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CORONAVIRUS - De toestand in Roemenië

The Coronavirus has been spreading fast around the world, Romania having been hit as well.

As of March 16 the local authorities have imposed unprecedented restrictions and actions aimed at containing the spread of the virus. After two months of strict containment measures, Romania has adopted a gradual relaxation strategy.

The Coronavirus and the containment measures have had a strong impact on the Romanian economy, where contraction of GDP is expected in 2020 due to declines in industrial output, household spending, corporate investments and international trade.

The Romanian Government has taken action to provide real support to the affected economic operators, as well as has taken measures to adopt an investment-led strategy in various economic sectors, such as energy, infrastructure, agriculture and IT.

A smooth economic recovery is expected as long as the outbreak of the coronavirus is contained.

Local authorities presents “Rebuilding Romania” plan supporting actions aimed at changing the country’s development model which currently is based on consumption to a development model based on investment and digitalization.

1. Algemene toestand

Volgens de officiële gegevens van de autoriteiten zijn er op 23 november 422.852 gevallen van COVID-19-infecties in Roemenië bevestigd. Van de 422.852 positief geteste mensen zijn er 296.844 genezen verklaard en uit het ziekenhuis ontslagen. 10.177 mensen zijn gestorven die besmet waren met het coronavirus.

Er zijn 13.685 personen in de geïnstitutionaliseerde quarantaine in Roemenië bij wie wordt gecontroleerd of ze in contact zijn geweest met het coronavirus. Nog eens 48.034 mensen zijn thuis geïsoleerd en staan onder medisch toezicht.

Tot op heden (23 november) zijn 3.908.681 tests op nationaal niveau verwerkt.

De autoriteiten herinneren de burgers eraan alleen de door officiële bronnen geverifieerde informatie in overweging te nemen en voor andere informatie en aanbevelingen te bellen via de TELVERDE-lijn (speciaal open voor het informeren van de burgers).

Autoriteiten benadrukken het belang van sociale afstand en beperking van interactie, om te voorkomen dat er een wijdverspreid intracommunautair bereik is.

Officiële bronnen - coronavirus in Roemenië:

Officiële Covid-19-pagina van de regering van Roemenië - https://stirioficiale.ro/informatii 
Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken - https://gov.ro/ro/info-coronavirus-covid-19 
Ministerie van noodsituaties - http://www.dsu.mai.gov.ro/ 
Roemeens Ministerie van Volksgezondheid - http://www.ms.ro/coronavirus-covid-19/ 
Roemeense grenspolitie - https://www.politiadefrontiera

2. Voorzorgsmaatregelen en 3. Exitstrategie

The local authorities extended the state of alert in Romania for 30 days starting November 15 through December 14.

Most of the restrictions currently imposed under the state of alert have been extended and new other restrictions have been implemented.

Measures:

  • The wearing of face masks is mandatory nationwide in all outdoor and indoor public spaces;
  • Teleworking (where possible) and flexible hours for employees;
  • Nighttime curfew from 23h00 till 05h00 with few exceptions for essensial trips;
  • Indoor markets and fairs are closed;
  • Stores will open only from 05h00 to 21h00 with the exception of: food delivery, pharmacies and gas stations;
  • All schools will be closed and move to online;
  • Public and private parties are banned.

Travel

There is a 'yellow list' of countries with high epidemiological risk updated periodically by The National Committee for Emergency Situations in Romania (CNSU).

Travelers arriving in Romania from the countries in the 'yellow list' are required to quarantine or self-isolate for 14 days. However they may be exempetd from quarantine if the duration of their trip is less than 3 days (72 hours) and they can present a negative COVID-19 test not older than 48 hours.

The 'yellow list' countries can be viewed via https://www.cnscbt.ro/index.php/liste-zone-afectate-covid-19/2104-lista-state-hotarare-cnsu-nr-55-din-20-11-2020/file

COVID-19 testing

The list of accreditted facilities in Romania for certified COVID-19 testing can be found on the website of the Ministry of Health at http://www.ms.ro/centre-testare/  

Meer info:

4. Economie

a. Economische impact

In the first quarter of 2020 Romania's economy increased by 2.4% compared to the same period of 2019. The first quarter results have been only moderately impacted by the Coronavirus, the slowdown of the Romanian economy could be seen only starting the second half of March after the state of emergency have been instated.

The biggest impact in Romania has been estimated to emerge in the second quarter of this year. The anti-pandemic measures have led to significant percentage contraction of the Romanian economy, with the main drags coming from industry and trade. Thus Romania's economy decreased by 10,5% in the second quarter of 2020 according to the data issued by the National Institute of Statistics.

According to the National Institute of Statistics, Romania's GDP went up by 5.6% in the third quarter (Q3) of this year compared to the previous quarter (Q2).

Bank economists expect a recovery of the local economy in the second half of this year.

The main effects that entrepreneurs feel as a result of the coronavirus pandemic are: decrease in sales, temporary suspension of the activity, unemployment, restriction of the activity, delays in the payment of suppliers, closing some companies.

Tourism, transport and hospitality and restaurants are among sectors hit hard by the crisis caused by the new coronavirus. Production companies, especially the companies in the automotive industry – both producers and distributors, have been much affected as well.

There are economic sectors who have recorded growths as their activity have never stopped during the containment measures.

b. Handelsbelemmeringen

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c. Relancemaatregelen

The Government of Romania has adopted measures aimed at helping local companies deal with the effects of the new coronavirus epidemic:

* Extended guarantees for companies that take loans for investments and working capital:

- Emergency ordinance to increase the maximum total value of guarantees – the government increased the ceiling by RON 5 billion (EUR 1.04 bln) and could reach RON 15 billion. The government guarantees loans for investments and working capital for which the interest is 100% subsidized. The guarantee covers 90% of the loan value for loans up to RON 1 million, and 80% for loans over RON 1 million.

VAT of up to RON 9 billion (EUR 1.87 bln) will be reimbursed to allow companies to benefit from the working capital needed to operate.

* Covering the costs with technical unemployment for the companies that suspend their operations due to the coronavirus, from the Labor Ministry’s budget, through the Workforce Occupancy Agency.

- Government will pay 75% of the gross salary, as much as the monthly unemployment benefit, but not more than 75% of the (national) average salary.

The Romanian government launched the IMM Invest programme, a key component to support small and medium enterprises affected by the coronavirus crisis. Local SMEs can use the platform to submit financing applications within the Government-backed loan program.

The Government of Romania activated Euro 400 million of pre-arranged financial support from the World Bank to help prevent and respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. The financing covers a range of interventions to strengthen health services, minimize the losses to both the public and private sectors, and to safeguard lives and livelihoods overall.

The European Commission has approved a RON 16 billion (approximately €3.3 billion) Romanian scheme to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April 2020.  

ERBD approves new strategy for Romania with focus on infrastructure, productivity and financial sector

2 July 2020 - The Romanian government has recently presented “Rebuilding Romania” National Investment and Economic Relaunch Plan which targets transport infrastructure, energy infrastructure, healthcare infrastructure, education infrastructure, investments for local development, agriculture and irrigation infrastructure, environment investments and sports infrastructure.

Through this program more than 100 billion EUR will be allocated to change the country’s development model from consumption to a model based on investment and digitalization.

d. Economische vooruitzichten

According to the European Commission's autumn forecast released on November 5th, Romania's GDP is set to contract by 5.2% this year, improving its July estimate of a 6% decrease. In 2021 Romania's economy is expected to rebound to 3.3% growth.

Consumer prices projections - 2.2 in 2020 and 1.5 in 2021, while the current account balance projection stands at -5.5 in 2020 and at -4.7 in 2021.

IMF is giving a concerning outlook on the unemployment rate this year in Romania, 10.1%, when it stood at only 3.9% last year. The unemployment is estimated to decline to 6% in 2021.

(August 14) The local government's estimation is more optimistic forecasting a contraction of GDP by 3.8% in 2020, followed by a swift recovery as long as the outbreak of Coronavirus is contained.

e. Opportuniteiten op korte termijn

  • Technology and business process outsourcing as the demand of support services is growing;
  • Software for networks – due to the unprecedented increase of traffic;
  • Online retail and logistics expansion – due to growth in online sales
  • Pharma industry – to reach record high levels

f. Opportuniteiten op lange termijn

  • Transport infrastructure – construction of motorways and expressways, repairment and modernisation
  • Healthcare infrastructure – constructions of regional hospitals and dozens of smaller nursing units
  • Education infrastructure – construction of schools, kindergartens
  • IT & telecommunications

-> Digital economy: software, productivity tools, online commerce

  • Agriculture and irrigation infrastructure
  • Energy, gas and water distribution – expansion of water supply and sewage networks
  • Environment

5. Nuttige Links

IMM Invest platform https://www.imminvest.ro/
World Bank – Romania https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2020/04/02/euro-400-mill...
European Commission – Romania https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_649
ERBD – Romania https://www.ebrd.com/news/2020/ebrd-approves-new-strategy-for-romania.html
Call for Saving Economy (Romanian language) http://www.ghenea.ro/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Apel-pentru-salvarea-eco...

6. Dossier Coronavirus

Het coronavirus heeft een wereldwijde impact, niet alleen op de gezondheid maar ook op de economie. Ook uw export kan hiervan gevolgen of zelfs hinder ondervinden.

FIT monitort de risico's dagelijks en ons buitenlands netwerk informeert u over alle implicaties voor Vlaamse exporteurs op hun internationale activiteiten.

In het dossier Coronavirus vindt u een aantal nuttige tips, adviezen en inzichten in de economische impact van de verspreiding van het virus op internationaal ondernemen.

Met vragen over internationaal ondernemen in tijden van Corona, kan u terecht bij exportadvies-corona@fitagency.be.

23 november 2020