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Romanian gov't set targets for 2013 on investment attraction, new job creation

By Lin Huifen (Xinhua)

09:19, July 14, 2013

BUCHAREST, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Romanian government hopes to draw investments worth minimum 10 billion euros (13 billion U.S. dollars) and to create at least 50,000 new jobs by the end of this year, according to a national plan presented late this week.

The so called national plan on strategic investments and new job creation is a plan of short and medium term till 2018, but has set specific goals only for the current year.

According to Prime Minister Victor Ponta, the plan envisages the attraction of investments in key areas for economic growth such as energy, mineral resources, agriculture, industry and infrastructure, looking also to create at least 50,000 new jobs in the next six months, after 100,000 stable jobs were added to the economy over the last year.

In this regard, the government counts on re-launching of foreign political and economic relations both in Europe and Asia.

"The foreign visits, the efforts we have made to mend our relations with important states from Europe and from Asia, will help us attract important investors," said Ponta when presenting the plan.

"We have improved the economic partnerships with important international actors such as Germany, France, Italy, Austria, as well as with several important Asian countries, most notably China," he added.

Through this plan, Romania seeks higher energy independence, a more affordable energy bill, the identification of new resources and new projects, but with high environmental standards, the rural development, investments for farmers and payments for agriculturists.

In what concerns the industry, the targets are an increased competitiveness, the development of industrial parks, support granting for small- and medium-sized enterprises. Moreover, another objective is the development of the road and rail infrastructure.

The list of projects set forth by the investment plan included the gold mining operation at Rosia Montana, as well as the projects U.S. Chevron Company has in Romania.

Stalling amidst environmental consideration for years, the Rosia Montana project is presented as a project "with new environmental standards" where the state will get 78 percent of the profits. Negotiations for the Rosia Montana investment might be finalized in September. As far as Chevron is concerned, the plan is to explore shale gas for increasing energy independence.

Among other investment projects mentioned in the same category there are the Rovinari thermal power station with a new 500 MW energy group, where China Huadian Engineering is in talks to provider an investment of about one billion U.S. dollars, and a 150 million-euro gas-based station at Fantanele Mures coming from Japanese Marubeni in partnership with Electrocentrale Bucharest (ELCEN).

The document also said that the government planned to complete two more units of the country's sole Cernavoda nuclear power station, as well as a 1 billion-euro investment at Tarnita-Lapusesti hydropower station.

"After several visits abroad, the benefits are starting to appear, several investors announcing their intention to come to Romania or to consolidate their presence here: Daimler, Chevron, Exxon, ZTE, Huawei, Oracle, Bosch, Vinci, Pirelli etc. The list is long and the signals are positive," Ponta said.

According to the prime minister, this Plan represents a chance for prosperity and economic growth, for overcoming the development gap that still separates the country from many EU countries.

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