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IFC to Help Romania Study Competitiveness


In Bucharest:
Ana Maria Mihaescu

Phone: +40 (21) 211-0335
E-mail: amihaescu@ifc.org

In Belgrade:

Margo Thomas
Phone: +381 11 3023 750
E-mail: mthomas@ifc.org

In Belgrade:

Slobodan Brkic
Phone: +381 11 3023 750
E-mail: sbrkic@ifc.org


Bucharest, Romania, November 7, 2007 — The government of Romania has asked IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to help it conduct a study of the country’s competitiveness. The objective is to develop a strategic approach to enhancing the country’s competitiveness and to address the challenges of globalization and Romania’s recent accession to the European Union.

The project will assess Romania’s viability as a location for private investment, benchmark the key sectors in which the country has a comparative advantage, and prepare a strategy for building on these advantages. The study will make recommendations for implementation, including policies and institutional reforms for increasing the strategy’s impact and sustainability.

Romania’s accession to the European Union this year has had a significant effect on the country’s economy, particularly in the manufacturing sector. Removing trade barriers will increase global pressures, especially competition from other EU members. The government is aware of the need to implement a structural reform program to cope with these market forces. Hence it is targeting high and sustained growth across key industrial sectors as one of its key economic development goals.

The government has established a team led by Ion Ghizdeanu, President of the National Commission for Prognosis, to collaborate with IFC on the project. The team also includes representatives from the Ministry for Small and Medium-Sized Companies, Trade, Tourism, and Liberal Professions; the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; and the Ministry of Economy and Finances. Arthur D. Little, the international consulting firm, has been commissioned by IFC to conduct the study, which is cofunded by IFC and the government of Spain. The local partner is the Group of Applied Economics.

Margo Thomas, IFC Business Enabling Environment Manager and Regional Program Coordinator, said, “This project demonstrates IFC's commitment to supporting Romania's efforts to increase competitiveness and generate sustainable economic growth.” IFC’s investments in Romania are valued at $1 billion.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through loan participations and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.