Home » English » USL will launch an micro-industrialisation programme Interview with Deputy Constantin Niţă, vicepresident SPD, president of the Social Democratic Party, Braşov County

USL will launch an micro-industrialisation programme Interview with Deputy Constantin Niţă, vicepresident SPD, president of the Social Democratic Party, Braşov County

Deputy Constantin Niţă, do you think re-establishing a ministry for SMEs would be a useful idea?
What is vital for small and medium-sized enterprises is not a special ministry, but rather a business-friendly legislative framework.
This has not been the case over the past few years, and statistics indicate an alarming number of bankruptcies filed by SMEs – around 100,000 SMEs have been wound up in Romania in the past few years.
In this context, we must give this sector the attention it deserves, because we are at a turning point where we need to restore people’s confidence in the usefulness of developing a business in Romania.
What measures is PSD preparing for SMEs?
We have a comprehensive governing programme, with key areas interconnected so as to ensure a coherent development of the local economy. This spells out as measures aimed at boosting business competitiveness and restoring the confidence of investors and of entrepreneurs in general in the Romanian business environment.
The main measures addressing this sector include:

  • Improving the law on insolvency and the restructuring/winding up procedures, together with the Justice Ministry and the Ministry for Public Finances, so as to build a more dynamic business environment;
  • Enhancing SME access to public procurement, directly stimulated by the regulatory framework, by streamlining the qualification system and simplifying eligibility criteria;

Meanwhile, we should not look at the local market as isolated from the European and global market. This can only suppress the extraordinary development potential of the Romanian business environment. To maximise this potential, we lobby for reconnecting the main actors—institutions, SMEs—to the international and regional economic networks. Such openness can only help the future expansion and diversification of sale markets.
In the short and medium term, we will focus on increasing the interest in the endeavours of private players, so as to ensure a sustainable basis for reconstructing the country’s non-inflationist economic growth potential. These efforts will translate as concrete, nation-wide actions:

  • Promoting measures to reduce borrowing costs from a systemic perspective, boosting financial mediation by developing a discounting platform, establishing loan brokerage entities, introducing a claims registry;
  • Establishing hedge funds that focus on the Romanian economy;
  • Launching a micro-industrialisation programme;
  • Financial and fiscal inspection once every three years for SMEs and implementation of the “one-stop shop” principle to reduce bureaucracy;
  • Revitalising the real estate and related sectors, among others by introducing new instruments, e.g. bonds secured by asset portfolios;
  • Drawing up and implementing the “SME Test” –The Impact on SMEs.

You have lobbied for two projects that were abandoned by the Liberal Democratic Party: the Braşov international airport and the Bucharest-Braşov motorway. What are your hopes today as regards their resumption?
The reason why I have always seen these two projects, the airport and the Bucharest-Braşov motorway, as strategic priorities, is quite evident.
These projects have to do with the development of the infrastructure of a region. We all know that today, in the 21st Century, there can be no social-economic development without infrastructure.
Unfortunately, PDL chose to disregard these strategic goals, on grounds that the County Council was headed by a member of another political party. This did not happen in Braşov alone; it was an official policy in recent years. This is obviously why we are now facing major economic difficulties. We cannot talk about investment opportunities or regional development opportunities without infrastructure.
I am confident that we will be able to resume these projects in a coherent manner, after June 10th, when voters will have clearly stated their will. We know that completing these two projects requires political will, and we are ready to make this effort and help Braşov County seize on this opportunity.
 You have stated that Romania should strengthen relations with the BRIC group. Could you tell us more about this?
This is part of what I call openness to the regional and international context. We are a country with outstanding potential in many areas: industry, agriculture, research, tourism. Our core problem is the “self-imposed isolation” generated primarily by the incompetence of those who governed the country in recent years, in utter disregard for the power of diplomatic relations and in keeping with their personal interests alone.
BRIC is a structure that includes the countries with the fastest-growing markets in the world: Brazil, Russia, India and China. Two of them, Russia and China, used to be strategic economic partners for Romania. What we need to do in the ensuing period is to capitalise on our competitive advantages over the other countries in the region, without giving away control over our own strategic assets. Romania has good negotiators, exceptional diplomats and experienced experts. Together, they will work to restore the bridges that would give us access to the world’s biggest markets, so as to re-launch the national economy. Our ultimate objective is to turn from an importing country into an exporting one.
You once questioned the former prime minister on irregularities found at Transelectrica. What was is about, and what answer did you receive? And, along the same lines, how does the Social Democratic Party see privatisation in the energy sector?
It was a natural reaction to a highly sensitive aspect that concerns all state-owned companies in the energy sector. At that time I was talking about the declining performance of the company, about the drop in revenues and the negative impact on public budget revenues. I did not receive an answer from the former prime minister, but our no-confidence motion had an important fragment devoted to the questionable manner in which energy companies have been privatised and sea mineral resources have been distributed. The fact that this motion passed proves that we have been vigilant and that we can put an end to the abuse in the system.
In this respect, through our governing programme we intend to carry on the privatisation process, after we have finalised an audit into the activity of the previous Cabinet and have clarified the technical and economic data of the companies involved in this process. We will also step up the implementation of the strategic national projects in the energy sector: the Tarniţa – Lăpuşteşti hydropower plant, Units 3 and 4 in the Cernavodă Nuclear Power Plant, the new power clusters in Rovinari, Işalniţa, Iernut, Brăila, Galaţi, Borzeşti etc.

Interview by Virginia MIRCEA

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