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Business Environment

Unemployment rate rising in the region

In the current European context, the evolution of unemployment rate is particularly important for major investments as well as for small and medium sized enterprises. Forecasts are bleak as possible : "I think unemployment rate did not reach yet its highest rate, but this will happen in 2010, in the first or second quarter. I do not think we will reach a rate of 10% but this is my opinion, "said the economist of the World Bank, Catalin Pauna.

Here we are in the second quarter of 2010 and taking into consideration the overview of the first quarter of this year we can say that the forecasts are not far from being fulfilled. If the unemployment rate in Romania for the last quarter of 2009 was 7.5%, in the first quarter of 2010 it reached 8.3% in comparison to 5.6% in the same period of last year.

This applies not only to Romania, the same upward trend being valid for Bulgaria too, another country in the region. read more»

Romania may offer financial support during the crisis

At the end of last year, the European Commission approved a program proposed by Romania which is valid until December 31, 2010 and is expected to offer support to the companies that have financial problems due to the worst conditions of the economic crisis.

The financial support may be granted by the Romanian authorities only to companies that were not în difficulty on July 1, 2008. The companies will receive grants, concessional loans, interest subsidies, guarantees or phasing the claims hold by the state without charging interest.

The influence of new political realities on the investment climate of the Republic of Moldova

The year 2009 was certainly not the best for Moldova, in all respects. It started with a campaign that slowly degenerated into a real political crisis, which, unfortunately, at the end of the year continues. A political crisis that we hope it will be resolved soon and which in tandem with global financial and economic crisis has created an unprecedented situation for Moldova.

However, nothing can lie a good eye of an investor who knows that a crisis may be a perfect runway, if you know how to pave the way and take advantage of the specific geographical region. An economic crisis brings beautiful investment opportunities with little money, because the whole economy has become "cheaper", but with the same critical needs. The giants in the business world recommend the crisis as the most favorable moment for large projects.

Moldova is a special case which succeeded to stick his head in 2 crises that affect itself one to each other. read more»

Entrepreneurs will receive from now 30% pre-financing for EU projects

Many entrepreneurs who wanted to apply until now on projects funded by EU have been discouraged by the lack of pre-financing. So far entrepreneurs received a pre-financing of 10-20% which was calculated from the co-financed amount, which extended to approximately 50% of the project.

Now, the entrepreneurs can receive from start 30% from the value of projects financed by European Union money.
The only problem entrepreneurs will still be facing is the difficulty of receiving loans from the banks for running the projects.

2,700 companies about to recover the VAT from the Romanian state in October

The companies that ask the VAT reinbursment from the Romanian state still have to recover about 911 billion euros, almost 3.827 billion lei. Between February and August the state has returned 1.69 billion euros (7.10 billion lei) according to NAFA data.

The largest peak of the payment was recorded in August when the Government returned 1.197 billion lei (285 million euros).

The monthly reimbursement is made at three fixed terms, i.e.: on 4th, 24th and 29th of each month and the outstanding debts will be paid within 45 days, as the former premier Emil Boc declared at the end of June.

NAFA President, Sorin Blejnar, said that the National Agency for Fiscal Administration (NAFA) will pay in October approximately one third of the amounts outstanding to companies for VAT refunds. So, over 2,700 companies were about to recover the VAT from the state last month.

The EU unemployment equal to Romania's population

The UE unemployment rate reached a value-record of 8.9% in June 2009, being the highest level of the last four years, informs Eurostat, European Statistics Institute.

In May, the unemployment rate reached 8.8%, while in the euro zone was registered 9.3%. In June, the value registered the record of 9.4%. The 9.4% represents for this region the highest level in the last ten years.

In numbers, the EU unemployed rate in June has exceeded 21.5 million people, aş much as the Romanian population count. Of this number, nearly 14.9 million people without a job were registered in the euro area. Compared with June 2008, the number of unemployed people increased by 5.02 million in the EU and 3.17 million in the euro area. The countries with the lowest unemployment rates recorded in June were in Netherlands (3.3%) and Austria (4.4%) and the highest were recorded in Spain (18.1%) Latvia (17.2%) and Estonia (17%). read more»

How the economies of the countries in Eastern Europe contracted during the crisis?

With the publication of economic data for the 2nd quarter of 2009 we find that all the countries of Eastern Europe were hit by the crisis, with deeper decreases in the economy than countries in Western, Southern or Northern Europe.

Economic data for Q2 2009 compared to Q2 2008 reflects a dramatic decrease in the economy of the Baltic countries (the largest reductions in Europe) positioning first Lithuania with a decrease in the economy of 22.6%, followed by Latvia with 18.2% and Estonia with 16.6%. Place 4 among the most affected economies is occupied by Romania with a decrease of 8.8% followed by Hungary with 7.4%, 5.3% in Slovakia, the Czech Republic with 4.9% and Bulgaria with 4.8%.

The decreasing trend of the economy is followed by another important country in Eastern Europe whether it is not a member of the European Union, namely Ukraine, reporting a decrease of 18% in Q2. read more»

EU gave us the money, but we are risking not to receive them

From the amount of 12.95 billion euros that Romania has borrowed from International Monetary Fund, it already received only 5 billion. The next part of 1.9 billion euros will get into our accounts on September 15.

However, it appears that the compliance with the International Monetary Fund mission is very difficult for Romanian authorities. The IMF evaluations shows that the bank field is going relatively well, but the problem is on fiscal - budgetary policy. In order to make it work we need reforms and to reorganize the social policies, pensions and the salaries law in the public sector.

Signing the agreement with the IMF, the Romanian state has undertaken to take measures to strengthen the public finances, the first measure being the gradual reduction of the budget deficit through strict control of public expenses. Once the IMF mission will visit again Romania and based on their conclusions it will be decided whether to release the next part of loan or not. read more»

EU enlarges with a new institution - the Council for Systemic Risks

A new page of European Union history has been written once with the establishment of the first European institution with responsibilities in terms of monitoring developments in financial and banking markets and reporting the systemic risks.

The European leaders have decided the establishment of a new European institution – the Council for Systemic Risks - in response to the G20 Summit which took place in London, on April 2, when the participants have asked a better monitoring of economies in general and financial and banking markets in particular. read more»

Bulgaria – a Favorable Place to Invest

Costs of doing business in Bulgaria are about 46 percent lower than the average in the EU, said Petar Dimitrov, Minister of Economy and Energy, quoted by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA). On March 5, he called on participants in the Bulgarian Business and Investment Forum to invest in the country, as the cheapest place to invest in the European Union.

Factors that make Bulgaria attractive for investments in times of a global economic crisis are the low labor costs and taxes. The social security burden in the country ranks fourth in the EU. read more»

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