Education, the first step to competiveness

Education, the first step to competiveness

Several immediate measures to be taken by local authorities and regulation bodies are outlined by Gabriel Biris, Founding Partner of Biris Goran Law Firm



The last months’ events of larger or smaller amplitude that have taken place in the Romanian economy show clearly that the biggest impediment for a more articulate economy structure and mechanism is the political turmoil and the weakness of the Romanian authorities.



Tax evasion is still at very high levels and we are not able to attract EU money. In addition, our economy is very much depending on exports to countries that have their own problems of growth. Last but not least, the Euro crisis is also affecting our country because of less financing available and higher costs.



Directly linked to Europe and taking in the best of it but also the challenges and the hardships delivered by the wider markets’ stage into our own, Romanian economy is impacted hard at this time but some of the causes are internal, not novelties and they are defining our weaknesses in different systems. Several problems can still find their solutions and I will refer to my area of expertise:



- Reduce and simplify the compulsory social security contributions


- Introduce legislation to stimulate establishment in Romania of holding companies

- Extend reverse taxation for VAT wherever possible

- Reform the tax on buildings

- Fight tax evasion


In addition, Romania should take all necessary steps to start attracting EU funds at a reasonable pace. On the other hand, if we are to refer to the banks’ money, I could rephrase in just one sentence: “lending depends on liquidity”. Reducing the needs of the state for financing is one direction, another could be attracting of funds from abroad. I would stimulate repatriation of funds by Romanians.






A functional economy bases on several strategic directions for which, the authorities are or should be involving their resources in terms of drafting laws and regulations through their regulatory organisms. For instance, energy is a very important and also strategic segment. Energy itself, as notion, it is needed for basically everything.



We need to ensure that we have sufficient energy and at decent costs. The greener, the better. The same is in the case of the infrastructure. However, I think that the most critical issue that Romania has to face on medium but also long run is the education. We need to rapidly grow the quality of our education system; otherwise we will lose very fast in terms of competitiveness.



Romania needs to address major projects in both energy and infrastructure, because it needs to replace its ailing electricity production capacities, while also play its important transport role in southeast Europe.



Such projects have been delayed for decades and progress was only marginal over time. It is difficult to deliver blunt and triggering immediate effects – solution, but PPP's can be an option to boost investments in this area.






Romania suffers badly in terms of state health services as well as from the perspective of the state's social security system including pensions. Still, the general feeling is that too little has been done to fix this.



While alternative private healthcare systems and retirement schemes are generally much too expensive for the average citizen, all the governments thus far seem to have not found better ways to help the population from these two perspectives.



Healthcare systems are expensive everywhere in the world. Romania should do more for education and prevention to reduce costs on long run. It should also look at some costs, which seems to be too high.



However, the most important problem that Romania needs to solve, and solve it fast, is to keep its doctors form leaving the country.



We have lost more than 10.000 doctors in the last 5 years and this is already an issue of national security. Their salaries and working conditions should improve fast.