Romania and France have common interests in regulating international trade, in the context in which the car industry is exposed to commercial conflicts that have recently affected the steel and aluminum market, Minister for Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship Stefan-Radu Oprea stated on Thursday, in Paris.
The Romanian official participated on Thursday in the Romania-France Economic Forum, organised in Paris by the French Ministry of Economy and Finance. In his speech, Stefan-Radu Oprea presented Romania's priorities for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the acceleration of procedures for the implementation of trade agreements currently in negotiation or ratification stage, and the reform of the World Trade Organisation.
French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire said he supports the rapid adhesion of Romania to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an important element for the business environment. Moreover, the French official appreciated the very good bilateral collaboration and preparation and exercising of Romania's mandate of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
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On behalf of Romania's delegation Minister of Public Finance Eugen Teodorovici and secretary of state in the Ministry of Economy Ilie Calin Bodea also delivered speeches.
Stefan-Radu Oprea also proposed to the two ministers of Finance to support the inclusion the next multiannual financial framework of the European Union of a financing instrument for innovative start-ups, which have the potential to reach the "unicorn" status. This strategy supports competitiveness and helps Europe to recover the gap of the digital industry, in the context in which, at present, the innovative companies are all heading to the US in search of financing.
The Economic Forum was organised under the auspices the multidimensional project generically called "Romania-France Season," which takes place over November 2018 - July 2019.
France is the fourth trade partner of Romania. In 2017, the volume of trade exchanges between Romania and France accounted for 8.23 billion euro, up 4.63 per cent compared to 2016. The trade balance recorded a positive balance of 231.53 million euro, compared to 271.64 million euro in 2016.
In the first eight months of this year, the bilateral trade increased by 11 per cent compared to the same period of 2017, up to 5.92 billion euro. Export totalled 3.12 billion euro, which is an annual growth of 13.7 per cent. Imports, worth 2.79 billion euro, saw a growth of 8.2 per cent compared to the same period of 2017.
In respect to the contribution of French investments to the development of Romanian economy, France ranks 6th, with investments worth 2.33 billion euro, 5.28 per cent of the total direct foreign investment. According to the French side, the stock of French investments in Romania exceeds 7 billion euro.