business environment here. Among them , the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry , Amcham (the American Chamber of Commerce), FIC (The Foreign Investment Fund), CCEIFR (the French Romanian Chamber of Commerce) and BRCC (the British Chamber of Commerce) are perceived as the most prominent and efficient voices on behalf of their company members. The European choice of my country opened new horizons in our field and allowed my agency to be known at international level, and to position itself, along the years, among those elites in PR and PA, operating in Europe. We have established new business alliances with reputed global or regional consultancies in strategic communication and public affairs like FTI, Kreab , or CEC Government Relations, to name just some of our international partners with which we have cooperated in assisting either multinational clients, or European institutions, in the last decay. We were invited to participate as jury members in several international, European or global competitions in our field and this represent for me the highest tribute paid to our agency professional reputation in Romania and abroad.


The Triumphal Arch (Arcul de Triumf) in Bucharest, the capital of Romania.

From your perspective of senior professional in the communication industry what should a foreign company investing in Romania look at in terms of strategic communication and public affairs policy?

Companies investing here should always keep in mind that the local market is competitive, dynamic and demanding, but it is a market capable to also generate crises. So, any company should look first and foremost at its reputation management at corporate and brand level, as well as at how to make the difference in their segment of activity. The today Romanian consumer is educated, and well-informed on brand performance. Companies and brands are expected to keep their promises and to provide quality products or services. Almost all global giants in various industries and economic sectors, in banking or financial services, as well as global investment funds came here and stayed. I’d like to point out that Romania is not only a market with potential, but also a very beautiful country, having a unique and rich offer, including from touristic perspective. We are used to here expats saying that they did not expect such a country at all , when visiting it for the first time, which tells us that we still need to work on improving its image abroad. Many multinational companies set up their regional hubs in Bucharest and in several other key cities of Romania. All these key players communicate strategically and constantly and have public affairs policies in support of their marketing and business goals, always attentive at how to maintain an impeccable reputation.


Panoramic view of Sibiu central square in Transylvania, Romania.

Mrs Rousseau , in the eve of Romania’s taking over the Presidency of the Council of the EU on January 2019, please give us 3 attributes to be taken into account by foreign investors when looking at business opportunities in Romania , next year and on.

Reasons are many. Let me mention the everlasting ones: Romania has resources, talents, and future. Valuing opportunities and momentum would be a smart decision. We have constantly provided our professional support during the process of entering the market and beyond, as we usually settle long-term partnerships with our clients and commit ourselves to successful strategic communication, PR and PA consulting services. We are fully aware that results are the only ones which matter for our clients. So, give us a call when in need:-) Thank you!


Catalina Rousseau
Senior Partner
President and CEO
Romania & Republic of Moldova


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The Startupper Challenge of the Year by Total in nearly 60 countries

Ideas need energy to grow!

Following the success of the first edition launched in 2015 in more than 30 African countries, Total renews the Startupper Challenge of the Year in 2018, and this time, worldwide, in nearly 60 countries spread over all continents.



The Startupper Challenge of the Year by Total 2018-2019 will support and reward young local entrepreneurs with a project or a business created less than 2 years ago, whatever the sector of activity. In each participating country*, a local jury made up of Total experts, people from the start-up world, business managers and local actors in the social life, will select three winners.

Projects will be evaluated in relation to three criteria:

  • their innovative character;
  • their social and societal impact;
  • their feasibility and potential for development.


Each winner will receive the “Startupper of the Year by Total” label and will be able to benefit from a financial support of 25,000 EUR in total, a professional accompaniment and a communication campaign to give visibility to their project.

New this year: the awarding of a label “Feminine Coup de Coeur” by country in order to support women entrepreneurs. With this special prize, complementary to the other prizes, Total encourages women to participate in greater numbers in the Startupper Challenge.

In a second stage, a Grand Jury will meet to select six “Great Winners” worldwide among the winners of each country.

Beyond an entrepreneurial challenge, the Startupper Challenge of the Year 2018-2019 reaffirms Total’s desire to support the socio-economic development of all the countries in which the Group operates worldwide. It contributes locally to the reinforcement of the social fabric through the support provided to the most innovative entrepreneurs in the realization of their project.

Registrations will be open from 9 October and can be accessed directly online at Candidates will then have until 13 November to fill out their application form.


About Total Romania

Total Romania was created in 2005 after the economic junction between Total (France) and Lustic (Romania). Currently, the company is based in Bucharest and owns a plant in Cristian, Brasov, a bitumen depot in Ozun, Covasna and covers complex business areas such as: production of lubricants and greases, distribution and sale of lubricants and special fluids, storage, distribution and sale of bitumen.

Destined to be a reference in the local market and just as involved in its commitment to better energy, Total Romania offers a full range of personalized services and advanced solutions dedicated to a wide range of areas: cars and motorcycles, agriculture, heavy transport, public works, industry, shipping, aeronautics.


About Total

Total is a worldwide and global energy group, one of the largest international oil and gas companies and a major player in low-carbon energy. Its 98,000 employees are committed to a better, safer, cleaner, more efficient, more innovative and more accessible energy. Present in more than 130 countries, Total strives to ensure that its activities are accompanied by positive economic, social and environmental benefits.

* South Africa, Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Equatorial Guinea, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Mauritania, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Dominican Republic, Czech Republic, Romania, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Chad, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe and concerning France are concerned only New Caledonia, Mayotte, Polynesia and Reunion.



Cautionary Statement

This press release is for informational purposes only and no legal consequences can be inferred. The entities in which TOTAL SA directly or indirectly holds an interest are separate and autonomous legal entities. TOTAL S.A. cannot be held liable for the acts or omissions of these companies. The terms “TOTAL”, “TOTAL Group” and “Group” in this document are generic and used for convenience only. Similarly, the terms “we”, “us”, “our” may also be used to refer to subsidiaries or their associates. This document may contain forward-looking information and statements that are based on economic data and assumptions made in a given economic, competitive and regulatory context. They may prove inaccurate in the future and are dependent on risk factors. Neither TOTAL SA nor any of its affiliates make any commitment or liability to investors or any other party to update or revise, especially as a result of new information or future events, all or any statements, forward-looking information, trends or objectives contained in this document.


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ArcelorMittal Galati – Mr Bogdan Grecu

Chief Executive Officer of ArcelorMittal Galati Steel Plant

“The Galati Steel Plant is currently preparing the solid foundation for a modern and reliable steel supplier for Europe”


Bogdan GRECU

Mr. Bogdan Grecu, what is the importance of Galati Steel Plant for the Romanian economy and for the local community?

We were and are the biggest Romanian steel producer. With a history of more than 50 years, our production facility is currently producing 2 million tons of flat products with various applications, such as: shipbuilding, energy, automotive, wind mills, construction, infrastructure and re-rolling. A skilled and enthusiastic team of almost 8,000 workers and specialists, including contractors, are working around the clock to deliver high quality steel for our customers. Galati Steel Plant is a major regional producer and exporter, too.

Also, we are the biggest industrial entity in Romania and, of course, the main pillar of the local economy where our contribution stands for almost one third of the local GDP.


What does it mean for you to be an EU producer?

Steel is part of the backbone of the European Union industry. We are honored to sell and ship our steel on a free market but in the meantime, we take our responsibilities in preserving the environment and the community we are working and living in.

We salute the position taken by the EU authorities for protecting the steel producers in front of the dumping imports and other unfair commercial decisions.


The landscape of the Galati Steel Plant

Galati Plant is in progress of changing the owner. What key changes will this process bring?

The roots of this decision come from the necessity of settling a fair competition mechanism. What is more important is the fact that we should remember that the transaction and the transition months were supervised by the European Commission, which appointed a Trustee who ensured that we already act as a competitor and our activity continues without disruptions, in order to shape a strong foundation for the future.

All decisions were designed to protect the steel units included in the divestment package proposed by ArcelorMittal and the reality of today shows that this was a success.
The future, as we see it now, shows a growth for Galati Steel Plant. The investor, Liberty, announced measures to increase the production from 2 to 3 million tons and total investments exceeding EUR 300 million for the next 3 – 5 years.


Is your company ready to compete on the European steel market?

For sure, yes, we are delivering to EU since long time ago and our products are well known by our customers. In Galati, we produced steel for cruise ships and vessels with ice breaking capability that are exploring the North Pole, for the extraordinary railway station from Koge – Denmark (awarded for its great and bold design), for the Oman Gazi Bridge over Bosporus (one of the biggest bridges in the world) or for Dacia cars.

We are ready to expand our products portfolio and to deliver more added value products and, therefore, to strengthen our presence on the market.


Galati Plant passed through a comprehensive transformation. Can we see now the results of these efforts?

Yes, our transformation was ample and included all the layers of our activity. But the transformation will continue, especially on modernizing the equipment, digitalizing the processes and developing the employees.

Galati Steel Plant is now better prepared for the realities of today. Most important is that we will continue even more strongly with this process, given the opportunities arising from being in a new group.


What challenges are in front of you and how European Union can support the steel producers?

The European authorities are already supporting the steel industry. Of course, there are also concerns, especially those related with the necessity of adapting our carbon footprint and environment. Before being steel producers, we are Europeans and we fully understand the necessity of preserving the environment and addressing the climate change. From this perspective, the measures taken by Europe should be adopted by other countries and continents as well, in order to ensure a global and a consistent solution. We believe that there should be a level playing field for all actors to avoid migration of steel industry from EU to unregulated nearby countries which will only increase negative impact on the environment.

Steel remains a truly environmental friendly material, as it can be recycled almost infinitely. In the meantime, we are encouraged by the measures taken by the European authorities to protect the producers in front of the dumping commercial behaviors.

To conclude, I am confident that Galati Steel Plant is currently preparing the solid foundation for a modern and reliable steel supplier for Europe, with a young, professional and committed team and with enlarged cooperation with the communities.


ArcelorMittal Galati,
Romania, Galati, No.1 Calea Smardan, 800698

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BUREAU VERITAS – M. Alexandru Vidu

CEO, Bureau Veritas Romania


The Bureau Veritas Group, world leader in certification of various management systems, with offices in more than 140 countries and more than 75.000 employees, has been present in Romania since 1930. Bureau Veritas Certification completed the world’s first certification of a company, in accordance with the requirements of the ISO 50001 Standard for Energy Management, being accredited by DAKKS Germany. It also completed the first certification of a Romanian company in accordance with the requirements of the SA 8000 Standard for Social Responsibility. What strategic development plan does the group have in Romania, which areas have potential for growth, but also why the accredited certifications are important – to all these questions answered Alexandru Vidu, CEO of Bureau Veritas Romania.



Mr. Director, How is Bureau Veritas positioned worldwide and in the region and how do you promote your services in Romania? Which are the company’s main strengths?

At global and regional level, Bureau Veritas is the undisputed leader in TIC services.

In Romania, we are in the resetting process and we aim the top position through sustained efforts in all directions: by dedicated campaigns on target markets, participating to events, seminars, proving credibility, international recognition, diversity of services, by the auditors’ professionalism.

Unfortunately, the culture in our field of activity is very low on the Romanian market, few companies being aware of the true benefits of a properly implemented management system. This has led to the fact that top global TIC firms have only about 10% of the market.


Given the increased labor market dynamics and the higher competition to attract employees, what services does Bureau Veritas provide to improve their skills and abilities?

In early 2018, we set up a training department within Bureau Veritas Romania to address the issues outlined above. Currently, we have an improved service offer for training and professional improvement through ‘open’ or ‘in house’ sessions tailored to the clients’ profile and needs.

Training courses with trained instructors having international experience are an added value for those who choose our services. Unfortunately, I believe that due to the high demand on the labor market, many prefer to ignore the benefit of having quality training, believing this is not necessary at the stage of candidates’ selection.


Certifications are an additional guarantee of professional safety and competence. Considering that, as you have recently said, more than half of the ISO certifications in Romania are issued by apartment firms, what measures can be taken to work out this situation?

I go back to what I have mentioned above, market culture, first of all, plays a decisive role. In this respect, world-class TIC companies should make a concerted effort to try to change this situation through intensive marketing campaigns for better awareness about quality services.

Increasing the RENAR (Local Accreditation Body) exigency and the involvement of the national accreditation body in the monitoring of the certification bodies market is, at the same time, essential. Also, the exclusive recognition of accredited certifications is imperative.


As CEO, how do you define risk situations, what does a proper management involve and which is the secret of setting up a productive team?

A risk situation involves exposing the company and its employees to issues that could damage the capital and the image. Considering that independence is the great asset of TIC companies, the major risk is related to it. Risks exist every day, but if managed correctly they can be minimized. Ideal is not to be taken by surprise by the things that can harm the company. When you are aware about the risks, you can cope with them much easier.

A productive team is a united team. There must be professionalism, but also a little bit of pleasure in what we do, otherwise everything becomes routine and the employees reach their limits. Their results depend on the working environment, and here a leader plays a very important role in motivating the team and sending the right messages. Communication is essential. I have seen many teams of highly experienced professionals which, due to faulty communication between the members, failed to perform.


Which are the most enjoyable aspects of your job, and the most demanding ones?

The most pleasant aspects are related to the fact that I am part of a team of extraordinary people, real professionals. We have made many organizational changes over the past two years in Bureau Veritas Romania, so we have now managed to get to what I would call a strengthened team.

At the same time, it is very demanding because, when the company is in a high growth process, you must be careful not to lose control. Growth is generated either by the increasing market share on existing services or by the introducing new services, and the most demanding aspect is related to discovering the right human resources to deliver high quality service. Accelerated growth must also be solid growth.


Which directions does the Bureau Veritas Group’s strategic local and regional development plan include for the future? What fields have growth potential in your view?

The development plan was launched in early 2016 by opening a new office in Cluj. At the moment, we want to expand our area of activity in Transylvania by opening a new office in Timisoara and by ‘attacking’ Republic of Moldova through an office most likely to be set up in Iasi.

The market has changed radically if we look at what happened in the last two years and at the performing areas of activity now. For example, services related to the Oil & Gas industry, which went well in 2017, were stagnating in 2018, not only in Romania but also at European level. Thus, we are now in the position to conclude successful contracts with some of the most important players on the market only because of our solid reputation & large service portfolio. Growth potential is also foreseeable in the area of HSE services, where many businesses choose outsourcing or a better awareness in caring about employees and environment.

Overall, Bureau Veritas Romania had a 27% increase in 2018, mainly driven by services for the Industry market, with 52% growth in this segment in 2018, and by the certification services with an increase of 23%.




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Chief Executive Officer of Vitalia Mediu

M. Octavian Morariu

After your engineering studies, in parallel with your distinguished sports career, you held many positions of responsibility in the field of construction and public services, how did this exemplary course lead you to your current responsibilities?

I believe that the journey which has brought me to my current position was a natural evolution founded on the experience accumulated with large multinational corporations and the Romanian public sector, driven by a certain entrepreneurial spirit and mainly fueled by the tenacity and determination achieved during my sporting life, especially rugby.


You chair the group “Vitalia Mediu” which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2020, you become a shareholder in 2006 and take over the company in 2010. Can you after a first decade, present your group, its missions, its skills and its locations?

Vitalia is one of leading actors in the sector of municipal waste management, covering the whole cycle from collection, transfer, sorting, separation and treatment. Our mission is serving the communities where we operate, observing the national and European regulations and standards in this sector whose evolution could be essential for the future of the planet. We are present in two departments of Romania – Prahova and Bistrita-Nasaud, operating three non-hazardous waste treatment plants.


Your activity is part of the public service and must deal with environmental issues. What is your policy in terms of quality of service and respect for the environment?

One of our fundamental values is customer focus, always seeking to balance the service rendered with the cost to the community, maintaining a permanent focus on the quality of our services. We constantly strive to be at the forefront of the efforts to increase resource usage efficiency and adoption of a sustainable circular economy model. Further-more, we are trying to align our future projects towards the zero net emission goal, which becomes even more imperative given the increasingly dramatic consequences of climate change.


In the context of waste recovery, what are your major projects realized and to come? New technologies have an important role to play, where are you in this area?

In the Bistrita Nasaud county we have recently inaugurated the first stage of an investment in expanding the sorting capacity for recovery of recyclable municipal waste and in Prahova we are using the landfill gas as fuel in a co-generation facility for the production of electric and thermal energy.

Our development plans include the further development of our capacity to recover recyclable material from mixed municipal waste (considering the insufficient adoption of source selection) and even recovery of valuable recyclable material from landfilled waste (landfill mining), supplying even more recycled material to industry. Given the global challenges facing the recycling industry, we are focusing on the development of recycling solutions for critical components in the waste mix (especially plastics, bio-degradable and inert wastes). Establishing partnerships with innovative technology providers is a crucial factor in the success of our projects, whether it is pyrolysis of plastics, anaerobic digestion of biodegradable and food waste or production of mixes for civil engineering and construction projects.


Your sector requires significant investments, what are your current levers to develop and improve your business?

There are several directions we are pursuing when funding such advanced projects besides our own resources, ranging from partnerships or JVs with technology providers, funding under extended producer responsibility schemes, European grants for investment support or research in partnership with academic centers of excellence. We are also developing the partnership with local authorities who have specific financial instruments at their disposal (such as the Development and Maintenance Fund) to enhance the waste management infrastructure.


Do you have major sports responsibilities at the national, European and international levels, what added value do these activities bring to your entrepreneurial activities?

Sport is my passion and it has bestowed significant honors on me, so it is the time to give back to the sporting community, notably by assisting athletes in the development of their careers, much as others have done for me in the past. It is also a source of energy and balance which helps me a lot in my professional life, especially when it comes to analyzing and deciding in complicated business circumstances.

Also, the team spirit, which is extremely important in rugby, has helped me when building teams of responsible and passionate professionals to successfully execute the projects which we pursue together.


Rich and nourished by all these experiences, what are today your major expectations on the eve of European elections and what message do you want to address to Romanian and European citizens?

I wish these elections lead to a lasting conciliation for the whole of our continent, whose political life in particular is subject today to too many challenges that can undermine European solidarity, even the European spirit itself. I am looking forward to this opportunity to boost our confidence and hope, allowing us all to continue to move forward.

I have the firm belief that we can do this by keeping each one’s identity while respecting the identity of the other, because respect is at the base of any lasting political, social, economic construction. As an Orthodox Christian, I am strongly attached to traditions, respect and solidarity as core values, quintessential to our community life.

One of the teachings left with me from rugby is that every player has its place and responsibility in the team and that despite individual differences we are only strong by staying firmly together.

I believe, therefore, that each of us must shoulder our responsibilities and commit ourselves all the more firmly to the building of the Common Europe, while acknowledging that our differences are nothing but a formidable source of strength and wealth, at the base of our union! Long live Romania, long live Europe!


Str. Costache Sibiceanu, nr.20, sect.1, BUCURESTI
Str.Poligonului, nr.6, Boldesti Scaeni, PRAHOVA
Tel: (+40) 021 224 13 34
Fax: (+40) 021 224 14 48

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innovation, iT & robotics

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DEVEHO Consulting Group

International partner of Sage

DEVEHO Consulting Group supports companies in their development with the implementation of the Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management solution (formerly Sage X3). In 2012, the Group opened its first office outside France in Bucharest, Romania.




Interview with Guy Leclercq, Founder and CEO of DEVEHO Consulting Group

The international mood is an integral part of your business. How does this work?

Our ambition has always been to provide global support to our customers, mainly SMEs, ETIs and subsidiaries of large groups. Since the beginning, we have relied on our expertise around Sage’s Enterprise Management offering combined with our project management experience in multi-country contexts. We are convinced that opening beyond our borders is a fundamental issue on which we have a vital role to play and that this must be approached differently than a local project.

International is our daily life at DEVEHO Consulting Group. Today, the group is represented in 8 countries with teams of more than 10 nationalities, which is a real human wealth. In this multicultural context, our teams allow us to work with more proximity and thus facilitate exchanges with our customers regardless of their location. Another very important point is our activity of publishing localisations and enriching the Enterprise Management solution by creating add-ons. This allows us to propose a solution that complies with the country’s tax and accounting regulations (eg Romania) and respond to international issues.


Your activity is therefore dual: integrator and publisher. Is it a way to propose a different offer on the market?

Being an integrator of a globally recognized enterprise management solution and publisher for this solution is indeed a differentiating element. This double cap allows us to offer a solution that, on the one hand, has proven itself by its performance and reliability to more than 6,000 companies worldwide, and on the other side, which adapts to local constraints of the country with the regulatory changes that we bring. The power of an international solution and the finesse of local adaptations! We cover the business needs of any business as well as the legal requirements of each country.

To date, we are responsible for Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management of Romania but also of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and the Netherlands. Depending on the demand, we also have the ability to extend the solution to other countries.


Present since 2012 in Bucharest, what is your vision of companies in Romania?

Following recurring requests from local businesses, we formalized our partnership with Sage regarding Romania in 2012 and opened an office in Bucharest. In a few years, we have seen Romanian companies evolve. Sustained growth in Romania makes this country a dynamic market with the arrival of many international players. Scarcity of resources, strong earnings growth and frequent changes in tax rules are some of the key issues we face. As for the new uses related to process automation and the digitization of the economy, they require reinventing themselves to remain competitive. It is in this sense that we propose new solutions with Cloud, mobility, …

We also meet more and more Romanian companies that export to conquer new markets. A business management solution like Enterprise Management helps them in these changes by bringing reliability and agility. Being implanted locally also allows us to respond to the need for proximity to our customers. Finally, we intervene to anticipate and plan these evolutions in the information system of the company and so that it remains fluid for our customers at constrained costs.


In 2019, DEVEHO Consulting Group will celebrate its 10th anniversary. What is the key to your success?

We have experienced sustained and controlled growth since the beginning of 2009. The Group has evolved considerably and now has teams of 60 people in 8 countries. During these 10 years, we tried to reinvent ourselves permanently, to keep our know-how at the service of our customers. Our on-going investment in our teams has allowed us to take on this growth.

But our greatest satisfaction is that of our customers whom we accompany with as much enthusiasm in twenty countries. This New Year marks a step towards new developments, and new challenges that push us to go further and open new offices to always be closer to our customers.



Contact :
• Siège social : 42 rue de l’Université – 69007 Lyon – +33 (0)4 78 02 71 72
• Bureau Paris : 11, rue de Cambrai – L’Artois – 75019 Paris – +33 (0)1 78 42 91 68
• Bureau Romania : Splaiul Unirii Nr.4 – Bl.B3, Tronson 3, Et.4, Birou 4.3 – Sector 4, Bucuresti – Tel.: +40 (0)21 311 70 60

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Thales in Romania a story of developments

Silviu Agapi, Country Director for Thales in Romania

Combining a unique diversity of expertise, talents and cultures, Thales architects design and deliver extraordinary high technology solutions. Solutions that make tomorrow possible, today. With 64,000 employees, a global presence and revenues of 15.8 billion euros (2017), Thales provides latest-generation technologies in aerospace, space, ground transportation, defense and security. From the bottom of the oceans to the depth of space and cyberspace, Thales helps its customers to think smarter and to act faster – mastering ever greater complexity and every decisive moment along the way. Thales is a key player in keeping the public safe and secure, guarding vital infrastructure and protecting the national security interests of countries around the globe.

In all its strategic domains, Thales provides the software based systems embedding the intelligence that basically constitute the “brain” helping customers to take the best decisions in decisive moments.

Since 2014, Thales has invested almost 7 billion euros in digital technologies, including the integration of several leading-edge technology companies such as Vormetric, Guavus and Gemalto (closing is expected in H1 2019),Thales is becoming a global leader in the fast-growing digital security market, supporting its most demanding clients in their digital transformation.

This will significantly transform the way the company is interacting with the customers, will increase the competitiveness of the solutions, and will speed-up the time to market of new innovative solutions and products.


Thales in Romania, a presence since 2007

In 2007 Romania joined the EU and the same year Thales began to develop its industrial operations in the country. It was then that Thales embarked on expanding its team of software research and development to address railway transportation needs.

Silviu Agapi, Country Director for Thales in Romania “Since the set-up of engineering capabilities in Romania for the rail transportation activities in 2007, our team in Bucharest is serving Thales’ customers worldwide. Our engineers have gained recognition for their competence and expertise throughout the Thales Group.”


Full speed in developing further the local presence

In 2018, Romania was chosen to host a Group Engineering Competence Centre. The Competence Centre to be launched early 2019 will deliver solutions beyond ground transportation in a number of Thales business areas, from space and defence, to security and aeronautics. “The Centre will capitalise on the local team experience and will leverage the very skilful and agile local Engineering environment. Our objective is to build a top-level, Thales Engineering capability in Romania. We are aiming at high level of recruitments – several hundred per year over the 2019-2021 period. To succeed, we are planning domain and technology processes trainings together with an attractive work experience, serving global projects”.

Today, the Romanian market’s needs are growing and diversifying: from rail transport and defence/security, to science and technology, as well as aviation and space. “As a global technology leader, Thales has the capabilities, the strength and desire to address new challenges and new opportunities ahead in Romania. With our engineers and researchers, we have unparalleled capability to design and deploy equipment, systems, and services to meet the most complex security requirements. Thanks to the Bucharest-based Competence Centre, we will have a greater capability to serve Romania’s ambitions”.

LASER © M. Perreau, Thales

Seeing the light

Thales’ commitment in Romania also means commitment for a unique scientific project: the contribution to the European laser research project ELI-NP (Extreme Light Infrastructure-Nuclear Physics). The company is supplying the world’s most powerful laser to Romania’s Nuclear Physics Institute and is developing a special technical and scientific training programme. When scientists first glimpsed the possibility of opening up new knowledge about the universe through ultra-powerful lasers, they faced a challenge: no laser at the time was remotely powerful enough. But ten years later, Thales has brought them to the verge of accomplishing their vision. In May 2018, five years into the partnership with ELI-NP, the Thales team successfully generated 3 Peta Watts of power. They expect to reach 10 Peta Watts by June 2019, while the facility will welcome the first international researchers in 2020. This makes Thales a strong contributor to the world’s progress, since the ELI-NP project will be used in almost all domains of activity, from health to defence and industry.


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ORANGE – Mrs Liudmila CLIMOC


Liudmila CLIMOC

You are CEO of Orange Romania, can you tell us about your company, its history, its offer and the key figures of your activities?

Orange has been on the Romanian market for over 20 years, and through its more than 10 million customers, is connecting 1 in 2 Romanians. In this time, we’ve seen dramatic changes in an industry that accounts for 2% of GDP, as well as in the society in general. Most often than not, we’ve led the change and have been an innovator on the local market as well as at group level. It’s something we’re really proud of and that wouldn’t have been possible without a great team and, of course, the reputation that our specialists have earned throughout this time.

Thanks to this important asset, our employees, we managed to bring new technologies to the market, year after year. Our main mission is to decrease the digital divide in Romania, and so far we’ve done this by bringing mobile connectivity, including broadband, to as many Romanians as possible. At the moment, Orange Romania operates the widest 4G network in the country.

Moreover, we currently have over 160 cities where people can access 4G+ speeds of up to 500 Mbps and have tested, during last spring and summer, 5G fixed-wireless access technology with customers from Florești, Cluj-Napoca County. This was the first 5G test of this kind run in Europe. Additionally, we have recently launched the LTE-M network in over 3000 localities in order to help our business partners integrate IoT technologies into their operations.

Having said this, the Romanian market is very competitive and fast paced, and Romanians, as a nation, are very eager to try out new technologies and are very particular about the quality of service that they expect. Orange has been the telecom mobile leader for over 14 years and this is a direct consequence of the importance we place on the quality of our products and services and of the way we interact with our clients. On this point, it is worth mentioning that this year Orange has received recognition for best performance on the local market for both its fixed and mobile networks from the local regulator authority – ANCOM, from independent auditors – Systemics PAB, and from our customers by running tests on the Speedtest platform by Ookla.

More importantly still, our customers’ trust is our most prized asset, one for which we work constantly by listening to and speaking with the people using our services in order to connect them to what truly matters to them.

What our customers want is seamless connectivity, whether they are at home or on the go. Thus, in 2016, Orange Romania has reinvented itself into a convergent, integrated operator that provides the whole spectrum of telecommunication services. This move has been well received, so that this year we have continued to grow at an accelerated rate. The benefits of convergence are evident: one point of contact, one invoice, added value for a set of high quality services. It’s so much simpler for clients to satisfy all their connectivity needs from Orange. More importantly, besides this basic need for connectivity, our focus is on bringing an excellent customer experience across all channels.

When we say “convergence”, we think not only about connectivity, but about a wider spectrum of services. Financial services is one domain where people are looking for innovation and for simplicity coupled with fast and secure ways to manage their money. Thus, since 2016, customers can manage their finances with us thanks to Orange Money. We are constantly updating and growing this part of our business. In November, Orange Money signed a partnership with Visa for physical and virtual debit cards, NFC smartphone and smart watch payments.


The growth of Orange Romania is undoubtedly the most important of the sector, how do you explain such a success?

Orange Romania had a turnover of 1.07 billion euros in 2017 and of 832.6 million over the first three quarters of 2018, up 5.8% over the same period from last year. Growth was mainly driven by the positive evolution of fixed-mobile services and mobile data consumption. All this was supported by heavy network investments. Orange is one of the main investors in the country, with over 3.2 billion euros invested over the past 21 years, which sustainably created infrastructure, as well as jobs, this way significantly contributing to the economic development.

Our success in Romania is also thanks to the technology & IT expertise of the well-trained people who live and work here. Our top engineers’ contribution is also reflected in the achievements Romania is renowned for, our country topping charts within Europe and even worldwide for internet speeds and the quality of connectivity.

The digital innovations and new technologies will continue to drive the development of the sector, and this will be partly accomplished through the support given to tech start-ups and R&D projects. We can already see this in the innovation ecosystem created around Alba Iulia smart city, deployed by Orange. Therefore, connectivity, innovation and infrastructure are key. Since the digital economy is relying on our digital infrastructure, investment in this core element of the country’s infrastructure is strategic. Fast and reliable, the network allows you to do more, play more, trade more. The connected SIM or object is not only enabling work, info or fun applications, but also industry-changing services like real-time monitoring, security solutions, instant mobile banking transactions or connected cities. This brings a long term benefit for the customer and to the country by securing an environment favorable to investments, a climate which stimulates value creation and stability.

It is important to stress out the fact that the telecommunication industry needs a balanced and investments-favorable regulatory framework, as well as the authorities’ support in order for this to be accomplished.


You launched the “Orange Fab” program more than a year ago, what are the key areas? What are the sectors with the highest potential and what are your initial findings?

We value innovation and strongly believe in co-creation. Over the years, Orange Romania has been involved in pre-accelerator programs and has worked directly with start-up for various projects. This led us to the conclusion that we needed an accelerator program for tech start-ups, with business objectives that would best suit Orange, our clients and, of course, the start-ups themselves.

Thus Orange Fab was born – a one year accelerator for start-ups with a focus on 4 tracks. The Smart Territories one covers areas such as smart city, agritech, energy and retail. The Future of Life track tackles artificial intelligence, biotech, digital life, health and smart mobility; whereas Networks of the Future seeks for products that will fundamentally change the communication networks and help create the ultimate smart network. The Security track focuses on security innovations, be it in the digital or the physical world.
In the first year of the program, in 2017, we’ve had 6 start-ups joining the program.

This September, we’ve had a second wave of start-ups that joined the program. The start-ups from the first year edition continue to work with Orange on various projects, R&D or for B2B segment services. Once the first year of the program is finalized, the collaboration between Orange and the participant companies moves to a new level. Until now, the efforts have gone into developing and testing pilot projects. Orange Romania has invested 500.000 EUR in the program supporting startups, investing in moving new products towards production, developing new functionalities and even directly acquiring equipment and products developed by startups. At the next stage, our focus moves to sales efforts and on accelerating the speed of the projects’ development.

For example, through BOX2M, one of the first start-ups to join the program, Orange tested the LTE-M network capabilities in the cities of Alba Iulia and Constanta. The two projects are addressed to the utility networks (lighting, water, gas, energy) as well as to the industrial and retail sectors.

Also, we’ve integrated in our cyber security solution, Business Internet Security, a security penetration test tool developed by Orange Fab start-up, Pentest-Tools, that is used by visitors of the platform for testing their websites for vulnerabilities. Now Orange is working on developing a new functionality for the platform with Dekeneas, a 2018 Orange Fab start-up, for identifying zero day threats.


On the eve of a very busy 2018-2019 season, especially given the European elections under the Romanian Presidency, what message do you wish to convey to your teams and your current and future customers?

We have a long term commitment concerning our presence in Romania. Orange will do its best to continue investments and to further help the country on its journey to digitalization. The telecommunications infrastructure poses a great potential for the development of all other industries, from energy to services, thanks to their countrywide span and speeds that place Romania among the top 5 countries with the best Internet connections in the world.

I am proud of these results and of the teams that make this possible day in and day out.

We aim to continue to bring positive impact through technology and we also understand the importance that education plays here. This is an area that is essential for us, where we invest in tomorrow’s generation of engineers and developers through programs like SuperCorders or Orange Educational Program or with help from the Orange Foundation. On such example from the Foundation is Digitaliada, a project aimed on fighting digital divide and on bringing technology and digital educational content to schools from rural areas across the country.


Europe House building,
no 47-53 Lascăr Catargiu Boulevard,
Bucharest, Romania




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WEBHELP Roumanie

Mrs Raluca LEONTE, President of WEBHELP Romania

Mrs Raluca LEONTE, President of WEBHELP Romania

Webhelp Group is present in the entire world and for 17 years in Romania, can you introduce your company, its history, skills and values added?

I would start by saying that our story was born in Romania. The Webhelp idea and the first services were initially tested here when, in 2000, French entrepreneurs Olivier Duha and Frederic Jousset founded a company to facilitate access to digital information. 18 years later, supported by two investment funds, Charterhouse and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), Webhelp has become one of the leaders in the business process outsourcing industry, ranking first in Europe and the top 10 global suppliers.

Now, the Webhelp Group came to be present in 35 countries and has more than 50,000 employees dealing with 500 clients in different areas, however the first steps were taken based on the talent and passion for foreign languages of the Romanian citizen.

Webhelp has become the largest francophone employer in Romania since 2010 with a team of over 500 employees. Over the next few years, Webhelp Romania continued its expansion to reach more than 1,500 employees in 2015.

Over the years, the company’s services have expanded steadily. Centralized around customer experience, both on the B2C and B2B segments, the services offered have moved from voice support, mostly offered to French companies, to a multilingual, omnichannel, with an industry expertise that targets companies around the world. Among the Webhelp Group’s customers are some of the most progressive brands: Sephora, Samsung, Easy Jet, Bouygues Telecom, Vodafone, Valentino, or Marc Jacobs.

Today, Webhelp Romania is a mature company with a team of 2000 people and a presence in four cities in Romania. We are the first multilingual hub with 14 languages used for our clients and the first digital hub and KYC within the Group. Thanks to our ongoing digitization efforts, we have more than 300 employees in the Digital department. Also, Romania has representatives in almost all management structures in the 35 countries of the Group.

As added value of Webhelp services, I would mention the BPO digital technology consultant. Thus, customers have access to a complete solution that best integrates human added value and technology tailored to each type of business.

Technology enablement is part of our Solution Design proposal, being a key success factor globally.

Our role as a technology consultant focuses both on integrating and streamlining the use of solutions already applied by our clients, but also on the ability to provide and to ensure a smooth transition when a partner needs technological solutions to operate with current processes.


You are the largest Francophone employer in Romania, what is your recruitment, training and social approach? Why is Romania attractive?

Webhelp Romania offers a flexible and cosmopolitan work environment with many possibilities for professional development. We recruit candidates who have strong knowledge of foreign languages, mainly French, and the most important selection criteria are language skills, human relations and the motivation to succeed. Since recruitment, we help them focus on the most appropriate activity for their profile and integrate more easily into the company. We have a dedicated team of Webhelp University trainers who have as main objective the development, career orientation and improvement of the performance of all employees.

After 6 months in the company, our employees can apply within the Assessment Centre for available management positions. With an internal promotion rate of over 70%, Webhelp Romania can be considered a career school.

At the same time, all team members profit from both non-financial and financial benefits. Among the non-financial benefits, we could mention the flexible schedule, according to individual priorities, free transportation for colleagues who finish the program very late, subscriptions to medical clinics for them and their families. To all this, access to various professional, vocation and e-learning courses is added, Webhelp Romania being a provider of training certificates by the National Authority for Qualifications. Most of the courses take place in the online environment to allow learners to plan their own development curriculum according to their needs in specific competence areas. In terms of financial benefits, we have a performance recognition system that includes individual monthly performance bonuses.

The BPO industry has evolved a lot in recent years by offering a variety of jobs with real career opportunities.



What are your business values, and your economic development strategy?

We have established five landmark values that define the organization’s relationship with its customers and employees, but also with the community they are part of. The first of these values is Recognition. Regardless of the position they occupy, the company’s people are recognized for their contribution to the success of our business. Integrity is one of the values that makes the company an excellent work environment and a true partner for our clients. Another value is Unity – we are a wonderful team dedicated to both our company and our customers. Dedication – is for us the respect of the promises we make both between us and our clients. We conclude with Positive Impression – the value of the organization by which we strive to offer our business partners the best possible and effective collaboration.

Regarding our development strategy, we have three pillars: digital transformation, innovation and the growth of our local customer portfolio. The process of diversifying the range of services and repositioning on the local and global BPO market will continue in 2019.

Our new services of Market data research, Invoice & credit control, Knowledge & Risk Management, Business Transformation, Digital, Client Expectation Management, Invoice & Credit Management, Analytics and Business Controlling, combine human expertise and creativity with innovative digital technology.

At the same time, we want many employees of Webhelp Romania to benefit from international mobility to give them a perspective on what a multicultural and multi skills career within the Group means.



On the eve of a busy 2018-2019 season, including the European elections under the Romanian Presidency, what message do you wish to convey to your teams and your current and future customers?

your current and future customers?
Our operations mirror a connected and efficient world and I hope that the choices made by Europeans will support this openness that is second nature for us.

I would say to my colleagues to keep their enthusiasm and I wish for them to be noticed. Seeing them, how involved they are, it seems to me that if everyone were like them, we would progress more as a society. To our clients I would say that due to our partnership they can focus on developing their core business and that together we can generate opportunities for the communities in which we operate. We have the international expertise, the digital tools developed and tailored to their needs as well as an intimate knowledge of markets and the needs of their customers.


Bâtiment Premium Plaza,
63-69, rue Dr. Iacob Felix, Bucarest
T : +40 374 155 600


Premium Plaza Building,
63-69 Dr. Iacob Felix Street, Bucharest
T : +40 374 155 60

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Trade & business

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M. Ștefan-Radu Oprea

Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship in Romania

What are your priorities for the Foreign Affairs Council / Trade Presidency?

Romania’s Trade Priorities for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union were established following transparent public consultation at national level involving institutions, NGOs and citizens. We set ambitious and, at the same time, realistic goals.

We have grouped these priorities on four levels: boosting relations with the Eastern Partnership countries that have signed Partnership Agreements, reducing the economic impact of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, safeguarding the international order based on rules defined within the World Trade Organization, and promoting the new EU approach to investment protection internationally, especially with regard to the setting-up of the Multilateral Investment Court.
Legislative dossiers such as foreign investment screening in the EU and EU trade negotiations with Mexico, Mercosur, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand or Tunisia are currently undergoing discussions. They reflect the importance of implementing the EU’s trade policy from the point of view of promoting European values and standards in line with sustainable development objectives and aiming at concrete benefits for European businesses and consumers.

We can say that the priorities of the Romanian Presidency in the field of trade envisage the “EU – global actor” concept. From this perspective, we want to achieve the signing an EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement during the Romanian Presidency.


What do you think will be the biggest challenges of this mandate?

There is no question that the biggest challenges will be Brexit and the start of the electoral campaign for the European Parliament, which will affect the European institutions administrative capacity. We are aware that in the first three months we have to put forth a lot of effort to go forward with the negotiations on the up-to-date dossiers.


How do you see the future of the trade relationship with UK after Brexit?

Brexit is an event we did not want, but it is happening and we have to prepare for various scenarios.

Romania supports the promotion of post-Brexit commercial relations that will keep the bilateral trade flows and the effortless circulation of goods between the two partners unaffected, by simplifying customs procedures and maintaining regulatory standards. It is in our interest that economic sectors with an important commercial flow in relation to the UK to benefit from zero customs duties and simplistic customs procedures.

Like other European countries, we look very carefully at the negotiations progress and we assess the impact on SMEs and the economy in general. Romania firmly supports with one voice the negotiations with the United Kingdom, pursuant to the mandate the Member States have previously granted.


What do you anticipate will be the evolution of the trade relationship with the Eastern Partnership countries?

During the Presidency, we consider the promotion of trade with the Eastern Partnership member states as a priority, notably through the effective implementation of the deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) provisions as part of the Partnership Agreements with the Republic of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine.

This can be achieved by diversifying and increasing trade in with these partners, including by identifying priority sectors for compliance with EU regulatory standards. The Trade and Co-operation Panel on Trade Issues within the 2nd Platform for EU-Eastern Partnership Cooperation proposes organizing events dedicated to standardization and technical regulations, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, intellectual property rights (IPR), trade facilitation, geographical indications (GIs), Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk, and trade promotion through commercial attachés.

In the current geopolitical context, we want to give a very clear message of support for the Eastern Partnership. From Romania’s point of view, you know that there is also a sentimental stake, as we have a historical and linguistic communion with the Republic of Moldova inhabitants.


How does the Romanian business environment perceive the EU Council Presidency?

The business environment is aware of the role that Romania can play in the exercise of the Council Presidency, which is why the expectations are accordingly. Employers’ associations have been involved in defining objectives. And we also have a more visible, easier to understand part, namely the fact that Romania will be at the very heart of European policy for six months is a very good chance to promote country branding and products. The celebration of the Romania’s Centenary in 2018 was a good example of cooperation between the public and private environments in terms of promotion through international economic missions and exhibitions.


What messages do you have for the companies and entrepreneurs in the EU?

As Minister for the Business Environment, I wish Romania to have the most friendly business environment in Central and Eastern Europe. At a wider level of EU policies, we support the creation of a European business incubator network. In Romania, we have proven that the start-up financing program is very efficient, but it also needs support for the acceleration period. We have examples of good practice, but there is no European monitoring. Many companies go to get finance from the US, migrate from Europe, and we lose innovative capabilities – meaning we lose competitiveness. I think the appropriate solutions would be to create a network of business incubators and to support start-up companies and SMEs through the next Multiannual Financial Framework. We should also update the EU’s public policies on the business environment in order to adapt to the digitization level in the years to come and to continue the joint efforts to promote rule-based free trade allowing access to new markets and development of new opportunities and business partnerships for Romanian and European enterprises.


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Popovici Niţu Stoica & Asociaţii – Mr Ernest Popovici

Senior Partner of Popovici Niţu Stoica & Asociaţii Attorneys at Law

Ernest Popovici © Beringer

You are the founder of the firm Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii SCA, can you tell us about its history, its skills and your business sectors customers?

We have founded Popovici Niţu Stoica & Asociații in 1995, as soon as the law on legal profession permitted incorporation of professional partnerships.

Toward the end of 2002, my partner and Firm’s co-founder, Florian Nițu, became the Managing Partner and I became a Senior Partner. While in 1995 the Firm numbered 2 partners and 7 associates, ten years later, in 2005 it grew to 6 partners and 40 associates.

Upon our 15th anniversary, in 2010, we have decided to launch a tax advisory, as a stand-alone tax house under PNSA Tax, which we established as a joint venture with former Big Four senior tax managers. Since 2012, our International Arbitration Practice Group also operates distinctively and together with the Litigation Practice form nowadays one of the largest dispute resolution teams in the country.

In October 2015, upon celebration of our first 20 years, Bogdan C. Stoica was promoted to name partner and also became the Firm’s Deputy Managing Partner.

Currently, Popovici Nițu Stoica & Asociații groups more than 80 lawyers and counsels largely acknowledged as top-notch commercial law experts, by clients and peers.

People also often see us as one of the ‘Big Four’ Law Firms in Romania and so do numerous international publications such as “The Lawyer” Magazine whose Law firm of the Year in Romania we have also won.

And, in general, for many years PNSA is topping the rankings of all legal directories and receives prizes and awards regularly, such as:

  • “No. 1 Law Firm in Romania” as per Chambers Europe 2006 – 2018 and Legal 500 EMEA 2007 – 2018 in the Real Estate and Construction sector;
  • “No. 1 Law Firm in Romania” as per Legal 500 EMEA 2010 – 2018 in the field of PPP and Acquisitions;
  • IFLR 1000 – “Top Tier Firm 2018”.
  • “Top Law Firm in Romania” as per Chambers Europe 2007 – 2018 and Legal 500 EMEA 2007 – 2018 in the Litigation area;


In terms of assignments, we’re proud to say that Popovici Nițu Stoica & Asociații assisted during the past decades within at least 150 major national projects, amounting to well above 15 billion Euro of aggregate investment value, either as green-field ones, or M&As, public to private deals or dispute resolution missions. We have been also involved in a significant number of regulatory and institution building projects.

But above all, Popovici Nițu Stoica & Asociații stands as a team of true professionals, sharing solid values, such as high level expertise and loyalty to clients’ cause, innovation and commercial awareness.


What is your accompanying policy and what are your added values?

We, as PNSA, will stick to the values and principles we embraced at the outset, 25 years back. We are a local, independent law firm.

We see our team of lawyers as the essential motor for development and growth. We believe in proper and competent, state of the art legal expertise and we seek to strike a good balance between people’s and the Firm’s agendas.

This philosophy made us the firm of choice for a wide spectrum of legal entities, including key players in major industries, financial institutions, public authorities and investment funds, stock markets, numerous regulatory agencies. And as such, during the past decades, significant investment and acquisition projects on the Romanian market have been managed and carried out with the legal assistance of Popovici Nițu Stoica & Asociații.

And for future, we will of course stand for continuity, superior legal work, dedication and loyalty towards our clients.

Popovici Nițu Stoica & Asociații’s commitment to excellence in the practice of law entitles the Firm to be the choice for clients with the most challenging demands.


Who are the major national and international investors today in Romania? What is your view on the evolution of these investments in the years to come?

We have now in Romania all conditions well set for a major revival of the investment interest. Strategically, institutionally, commercially, and legally. All factors look aligned to enable major projects. And I am confident that we will thus see them soon materialize particularly in Infrastructure, Agribusiness, Real Estate, IT & Telecommunications, and yet in the Energy field.

Additionally, a new M&A wave is at the horizon, workouts and sales of NPL portfolios have completed and fresh capital will be infused in the economy.

As a local independent firm, we will also pay a particular attention to the Dispute Resolution and International Arbitration Practices and so far they are immensely busy.


Are European investments a prerequisite for sustaining the development of your country? Why ?

European investments do matter enormously. They always did, even before Romania joined the European Union.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. In the early 90s, I was in Paris for a meeting with a number of strategic investors from different continents that were intending to start an investment in Romania.

Each in their field, they have found local partners to negotiate a number of simultaneous transactions. After several rounds of talks, sometimes continuing all-night and encompassing inherent difficulties of negotiations at that time, during a meeting at the office of the investment bank brokering the investments, I have submitted to their Board of Directors together with the General Counsel and their Secretary-General – two eminent lawyers – three alternative projects for Romania.

All Board members and advisers have carefully listened to my suggestions – some of them have requested additional information – then, they have left the room to deliberate.

During that evening, or more exactly during that night, at about one o’clock in the morning, the key decision maker came to me and said that two of the three projects were still under consideration. He asked me to choose among them the project that, in my opinion, would be the first (or perhaps) the only one to get implemented. And of course, to state it- if I had the decision-making power – which arguments backed my choice.

I stated my opinion, gave all related explanations, and around four o’clock in the morning he informed me that I would have an answer by the time of my arrival at the airport – my flight was scheduled to depart at 7.00 a.m. Keep in mind, this was a 600 million USD ticket!

Eventually, they followed my option but the decisive reason is key here. They said to me, in brief and concise manner: “Dear Ernest, we trust your technical arguments, but what convinced us to take the option you advised for is the fact that your choice is a structurally European one”.

For me, it was a great satisfaction. However, I know very well today, and I also knew at that time, that my experience in France, in the United Kingdom, or in other European countries gave me the skills and confidence to make such a decision.


Finally, on the eve of major European elections, what are the major issues for Romania and Europe? And what message do you wish to address to Romanian and international companies already present and those who would like to set up shop there?

I think it is their time for better engagement with the profession and civil society in general. Not only the lawyers, but all professionals, entrepreneurs, business people should get more active, voice their concern and act in the public arena.

We need their new spirit, novel attitudes, knowledge acquired in times of open society and free markets.

More information > HERE



239 Calea Dorobanţi, 6th Executive Floor
Bucharest, 1st District, Postal Code 010567 Romania
Phone: (0040) 21 317 79 19
Fax: (0040) 21 317 85 00 / 317 75 05

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CCIFER – Mr François COSTE

President of the French Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture in Romania

Can you introduce CCIFER, its missions and competencies? of the total number of French companies in Romania how many are CCIFER members and what does this represent? What are the business sectors that you group?

There are more than 3,000 French investors in Romania.

François COSTE

Founded 23 years ago, the  French Chamber of Commerce in Romania (CCIFER) gathers a community of large companies often in a leading position in their sector, dynamic SMEs, associations and professionals who contribute significantly to the Romanian economy: 17 billion Euros cumulated turnover and 125,000 direct jobs. All sectors are represented, from industry, through aeronautics, automotive or new technologies, but also agriculture and agri-tech, health, retail and services. French investors have found in Romania a relaunch of growth in an emerging market within the EU, as well as a relay for their global competitiveness by producing some of their added value by relying on talent and affordable costs.

CCIFER’s missions? Create new opportunities for its members, support business development through value-added services and represent the voice of member companies in the public dialogue. Among the value-added services, we can mention our support for 50 companies from France in looking for opportunities in Romania and am Executive Management Programme (ExMP) with ESCP Europe for already 6 years.


You have created many working groups, what are your actions to promote the French presence and support of French companies in Romania?

Our dialogue with public authorities for a competitive economic environment, is one of the three missions of CCIFER. We have more than 100 experts form our companies involved in 12 working groups which allows us to actively contribute to the consultations initiated by the public authorities, being the force of proposals on the reform points necessary to the competitiveness and the attractiveness of Romania.

Active in agriculture, new technologies, health, but also in innovation or social responsibility, our working groups allow us to highlight the expertise of member companies through showcase projects. The most recent “Mobility of the Future” caravan, a cycle of 5 conferences in different cities, has introduced the European vision for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the good practices of a dozen member companies that offer innovative solutions for urban mobility in the field of vehicles, infrastructure or services.

Our 100 annual events bring together French or Romanian companies, representatives of central or local authorities, universities and professional associations and help boost the Franco-Romanian economic relationship.


France excels in many fields of activity, which sectors in Romania are promising for French companies or could they become? Are we covering all sectors of activity in Romania?

Romania is the country of Eastern Europe hosting one of the largest French investor communities: since the 1990s, the majority of 3,000 French-owned companies have shown dynamism during the years favorable to development and resilience during the crisis years.

The French economic presence in Romania is dense in all sectors of activity: 36 CAC40 companies are present in Romania in the automotive, banking & insurance, telecoms, IT, distribution, the pharmaceutical industry and energy.France, with a stock of FDI of 4.2 billion euros, is the 4th largest investor in Romania, after the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. Reactivity, expertise and commitment – are the guiding principles for the 15 permanent members of the French CCI team in Romania to offer the best business support to member companies: over the last 10 years we have accompanied more than 1,000 projects for companies who are looking for Romanian customers, distributors, suppliers or partners. By relying on our network of members, we offer French companies field information, sector know-how and technical expertise to sell or create a structure in Romania. Our Business Center has hosted more than 40 business projects that have found a turnkey structure to install a sales representative or country manager, benefiting from the proximity of our team and the support of our members.


Innovation and new technologies are very present in Romania, can we focus on this subject in the context of Franco-Romanian relations?

Romania offers one of the most advanced broadband telecom infrastructure in Europe and a university system that graduates each year more than 7,000 specialists in technical fields. Currently representing about 4% of GDP, new technologies are expected to reach almost 10% in the coming years. Foreign investors are very active in this sector, French companies have recently positioned themselves there – we have about 100 French players in this sector. Major French investors support innovation, actively contributing to the emergence and support of Romanian start ups, whether in services, energy or sustainable development.


France is an active member of the OIF in the same way as Romania, how does the French language serve our relations from your point of view?

Doing business in Romania is easy for the French. There is a geographical proximity (2h50 by plane from Paris), linguistic (Romanian is a Latin language) and cultural (links with France are very old). The Romanians are globally multilingual and multicultural, resolutely open. Latins, their culture has an important place for oral and relationship. Otherwise, it is an international business culture, since many French companies are already based in Romania. French allows us to have more loyal employees, linked to a corporate culture and not just a career opportunity, and ready for international mobility especially in France. At CCIFER, we wish to contribute to strengthening the French-language teaching sectors – there are more than 100 in Romania – to enable our companies to recruit Francophone talents in all sectors.


What are the expected economic benefits of the France-Romania Season (November 2018-July 2019)

During the 7 months of the France – Romania Season, more than 300 cultural, scientific, educational, economic and gastronomic events will take place in France and Romania. All these events allow us to promote our respective know-how and project an updated image of our two countries, oriented towards the future and towards what we can build together, in Europe, with the potential of our companies and the development of our Franco-Romanian cooperation.

Several economic conferences, trade show visits, a French market, a hackathon, will therefore fit into this dense program of the France Romania Season.


What are the major projects and objectives of the CCIFER in the coming years?

We have a 3 year strategy that we decline in our activities. Public dialogue is the first axis – consolidating and defending the voice of business in a changing political and economic context. We are working with other bilateral chambers and professional associations to represent the voice of the entire Romanian economy in these consultations.

We are also committed to supporting entrepreneurship – we already offer mentoring and guidance for new projects, we are thinking of going further to enable entrepreneurs to fully rely on resources in our community.

Education is also an axis, as we work with companies to map the skills of tomorrow – how to identify them, how to help educational institutions to integrate quickly, how to help young people to orient themselves in their lives to be better prepared on the job market. The CCIFER is particularly involved in the development of dual vocational training.


Finally, on the eve of major European elections, what message do you wish to send to your members, to French companies in Romania and to those who wish to establish themselves there?

Europe is an important catalyst for the Franco-Romanian relationship – this link is also visible at the economic level. Romania’s biggest trading partner is the European Union. 2007 was the year with the most foreign investment in Romania. European funding is an important contributor to the Romanian economy. We could therefore say to investors that thanks to Europe, Romania’s economy is more robust, more stable, better connected. On the other side, Europe benefits from Romanian talents, a market of 20 million consumers, a laboratory of innovations and technologies, and a Romanian public opinion that is resolutely pro-European. The partnership between Romania and the rest of Europe is balanced and winning. If your company is not yet present in Romania, join the many companies that have succeeded here and CCIFER will accompany your project.

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President of the Francophone Business Club of Sibiu (CFAS)

Mr Patrick MOLEINS

Can you introduce us to the Sibiu Francophone Business Club which you preside and tell us about its tasks and responsibilities? What are the areas of activity regrouped within this business club?

– Founded in 2015, as part of the cooperation between the departments of Ille-et-Vilaine (France) and Sibiu (Romania), I have the honour to preside the Sibiu Francophone Business Club (C.FAS) since its inception. Our association brings together around forty companies and NGOs from the Sibiu region (South-East Transylvania). Ranging from the individual entrepreneur to the international group, this organization supports its members in their implementation, development and promotion.

– Recognized for its successful activity, it is also a meeting place for local economic actors and a space for dialogue promoting the creation of business opportunities between its members and also with other economic, institutional and social C.FAS partners, especially through our partnership with CCIFER.

– With a multi-sectorial vocation, the C.FAS regularly organizes events in order to:

  • Defend the interests of Francophone businesses and promote corporate Francophonie
  • Support the development of local businesses by organizing BtoB and networking events
  • Promote vocational training and support its development in Romania
  • Promote the French language in academic institutions through a strong link with L. Blaga University of Sibiu.
  • Be the bearer of joint projects meeting the needs of members.


– Built in the image and under the impetus of the CFA Cluj-Napoca, we co-organize the “Francophone Business Club Awards” every year for high school students in Transylvania in the form of thematic sections, in order to promote corporate Francophonie and Francophone businesses in the region.

– Monthly meetings are also organized to promote synergy between members and to better act as a network. Thematic conferences are also organized according to the needs of the members and legal, legislative or financial news, as well as a regional networking and BtoB event called “The Francophone Business Meetings of Sibiu”.

More information on the website:


Celebration of 14/07/2018 in Sibiu “- From left to right: P. Moleins, President of the CFAS – Mrs. Daniela Cimpean, President of the Department Council – Ms. Michèle Ramis, Ambassador of France in Romania and Mrs. Astrid Fodor, Mayor of Sibiu.

You are also the Managing Director of NTN-SNR Rulmenti in Sibiu, Romania, could you give us a quick introduction to your company, its development since its creation more than 10 years ago, your areas of business and their geographic distribution?

– NTN-SNR Rulmenti was created in 2004 and was one of the first companies established in the industrial area of Sibiu. Today, we have 1,100 employees, 3 production facilities of more than 30,000 square meters to manufacture 100,000 wheel and gearbox bearings daily, as well as 9,000 transmissions for our customers, manufacturers and automotive suppliers located in Europe.

– Originally, it was the products and means transferred from France that allowed the start-up of the factory.

– From now on, new and modern means are industrialized within Sibiu, in order to produce bearings developed in Romania for new applications. This development can only be done by a high level of performance, especially in quality.

– Our local technical centre, made up of a team of Romanian engineers, designs the future bearings, the bearings and transmissions expertise, in close liaison with our head office based in Annecy, France.

What are your development plans for the coming years?

– We have several important projects within our factory:

  • Given the evolution of wages in Romania, and the shortage of manpower, we must boost productivity initiatives in order to make this factory sustainable.
    This involves automation, increased skills, and higher value-added products. Currently, we are getting started on our first bearing assembly robot.

We also invest heavily in internal training, but also on dual education with two local colleges.

Success in these different projects will allow us to industrialize new and more complex bearings, especially for electric vehicles.

  • We are finishing off our fourth facility, which will allow us to integrate the machining and assembly lines of our transmissions, in order to have a facility dedicated to this activity as a whole which will optimize our on-going flows and customer service.
  • The technical centre will continue its development and integrate new activities.

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LEROY MERLIN – Mr Frédéric Lamy

CEO, Chief Executive Officer of LEROY MERLIN ROMANIA

« LEROY MERLIN – a positive investor for 100 years more! »


M. Frédéric Lamy

You celebrate your 10th anniversary in Romania, can you please tell us a few words about the LEROY MERLIN Romania company, about its history, its development policy, and its geographical network?

The history of our company in Romania started back in 2009. At the time, a small team started acquiring in-depth knowledge about the Romanian housing market. This work lasted for nearly 2 years, and resulted in a business concept perfectly matching the customers’ needs. For this reason, we opened our first store in Bucharest in 2011 which was very well received by our customers. In 2014, we boosted the company’s expansion through the acquisition of one of our main Austrian competitors – that was in difficulty at the time – and we conducted a major company integration and transformation programme for almost 2 years.

Leroy Merlin Romania is a profitable company nowadays, with more than 2,200 employees and a network of 17 stores located in all the major cities and towns in Romania.


You currently rank the 2nd in Romania. How do you explain this success obtained in such a short period of time?

The achievement of this position is a mix of several key factors in our opinion: the perfect knowledge of our customers; the most tailored and permanently successful business concept; a long-lasting relationship and experience in the store as well as online; committed Romanian teams who have joined our progress-based corporate culture, the development of everyone’s potential, and the desire to succeed together… and we may also add a little luck!


What image of Romania stuck to your mind starting from your arrival up to present? And what about the years to come?

The first image of Romania I bear in mind is the generosity of these inhabitants and our teams. Although the living standards here are sometimes far from those of the Western European countries, locals are ready to do their best in terms of building relationships with the others as well as in their professional commitment. For the years to come, what strikes me with our Romanian friends is their desire to learn constantly and to progress very quickly. Romanians are curious people, eager for knowledge, and we all share authentic human values. We will still be present for many years in this country that we love so much!


Str. Icoanei nr. 11 – 13,
București, sector 2, 020451

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Mrs. Manuela FURDUI, Managing Partner

Mrs. Manuela FURDUI

Mrs. FURDUI, you run a leader company in the financial and accounting consultants industry in Romania for more than 15 years, highly reputed in the market, and internationally known. How did you manage to grow the business in a country which joined the EU in 2007, and what are the major differences that you’ve noticed before and after the integration of the country?

Like with the other countries in the recent past, Romania joining the EU in 2007 has provided the local economy with an increased opportunity: not only the local businesses have increased their turnovers by accessing EU funds and also EU clients but also the international EU players could now access the local market without any further barriers. This was a challenge to the financial services that needed to adapt to this rapidly changing business environment. We at FiNEXPERT we have addressed this issue by implementing several measures: training people to work using international standards, offering to our clients consultancy for accessing the European funds and state aid fund.

Not least for FiNEXPERT joining the EU meant collaboration with consultancy firms around the world which meant exchange of experience, an important element in development of our business.

Now, after almost 11 years since Romania has joined the EU, how do you feel the market and which are the aspects that significantly impact the local business environment?

One could say that 11 years of EU membership has overhauled the Romanian economy. All industries have benefited from an increased demand and also access to EU funds and know how. Harmonization of the local legislation with the EU one has generated a clearer and more equal ground for all players. The industry, commerce, real estate and IT & C are probably among the largest beneficiaries among all sectors. However, the still inadequate transportation infrastructure is hindering an even more faster development of the economy. Significant developments have occurred in many ways but, with a few notable exceptions, the local capital is still fragile in comparison to the international one, the investments market with the stock exchange being one of the lowest capitalized in the region.


From your experience and from the perspective of a senior professional in the finance and accounting industry, what should a Romanian or foreign company investing in Romania look at in terms of finance consultancy ?

Setting up a business in Romania is quite straightforward, with a streamlined process of incorporation of almost all types of legal entities being available in the local legislation. Professional advice is available to highest standards, provided both by local and international financial consultants that have offices in Romania.

There are though a few competitive advantage that any investor should look at when investing in Romania, depending on the sector of activity:

  1. Taxation environment that can be consider one of the least burdensome in Europe- 16% flat tax; tax exemption for R&D; tax exemption on salaries derived from IT and R&D activities; tax exemption from reinvested profit, etc;
  2. Availability of state / EU funds and state aid schemes;
  3. Last but not least the availability skilled workforce with solid knowledge of technology and foreign languages;


Mrs FURDUI, as Romania took over the Presidency of the Council of the EU on January 2019, please give us 3 attributes to be taken into account by foreign investors when looking at business opportunities in Romania, from next year on.

  • Availability of a talented, resourceful and highly skilled workforce at competitive costs compared not only to the Western Europe but also to the neighbouring countries that have accessed the EU earlier than Romania;
  • The ‘depth’ of the market – despite the 11 years of EU membership, Romania is a large country (both geographically and also by population) that presents a lot of significant opportunities in many fields;
  • The largest economic growth in Europe in the last year;
  • A low taxation environment.


How would you define the fiscal environment in Romania for 2019?

Romania has been for many years and still is one of the most attractive fiscal environments in EU in terms of levels of profits and dividends taxation which has attracted a significant interest from the international players.

In the past year and especially recent months several fiscal measures have been adopted by the government despite the business sector opposition. It is unclear yet what would be the effect of these measures and the uncertainty that these measures have generated is not welcome but even in the worst case scenarios Romania still remains an attractive investment destination. .


Are there any indicators that may lead you to think there might be a new global economic crisis?

What is most worrying for me is the level of sovereign debt that has been accumulated, especially after the 2008 crisis, that has the potential of triggering a significant global economic crisis. Romania stands apart in this particular field, with a low level of public debt compared to its GDP but given the interconnected EU and world economies, we are also concerned this potentiality.


Could you tell us what are in your opinion the industries in which investors should put their money in?

There are many areas where Romania still needs investments. If I look closely at the evolution in recent years, a very dynamic sector has been the IT & C field that has transformed itself from the multinational support service model into the software development model.
Companies that develop solutions to achieve increased productivity by automating, or digitizing activities, and rethinking business processes are a new segment of investment interest.

Regardless of the category of investors, the general conditions for attracting capital are the improvement of infrastructure, the development of the domestic capital market, the access to the banking market for as many citizens as possible, the simplification of the procedures for obtaining professional advice, the legislative and fiscal predictability.

Infrastructure, tourism and agriculture also present the international investors with significant opportunities.


Is the 2019 Romania a fiscal hell or a fiscal heaven for investors?

For most sectors (banking sector excluded), for sure 2019 will not be a fiscal hell in terms bottom line results, as the level of taxation is still quite low compared to other EU countries. Nevertheless, as I have mentioned before, the business environment is concerned by the lack of fiscal predictability induced by the numerous fiscal changes occurring-in a short period of time an without the proper consultation with the business environment.


What are your business plans for FiNEXPERT for the following 5 years?

From my perspective, one of the biggest upcoming challenges in our business is the digitization and processes automation.

I personally believe that nowadays, an accountant or auditor should focus more than ever on developing his communication, digital and management skills. The accounting job will not disappear but it will transform by adapting to the technological challenges. Self-change is the key to moving forward. In this respect, in 2019, we are focusing on the further digitalization of our business processes in the same time managing the appropriate challenges in our HR policies caused by the digital era.


37 Grigore Mora Street, 011886,
Bucharest, Romania
Office : +40 21 529 95 00

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Ro France Prod Impex

Ion Ciolacu, Honorary Consul, et Michele Ramis, Ambassador of France in Romania


Binational, Romanian and French; Manager and partner of Ro France Prod Impex, Honorary Consul of France in Brasov, President of the French Alliance of Brasov.


About Ro France Prod Impex

Ro France Prod Impex is a company with French-Romanian capital, established in Brasov since 1995. The company is a small business and specializes in the importation of France and the distribution in Romania of leather goods. The products are marketed in a boutique, as well as in several large stores in Romania.

For 20 years, the Romanian market has evolved enormously, benefiting from membership of the EU and today represents the second market of the CEEC countries. It offers interesting development perspectives for SMEs, French or Francophone. Companies can benefit from a good professional level of employees and collaborators, many of them speaking French or other foreign languages.

The France-Romania season can contribute to a better knowledge and understanding of the two countries and the two peoples, the objective being to deepen the excellent Franco-Romanian bilateral relations but also contribute to strengthening the EU of tomorrow.


Tél. : +40 744 566400

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Since 1994 EGETRA ROMANIA SA has been supporting Franco-Romanian trade relations.


As part of a French family group that has more than 70 years of experience in logistics and international transport solutions, the company registered in Romania already offers its expertise to French and Romanian companies in a multitude of areas, such as in the wine and spirits industry, aerospace, pharmaceuticals and the automobile industry, but also the printing and publishing industries and many others.

In addition to international road freight services, ocean freight, air freight, logistics and customs clearance, we are always available for any advice regarding the specificities of the supply chain of your specific sector.

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LEROY şi Asociaţii


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DPDgroup – Mr Olivier TSALPATOUROS

Vice President of European Affairs of DPDgroup

Contributing to more sustainable cities


M. Olivier TSALPATOUROS ©Patrice Maurein190

Could you please explain why is smart urban delivery the way forward?

The last mile delivery market is growing and is expected to continue to grow exponentially: e-shopping is exploding; in 2017, 57% of the European population was identified as e-shoppers . Among them, heavy shoppers make an average of 45 online purchases per year (around one per week), while in the UK, the most mature market in Europe, they make 82 online purchases per year. Looking for goods not available in their country, or for better deals, more than 50% of them have already bought from a foreign website, especially from the UK, and increasingly from China .

As a consequence, by 2025, the total parcel volume delivered to individuals will have doubled in Europe: almost 15 billion parcels per year will be delivered, mainly in cities. At the same time, cities are implementing a growing number of initiatives to drastically reduce congestion and pollution.
From this perspective, the challenge for a delivery company such as DPDgroup is to contribute to more sustainable cities: permanently innovate to provide a better and smarter delivery service to customers, optimize city center delivery processes, and develop ever more agile urban delivery vehicles.

How is DPDgroup making a difference?

DPDgroup’ urban logistics initiatives aim at improving everyday urban life by giving customers greater delivery choices, while reducing the impact on the environment.

The way DPDgroup would like to tackle urban logistics with local authorities would be to work together to rethink pragmatically urban mobility, improve transport efficiency incrementally and allow dynamic business life in city centers.
There is no “one size fits all” solution, as each city has different geography, capacity, strategic objectives and needs: innovative solutions and regulation, need to be adapted to each case.




DPDgroup is attentive to the needs of each city and gear its offering of micro-depots and alternative fleet accordingly. Implementation of micro-depots and urban depots close to high-density areas. Alternative, low-emission delivery fleet that relies on natural gas, electric vehicles, cycles, and walking. Measurement of the impact of the conventional fleet, reduction of the CO2 footprint and offsetting of the remaining emissions through dedicated offsetting programmes

Our objective is to make every parcel being delivered carbon neutral, at no extra cost to its customers. Between 2013-2017, the CO2 footprint was reduced by 16% on parcel deliveries.



How do you think the last mile delivery will evolve in the coming years?

Thanks to a comprehensive digitalization, last mile delivery in 10 to 20 years will be fully flexible and personalized. By using digital interfaces, consignees will have access to various delivery options – the doorstep being one of many possibilities, while alternative delivery options will be far more numerous and frequent than today.

Future delivery fleet will consist of a vast range of alternative vehicles: trucks, vans, cargo bikes, e-scooters, completed with rolling and flying autonomous vehicles.

This being said, DPDgroup is always trying to keep one step ahead, and in this prospect, developed a partnership with Groupe Renault in order to lay the groundwork for the future of last mile delivery; by creating new delivery scenarios with the concept car EZ-PRO, a fully autonomous and electric vehicle.

This project is part of DPDgroup innovation & CSR programmes, which ease the daily work of the drivers and meet the expectations of citizens as well as public authorities regarding smart cities.

As a service provider, how can you take part in shaping tomorrow’s urban life?

DPDgroup is strongly in favour of smart urban mobility plans, which are key to make the cities more sustainable in the future. Transition to a more sustainable operating mode can be driven by enhanced R&D plans, low-emissions fleet and microdistribution sites that reduce the last mile distance and allow same-day delivery.

  1. Eurostat
  2. DPDgroup E-shopper barometer 2017 conducted by Kantar TNS with 24,871 participants across 21 European countries



DPDgroup is the second largest international parcel delivery network in Europe. DPDgroup combines innovative technology and local knowledge to provide a flexible and user-friendly service for both shippers and shoppers. With its industry-leading Predict service, DPDgroup is setting a new standard for convenience by keeping customers closely in touch with their delivery.

With more than 68,000 delivery experts and a network of more than 32,000 local Pickup points, DPDgroup delivers 4.8 million parcels to over 230 countries each day through the brands DPD, Chronopost, SEUR and BRT.

DPDgroup is the parcel delivery network of GeoPost, which posted sales of €6.8 billion in 2017. GeoPost is a holding company owned by Le Groupe La Poste.


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SBM Développement France

has proposed in Romania an alternative technology to protect the maize and sunflower crops against Tanymecus dillaticolis, a dangerous regional soil insect

In the specific pedoclimatic conditions of South and South East of Romanian agricultural land, around one million Ha of maize and sunflower emerging crops are exposed every spring to this soil insect attack.


Attack of Tanymecus insect


The insects are eating the young emerging plants and when the infestation is high, the crop can be totally damaged, obliging the farmers to reseed the crops. The standard protective method used by Romanian farmers in the past decade was the Seed Treatment (ST) with systemic insecticides from the Neonicotinoid (NNI) family (based on imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiametoxam as active substances).

The emerging plants contain some amount of insecticide from the treated seed and the hungry attacking insects are killed by ingestion. There are frequent situations when the insect attack overpasses the Economic Threshold Level.

In this case, additional treatments with foliar insecticides are compulsory, otherwise the crop being compromised. Following to EU Directive 485/2013, the use of neonicotinoid insecticides as ST products are banned. The Romanian farmers have lost the usual cheap and simply solution for many major crop protections. Under farmer association pressure, the Romanian authorities has succeeded to obtain EU commission derogation every year from 2014 to 2018 for the use of banned neonicotinoid ST insecticides in maize and sunflower crops.

SBM was present in Romania with BELEM 0.8MG/ PICADOR 0.8MG registered by mutual recognition for control of wireworms (Agriotes spp.) in different crops including maize and sunflower.

In this context SBM Company has started in Romania from 2014 systematic trials, using his performant micro granular insecticides, for developing a new method for preventive protection against Tanymecus insect in maize and sunflower crops. Based on experimental results on trials performed by GEP laboratory of Research-Development Institute for Plant Protection, the products BELEM 0.8MG/ PICADOR 0.8MG have been registered by National Registration Commission of PPP in 26.11.2017 (EU Zonal Authorization cf,art 33-39 Reg.1107/2009) for controlling Tanymecus dillaticolis on maize and sunflower in Romania. Basically, the method is consisting in two applications: first at seeding and the second one at the emergence of the crop, each one using specific devices.


First application at seeding (Fig.2):

The microgranules are disposed by a granulator mounted on seeding machine and applied in soil around seeds, using a special device Fishtail DXP (registered SBM Patent &Trade Name), at the rate of 12 Kg/Ha (96 g/Ha cypermethrin active ingredient). The seeds and the emerging plants are protected against soil pest until emergence (BBCH 00-09).



The second application on the soil surface at the emergence of the crop:

The microgranules are applied at the rate of 12 Kg/Ha also from a granulator mounted on the seeding machine or other equipment using a special device Fishtail DXP T, in bands of 15 cm wide, along the seeded rows, assuring an insecticide barrier for the emerging and growing young plants.


On surface application ramp designed by SBM and provided in Romania for demo trials (6 rows with microgranulators, DXP®-T devices and wind protection)


Due to special characteristics of the granules: density (around 1.4 g/cub cm), number: 3000 microgranules/g, stability: to light, temperature and water, the persistence and insecticide activity of the product on the soil is lasting more than two weeks after in- respectively on top- soil application.

In 2017 and 2018 campaigns SBM has performed experimental and demo trials in production farms in five South East counties, in the area known for the high degree of infestation with this pest.

The demo trials have been performed under supervision of GEP researchers and the validity of the method has been confirmed by results and by farmers involved. Under light and medium attack conditions (which is the general case met in practice) the efficacy of the SBM method was close to the method using neonicotinoid treated seeds.


Final comments

As result of consistent and serious studies, the EFSA specialists concluded that neonicotinoid class of insecticides is harmful for bees and other pollinators. Based on these studies EU Commission came to the decision to ban the use of this class of insecticides in all agricultural crops in EU starting 2019. The protection of bees and pollinators is considered vital for environment and life protection and the use of Neonicotinoid insecticides in agricultural crops are statute as harmful and unacceptable.

The SBM technology applying cypermethrin based microgranules as insecticide barrier against attack of Tanymecus pest on young emerging plants is coming as a promising alternative crop protection method for Romanian farmers.


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Head of South East Europe Business Area LIMAGRAIN

Emmanuel BERTHE

LIMAGRAIN is a French company that celebrated its 50 years a short time ago. Can you briefly tell us about its history, areas of activity and geographical locations?

LIMAGRAIN, the fourth largest seed company in the world, has set itself the mission of advancing agriculture to meet global food challenges.

We are a cooperative group created and run by French farmers since 1965. Our parent company, the LIMAGRAIN Cooperative federates nearly 2,000 farmers, located in the centre of France in the plain of Limagne Val d’Allier (Auvergne).

LIMAGRAIN creates, produces and sells field seeds (LG), vegetable seeds (Vilmorin, Hazera, HM. Clause) and cereal products (Jacquet, Brossard).
We are present in 56 countries and have more than 10,000 employees.


Your research budget is significant, what are your main areas of research?

Indeed, with Cooperation and Perseverance, Scientific Progress is LIMAGRAIN’s core value. We invest nearly 15% of our turnover in Research and Development.

For our Field Crop operations (Corn, Sunflower, Winter Rapeseed, Wheat, Durum Wheat, Barley, Protein crop), our research team has nearly 1,000 researchers in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia.

Our main research focus is obviously to obtain varieties of very high performance adapted to the pedo-climatic conditions of each growing region.
Nevertheless, the marked climatic changes cause many constraints on the crops and of course on the farms. At LIMAGRAIN, we want to give more safety to farmers, by offering them innovations in stress tolerance (drought, diseases…).


Limagrain head office © Bouchet

The products you offer represent a real breakthrough for agriculture; they are already used in many countries, what are the features and benefits?

Agriculture cannot be apprehended in a unique & global way. Only an understanding of local constraints, intense work on improvement factors and an adapted response can be the key to agricultural performance. It is also for this reason that Limagrain has set up its subsidiaries close to its markets.
The varieties we offer in each market respond to this local approach.

On the other hand, our technical innovations aimed at improving performance in drought situations (HYDRANEO for corn), tolerance to diseases / stress (Orobanche Resistance in Sunflower, TuYV Resistance for Winter Rapeseed…), or the development of new cultural practices (precision agriculture…) respond well to European issues.


Romania is a very important agricultural market in Europe, what is your implementation policy in Romania, at what stage are you with the deployment of your products and solutions?

Limagrain has been active in Romania for 27 years. We were lucky to be the protagonists in and witnesses of the development of this wonderful country.

Romania has exceptional agricultural potential. Sustained development has been taking place over the last 20 years, including a doubling of cereal yields and the accession of Romania to the platform of Europe’s largest exporters of corn and wheat.

The potential for development is still significant and above all essential for the economic growth of the country because the share of agriculture in Romania’s GDP is of 4.8% (vs. 1.3% on average in the EU).

Like other EU countries, Romania will continue its “agricultural transformation” through improved farming practices and techniques, the use of ever-increasing varieties and the development of agricultural precision.

On the economic front, increased investment in agro-food processing will be a key factor in Romania’s development, boosting local agricultural production and so decreasing imports of finished consumer products.

Limagrain wishes to support this development through both our services, our advice and our products for farmers, and by sharing our vision and experience of cooperation and structuring of agro-food chains.


What are your main expectations for Romania today, and more generally, on the eve of European elections, what message do you want to convey to Romania, Europe and all our consumer citizens?

The agricultural world is constantly reinventing itself and it conditions our food independence and our economic performance in a globalized market.
Our consumer citizens are increasingly aware of the importance of food security. In Europe, we have one of the most efficient, qualitative and environmentally-friendly farming. It is important for our European institutions to value and protect these virtuous and strategic sectors.

Finally, Romania is full of both human and natural resources. This incredibly pro-European population needs the cooperation and kindness of other member states to continue to reinvent itself socially, economically and politically.



To find out more, please visit us on: or or


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part of the ROULLIER GROUP : High professionalism consultancy.

M. Adrian Dragan

“we treat every farm, culture, soil in personalized way, we have the recipe of quality agriculture”
– Adrian Dragan, CEO of TIMAC AGRO Romania, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine


Timac Agro Romania, with a turnover of 35 million Euros and over 2000 customers, has the largest part of its portfolio of medium sized farmers. As a company specializing in plant nutrition, it proposes to Romanian farmers quality products adapted to each crop and any stage of vegetation in order to increase productivity.


You are the CEO of TIMAC AGRO in Romania, Moldova and Ukraine, could you introduce us to your group, its activities and missions ?

For 12 years since I join the ROULLIER Group, during this period we have visited at least 30 countries. The ROULLIER Group is known in more than 100 countries and its presence on the Romanian market is quite important from the perspective of research, development and exchange that we can have with farmers from all countries. We present unconventional solutions for sunflower, corn, wheat, rapeseed, crops grown by the vast majority of Romanian farmers. We are also present in Morocco, where we can plant different crops in desert conditions. The group can propose practical solutions for all the problems encountered in agriculture“.

TIMAC AGRO Romania, a member of the French ROULLIER Group, entered the Romanian market in 2006 and has grown in these two times more than the average.



Our model is based on highly professional consultancy on the farm. The products we have include top technology and are suited to crops in Romania. The team has 122 committed employees at the service of farmers. We are probably the largest sales force in agribusiness, and are therefore permanently present throughout the country, which helps us to visit and interact with about 6,000 farmers each month.

Our mission is to help farmers achieve sustainable farming and increased profitability. For this, TIMAC AGRO’s plant nutrition consultants are passionate about what they are doing, treat each farm, culture, soil in a personalized way, and propose appropriate solutions for optimum results. We are on the farm and offer advice at every important moment: from soil preparation to harvesting.

TIMAC AGRO Romania has grasped diversity in the field and has invested heavily in cartoons designed to identify the best solution for farmers and to develop a global soil map so that we can create the most suitable products for Romania. New products from the TIMAC AGRO Romania range have been created to respond to soil problems, to enhance their potential and to provide the plant with the necessary food gradually and without loss.



On the eve of important national and European deadlines, what message do you wish to deliver to farmers?

I urge farmers to constantly inform and understand the opportunity offered by the practice of precision farming, as we can see in developed countries” – Adrian Dragan, CEO TIMAC AGRO Romania, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine.


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