2013: Maybe the most critical year for Romania during this decade
Last year Romania had a great chance to take advantage of neighbors’ problems and rise as an economic power in the South Eastern Europe. Instead, the vast majority of Romanian politicians did anything possible to spend the country’s potential and lose great ground. Finally, at the year-end, the atmosphere calmed and in the dawn of 2013 it seems that Romania will have one more chance: A chance to change the country’s future, even if the majority of its politicians and citizens behave like they don’t really believe in it.
The geopolitical map around Romania
As 2013 has already settled in our lives, an objective observer would realize that:
- Hungary has a government that is not exactly European Union’s dearest.
- Bulgaria is heading to elections, but its business environment is not exactly “attractive”.
- Greece “did its best” last year in order to commit suicide. Finally, the government elected last June managed to save the country and restore its position inside the Eurozone, but it seems that the problems are not over yet. One more critical year is waiting its citizens.
- Serbia is too busy with Kosovo problem, but there are more issues regarding mentality and country’s authorities that prevent investors to pour in their money, despite the expected admission to the European Union some time during this decade.
- Bosnia Herzegovina, Albania and Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia are still too small to compete with Romania.
- Ukraine has followed a path to isolation, losing the investors’ appreciation. Just imagine that in the Renewable Energy sector it offers the highest prices in Europe, but not even 5% of world market players do not consider entering.
- Moldova is still far from the moment that it can be considered as a pole of power in the region.
While the South Eastern Europe was facing huge challenges in 2012, Romania almost stated “I can do worse than them”.
Romania’s progress during 2012 hurricane
Facing Romania’s situation last year, with the political hurricane and its consequences, many other countries would have been economically isolated or destroyed. Romania instead proved that it worths people’s attention:
- The economy remained “healthy” despite the electoral year.
- All economic indicators look “under control”.
- Debt / GDP ratio is among the lowest in Europe (less than 35 %!)
- Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) rose for the first time since 2008.
- All these happened without having a “perfect” year for agriculture, production-wise.
- The national currency’s depreciation was not so deep (for the level of problems the country faced) and the situation has been stabilized.
- The National Bank of Romania and it Governor have restored order and protected the national reserves effectively.
- The economy remained in positive growth despite the incapability of absorbing European Grants at decent levels. (So with EU money missing, things are under control. If some billions eventually enter the country, then the impact will be tremendous).
- Many new mayors have been elected in populated areas, showing signs that they have appetite to improve their cities.
2013: Maybe the most important year for Romania during this decade
In 2012 Romania lost ground so as to take advantage of the geopolitical environment in the South Eastern Europe. Still the situation remained under control.
Now we have entered in a year that might be the most critical one for the country during this decade.
- A new government is in place, backed by strong majority.
- The next elections will take place in the summer of 2014 (for the European Parliament) and in December 2014 (presidential elections).
- The need for real reforms is stronger than ever.
- The uncertainties in European and world economy seem to be less than 2012 (not that they are eliminated of course, but we do not expect major negative surprises).
- The countries around Romania are not expected to boost to economic growth or attract large sums of FDI (with the exception of Greece, which has the potential if it gains control over its problems)
Many times all of us look at our daily routine and problems, get frustrated by wrong behaviors and tend to see everything as “black”. However, this is not the case for Romania in 2013. If the country takes advantage of the situation, 2013 can be the year that will set up the basis for Romania’s rise during the following years. For all the above-mentioned reasons and plenty more.
One more chance to lose or a status to benefit from?
Last year most of the Romanian politicians had lots of fun by fighting and quarrelling. But now all this “party” should cease a bit, because there is too much work to do. After the elections in Germany (in September), Europe will enter in a new era and the ones who will prepare good will benefit the most until 2020.
2013 is the year that will mark Romania’s future. Will it be “one more lost chance”?
Or is it going to be “the time when the country benefited from its political and economic status and performed a ‘a new beginning’ with success”?
What is your opinion?