The objective of the 2009 lunch was to provide a forum for representatives of the new Romanian Government (GoR) to discuss with prominent representatives from the business sector and economic analysts who are members of Aspen Romania the key challenges in managing the Romanian economy in the current financial crisis. The lunch follows the traditional Aspen format of off-the-record discussion and will offer Ministers the chance to listen to business and experts' views in an informal and constructive atmosphere.
Main speakers included Mr. Emil Boc, Prime Minister of Romania; Mr. Mircea Geoana, President of the Aspen Institute Romania and the Romanian Senate; Mr. AdrieanVideanu, Minister of Economy; Mr. Gheorghe Pogea, Minister of Finance and other members of the Cabinet and Aspen Institute Romania Members.
The main topics of discussion were:
1. Budget policy: what is an appropriate deficit for the near future? How to match the means to the objectives? What policy towards external borrowing? What are the alternative sources of budget revenues? Wage policy in 2009: how far can wage rises be implemented?
2. Impact of the financial crisis on the business sector in Romania: Measures for direct and indirect financing of Romanian industry - industrial policies and political support. Bailing out the auto industry - whose responsibility? Role and responsibilities of the banking sector. What other industries are vulnerable from the crisis? Labour issues: skilled workforce availability, rising unemployment. Creating and maintaining competitive advantage: what new outlets in a period of market retrenchment? Developing SMEs.
3. Capitalizing on EU funds: absorption; directing EU funds to priority needs; developing infrastructure; efficient implementation of projects; maximizing public sector management capacity.
Romanian companies facing the Crisis
This 2009 conference objective was to give an opportunity to the business representatives to inform the government policy makers and representatives of commercial banks on the main problems that the businesses are facing and the urgent measures necessary to regulate them. The event focused on the obstacles faced by the Romanian businesses during the current financial crisis and the potential solutions and opportunities for funding or assistance.