Preparing for OECD – Responsible Reforms and Policies
Joining the OECD and embracing its values, especially in the current context, will allow Romania to achieve a better alignment with the OECD motto: “better policies, better lives”. The preparation for accession is not an easy task, but Romania will benefit from the advantage of international expertise, which must be accompanied by determination and consistency in achieving the set objectives. The progress made since the Roadmap for Accession and up to the present is evident, but more is needed.
About these advances of Romania, as well as about the challenges regarding necessary reforms and policies, I spoke today [N.B. May 3, 2023] at the opening of the conference “Romania in the OECD: toward the club of the good international economic practices”, organized at the National Bank of Romania, in company with the Prime Minister of Romania, the Governor of the National Bank of Romania and the chief economist of the OECD, Álvaro Santos Pereira.
“Dear Prime Minister,
Dear Governor of the National Bank of Romania,
Esteemed Mr. Director Pereira,
Distinguished representatives of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development,
I am pleased to participate in this event as a representative of the Presidency of Romania to convey a message of active support for our country’s accession to the OECD.
The end of last year marked the successful completion of the first stage in achieving this important objective for Romania. In the subsequent stages, our country will have the opportunity to benefit from extensive international expertise, focused constructively on enhancing our economic development potential.
I extend my congratulations to the organizers of today’s event, and I assure you that Presidential Administration supports and encourages these initiatives to promote the advantages of Romania’s membership in the OECD – an organization aptly referred to by you as the “club of good international economic practices”.
It is important to underline that the invitation extended to Romania to join the OECD attests to the correct direction of our economy’s evolution. Going through the accession stages reinforces the national efforts to accelerate necessary reforms and propel our country into a new phase of modernization and economic development.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The latest reports from the OECD regarding Romania’s economic situation highlight remarkable progress in terms of economic dynamics, living standards, and economic resilience during the pandemic.
The OECD recommendations rightly emphasize the priority of effective implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, of improving administrative capacity and achieving structural reforms aimed at increasing productivity and competitiveness, of consolidating public finances, job creation and skills development for the economy of the future.
These are directions in which Romania is acting and has already set ambitious targets. We are certain that the results will become visible in due time, and the developments will be properly reflected in the Economic Study made by the OECD for Romania.
Special attention is directed, in this context, to the economic potential of our country, to competitive directions in terms of sectoral policies, but also towards the spectrum of opportunities for trade and investment at regional and European level.
In the current geopolitical and economic context, strongly marked by the effects of overlapping crises, economic and social vulnerabilities have progressively increased.
The prospects for recovery and economic growth are contingent, more than ever, on the ability of states to find appropriate responses in relation to new challenges.
Our efforts will continue to focus on post-pandemic development as well as the mitigation of the negative effects generated by the illegitimate war launched by Russia against Ukraine. The impact of the war is felt throughout the world, through the increase of prices for raw materials, energy, and through the disruption of supply chains.
In the context of the increase in public debt amid multiple crises, the European Union is launching new directions for reforming the European economic governance framework. Returning to sustainability in terms of economic policies and public finances is becoming a priority and should not be ignored.
Romania benefited from an above average economic growth for the region and the deficit target budget set for 2023 and 2024 reflects Romania’s ambition to soon exit the excessive deficit. But the perpetuation of a low share of tax revenues in GDP in an inflationary context, marked by the increase in prices and high turnover rate in the economy, generates additional challenges.
Maintaining the desired budget trajectory requires more responsibility also in the realm of legislation. Thus, the correct substantiation of the financial impact of public decisions and policies, given the economic priorities and budget limits we face, must become a generalized practice, which would put the administrative system on a healthy basis.
We need constant efforts and joint approaches in the implementation of reforms and investments, in the collection of tax revenues and the absorption of European funds.
The implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, for example, is important not only as a national priority in the use of European funds, but also as a credibility political and economic tool for the investment environment.
Some reform objectives are common points with the OECD agenda. The problem of corporate governance is already the subject of the OECD recommendations for Romania in the report regarding the application of corporate governance principles in state enterprises.
Also, the establishment of the National Productivity Council is another recommendation beneficial to our economy. The OECD Secretariat team, through the Department of Economics, showed their readiness to support Romania in the process of accession for the establishment of the National Productivity Council, in accordance with OECD and European Union standards.
The issue of foreign investment also plays a central role in the discussions regarding the accession to OECD, involving additional safeguards for the liberalization of capital movements and ensuring an open and transparent regime for the access of foreign direct investment in the local market.
In this regard, the consistent increase in foreign direct investment in 2022 confirms that Romania represents an attractive economic destination, which will continue to benefit from political stability and economic predictability – factors so necessary for development.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Not infrequently we found that behind certain decisions, and not just for public policy, there is a need for a solid level of economic and financial education.
We support the steps taken so far in the direction of promoting financial education and developing adequate skills in the matter.
We believe that the work of the International Network for Financial Education of the OECD is worthwhile and must also exert influence at the level of national initiatives and projects.
The post-pandemic economic context calls for increased economic competitiveness, but also for the skills that foreshadow the economy of the future.
This is how Romania’s successful integration into the OECD community can come into play, under the inspired motto of responsibility in public policy – “better policies for better lives”.
Thank you and I wish you success in all that you undertake!”
(The original Romanian version of the speech is available at: https://cosmin-marinescu.ro/pregatirea-pentru-ocde-reforme-si-politici-responsabile/).
Photo source: flickr.com.