News review of the day – May 14th

Military convoy reaches Brasov after two-day „Cavalry March” across Romania

More than 1.000 soldiers (350 American troops) have marched over the last couple of days between the Romanian cities of Constanta and Brasov. The purpose of the 400-kilometres “Cavalry March” was to transport US armored vehicles and military gear from Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base to Cincu training facility in order to be used in a new extensive multinational drill under NATO’s Operation „Atlantic Resolve”. This is the first time since World War II  a foreign army has been transporting combat equipment on Romania’s roads. US troops have been stopping in the big cities on their route to interact with local communities.

President Klaus Iohannis visited Expo 2015 in Milan

President Klaus Iohannis has visited Expo 2015 today, the current Universal Exposition hosted by Milan and he declared himself very impressed with Romania’s pavilion whose concept is very well harmonized with this year’s theme: „Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.

Klaus Iohannis: We have footage and images that show Romania’s take on sustainability regarding food, but also regarding culture and everyday life in a very inspired presentation combining hig-tech flat-screen monitors with rural architecture that we have in the Danube Delta.

Tomorrow, the head of state will be on an official visit to the Holy See and will meet Pope Francis at the Vatican. President Iohannis has announced he will invite the Pope to visit Romania.

Ernst&Young study says Romania 30 years away from becoming a favorable business environment

Romania would need at least 30 years to become a favorable business environment, according to a study conducted by Ernst&Young Romania, one of the „Big Four” audit firms.

62% of questioned businessmen consider that entrepreneurship education has improved over the last year and 65% believe that business failure is sanctioned by the society. The study targeted Romanian entrepreneurs’ perception on business environment and focused on five guidelines: access to finance, the support given to entrepreneurs, tax and regulation, professional culture and education.

Alexandru Lupea, partner Ernst&Young Romania: 82% of entrepreneurs consider that access to finance is difficult or extremely difficult. This is a large percentage, but it is better than last year’s when 88% said the same. Bank loans and European funds remain the most important sources of finance with 45% whilst the Stock Exchange and alternative schemes gathered 6% of all the options. 2015 is the first year we have perceived real optimism among Romanian entrepreneurs with those selling on the local market adding up to the optimism expressed only by exporters in 2014.Most of them said they were engaging in investment activities and creating new jobs.

369 entrepreneurs and businessmen in 14 industries have been interviewed for this year’s EY study between January 9th – February 24th.

EBRD improves forecast regarding Romania’s economic growth

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development improved its forecast regarding Romania’s economic growth for the current year. According to a report published today at EBRD’s annual general meeting, Romania’s economy is expected to grow by 3% in 2015 compared to the 2.8% forecast at the beginning of the year. EBRD has significantly altered its forecast for the Republic of Moldova. At the beginning of 2015 the body had estimated economic stagnation for the neighboring country but now it announces a 2% decrease.

The Small Border Traffic Agreement between Romania and Ukraine comes into force

Romania’s Foreign Ministry has welcomed today the coming into force of the Small Border Traffic Agreement with Ukraine. The new legal instrument will significantly facilitate trips nearby the common border benefiting citizens from both countries. The first small-border-traffic permits issued under this agreement will be handed over during a ceremony attended by Foreign Ministers of the two states.

EUROPAfest  International Festival – a country brand

EUROPAfest  International Festival is reuniting jazz, pop, blues and classical music between May 8-23 this year. The event is considered a country brand and brings together 300 musicians from over 45 Western and Eastern countries. A rock and roots band from Southern Finland called Turn On is evolving tonight in Bucharest alongside Hot Club de Bucharest from Romania. Japanese pianist Momoka Masuda is also expected to take the stage tonight in the city of Sibiu accompanied by The State Philharmonic of Sibiu.
Numerous other events are scheduled to take place, including workshops, master-classes, caffè festival, jam sessions, gala. Starting 2005, the international festival EUROPAfest is organized under the High Patronage of Their Royal Highnesses Princess Margarita and Prince Radu.

Bianca Ioniţă