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deAdela Cristea December 14, 2007

What do we expect from 2008?

One more year just passed by, our first year as citizens of the European Union, and as in any moment of evaluation we look back and try to understand what brought us the year that just passed, but specially we look into the future and try to understand what changes the next year will bring us.

2007 was our first European year, a year with many changes but also with many confusions. Many reforms were started, but unfortunately many others were slowed down.

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One more year just passed by, our first year as citizens of the European Union, and as in any moment of evaluation we look back and try to understand what brought us the year that just passed, but specially we look into the future and try to understand what changes the next year will bring us.

2007 was our first European year, a year with many changes but also with many confusions. Many reforms were started, but unfortunately many others were slowed down.

One more year just passed by, our first year as citizens of the European Union, and as in any moment of evaluation we look back and try to understand what brought us the year that just passed, but specially we look into the future and try to understand what changes the next year will bring us.

2007 was our first European year, a year with many changes but also with many confusions. Many reforms were started, but unfortunately many others were slowed down.

I’m not thinking of commenting the year that just ends but to ask myself what I expect from the year that comes. Not from a personal perspective, but from the perspective of the consultant who tries to reflect the expectations of his clients. Many things came to my mind this way, things that I would like to be changed in the Romanian legislation, within the business environment, respectively in the attitude of those with whom we have to interact as business people. This is how I found myself in front of a long list of “gifts” that I expect Santa Claus will bring us for 2008. But, because I believe in the principle “non multa sed multum” and also because I believe we always have to keep the right measure and to have achievable expectations, I tried to make a short list with the 5 most important problems we encounter today as business people, those that I strongly wish to be solved next year.

My first expectation relates to a need of clarification within the fiscal environment. 2007 brought many changes, but also lot of confusion in this respect. Therefore I hope 2008 will be a consolidation year, which will put the fiscal reforms into a more stable frame, will eliminate confusions and will confer safety and transparence to the business environment.

The second expectation relates to the liberalization of the labor market. I strongly believe that a reform in this respect became crucial. The economic development of Romania is putted under question mark by the bigger and bigger lack of personnel in all fields of activity. But still obtaining a labor permit in Romania for a foreigner, especially for those coming from non-EU countries, is more complicated than in countries like Germany or Italy. The obtaining procedure for working permits is difficult, obsolete and completely inadequate to our day realities.

Another expectation of the business environment is the clarification of some aspects related to the tax on the revenues of non-residents. We wish a complete elimination of this tax with respect to the services delivered by foreign companies towards Romanian companies, especially because in most of the cases the Romanian companies end up by paying the tax. It is an absurd kind of tax, respectively a limitation of the access to foreign know-how, besides extremely necessary in Romania.

I’d continue the list with an expectation that responds to another need resulted from the labor market, the need to create a more stable environment for employers and to reduce the extreme personnel fluctuation that currently exists on this market. I believe that this time, the labor legislation should change in order to ensure a better protection of the employers, in order to increase responsibility of the employees, respectively in order to stimulate some measures that will increase personnel retention.

Not last, we all wish for an important change in the attitude of the state institutions towards the tax payers. Unfortunately we still encounter the very offending attitude of some civil servants who believe that any investor is trying to steal from the state, that any business is a form of cheat. Not to mention the nonchalance and surfeit of the civil servants, or the delays with whom the state respects its obligations towards the tax payers.

And I still have many other expectations. But those I will tell only to Santa Claus… If those listed above will be solved in 2008, I believe next year I’d wait for Santa happier and more optimistic…