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EDITORIAL - Highlights of the month

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By Cristian Cojanu
While politicians are still busy mulling over the results of the recent local elections and much of the nation seems captivated by the excitement and passion delivered by the Euro 2016 in France, some may still want to know what has been happening in the economy for instance.
So, based on fresh data from the National Statistics Board, media reports have indicated that the annual industrial production growth sped up to 3.4 per cent in April from 2.9 per cent the previous month, while for the first quarter factory output gained 1.2 per cent year-on-year.
Over January-April, the country’s trade gap widened to 2.79 billion Euro from 2.01 billion in the same period last year. Statistics showed that exports rose by an annual 4.4 per cent to 18.56 billion Euro, while imports increased 7.8 per cent to 21.35 billion Euro in the first four months. Reports also showed that machinery and transport equipment accounted for 48 per cent of exports and 37.6 per cent of imports, while other manufactured goods stood for 33.2 per cent of exports and 31.2 per cent of imports. The EU was Romania's main trading partner in the first four months of 2016, accounting for 78.4 per cent of imports and 76.1 per cent of its exports.
In turn, the central bank (BNR) said the foreign direct investment in Romania fell 23.8 per cent to 887 million Euro in the first four months of the year. BNR’s figures also showed that equity amounted to 1.43 billion Euro, while inter-company lending recorded a net negative value of 545 million Euro. In the same period last year, FDI stood at 1.16 billion Euro.
In addition, local media reports have talked about a recent International Monetary Fund recommendation that Romania should cancel or delay its planned fiscal relaxation measures scheduled for next year, in the hope that the country’s public debt returns to a downward path. Under its new Tax Code, Romania is expected to reduce VAT to 19 per cent, eliminate a special tax on construction and cut the extra excise duty on fuel. 
Elsewhere, EBRD procurement specialists and 30 experts from Romania’s National Anti-corruption Directorate discussed ways to identify and reduce fraud in the use of public funds. According to EBRD, the participants to the workshop also focused on best practices in international contracting.
Last but not least, Business Arena’s events agenda has reached a peak in recent weeks, with two of the most important business events of the year: Austria – Romania Roundtable Business Conference and Awards and the Most Admired Business Women Awards. Find more details about these traditional events, about our upcoming business conferences and awards, and the latest interviews and opinions in this new edition of Business Arena.

The editorial is also available in our print edition.

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