Romanian economy recovers slower than regional peers – IMF official

By bne IntelliNews May 30, 2014

Romania’s economy might return to the pre-crisis GDP levels but it has recovered slower than its regional peers, the IMF resident representative for Romania and Bulgaria, Guillermo Tolosa, told a press conference. Structural reforms and EU funds absorption are needed for maintaining the good performance seen last year.

Underdeveloped infrastructure, particularly railway and power networks, drag the country’s economy down, Tolosa explained. Furthermore, the agriculture accounts for a relatively large share in the country’s economy [some 6%] and remains an important growth driver – but this also results in a certain volatility of the GDP, he added.

The exports, the energy sector and the EU funds are the opportunities that Romania has to capitalise on, Tolosa commented.

Exports account for only 40% of GDP – meaning that there is a robust potential for growth toward levels of 100% seen in more developed countries like the Czech Republic. The exports to Germany are only 6.4% in the case of Romania – compared to 25.5% in the Czech Republic and 21% in Hungary, he furthered.

Romania enjoys a broad range of energy resources and the energy imports account for only 10% of total imports – compared to 30-35% in other countries, Tolosa said commenting on the growth potential generated by the energy sector.

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