Financing the Economy Conference

Continuing on the work of its Economic Opportunity and Financing of the Economy Program, Aspen Institute inaugurated its 2014 series of policy roundtables and conferences with a conference dedicated to financing the economy.

Some of the speakers included Liviu Voinea, Minister Delegate for Budget; Ioana Petrescu, Minister of Finance; Mihai Tănăsescu, Vice-President, European Investment Bank; Mamta Murthi, Country Director for Central Europe and the Baltic Countries Europe and Central Asia, World Bank; Mircea Geoană, President, Aspen Institute Romania; Dorin Drăguțanu, Governor, National Bank of Moldova; Stefan Lehner, Director, Own Resources and Financial Programming, DG Budget, European Commission or Traian Halalai, President, EximBank, to mention just a few. You may find the AGENDA here.

The overall economic results for 2013 in Romania are positive when it comes to growth, while inflation and debt were kept within the EU limits. Despite historically low borrowing rates, there is little dynamic in the market and the domestic economy remains sluggish in creating new jobs and investment. Overall, FDI’s in Romania remain well below historical maximum. There is significant pressure on government revenue and the budgetary situation remains tight.

Romania is beginning 2014, the first year in a new EU financing cycle, with good prospects but also significant strategic difficulties when it comes to financing its economy. This pressure remains high for both private sector investments and public projects in areas like infrastructure. In turn, these are limiting the ability of the country to aggressively implement development programs, as well as benefit in full form EU financing. The IMF and EU agreement provides little room for maneuver despite overall fiscal situation allowing Romania to borrow at favorable rates. A research from the Global Economic Governance Initiative of the Boston University looks at these, in particular at reinventing development banking in Romania. Written by Brian N. Patenaude from the Boston University Global Development Economics Department, this paper benefited from support of the Center for Law Finance and Policy at Boston University, Ebert Stiftung Romania and Aspen Institute Romania. You may download it here.
2014 is also an important electoral year in Romania with European and presidential elections taking place in May and December. Under these circumstances, it is important that the economic strategy of the government remains steady on course, finding a delicate balance between austerity and growth. While prudential mechanisms enshrined in the IMF agreement need to be considered, there are also needs that stem from economic policy priorities.

Whether infrastructure and regional development, urban development or industrial policy, Romania needs to have a clear perspective for financing the economy. A clear financing strategy is a priority for ongoing and future projects in order for Romania to continue on a sustainable path of growth.

With the support of:

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