Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said on Wednesday that the budget to be allocated in 2023 for research and development will be doubled, if not tripled.
The announcement was made at a meeting with leaders of the Romanian and Belgian business community at the residence of the Romanian ambassador to Belgium Andreea Pastarnac.
"The government is aware of what mean the over 4 million Romanian professionals in various fields, highly qualified professionals who carry out their activity outside Romania and support the economies of the countries where they carry out their activity and also support Romania, because some of them have a significant contribution to what the Romanian economy means. (...) It makes us proud when we meet leaders from the partner states who come and tell us how many Romanians of high professional standing they meet in their countries, how much they appreciate the Romanian community, and it is our duty, a responsibility at a governmental level to offer the possibility that businessmen, Romanians who carry out their activity in other countries can benefit and of what the Romanian government can provide, in support and development of the businesses they own," said Ciuca, told Agerpres.
He mentioned the measures adopted this year by the government to convince Romanian citizens that it is worth turning their attention to their native country.
"The government has released a 40-million-euro programme for 1,000 companies abroad that are managed by Romanians. I would like to mention that under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) the government has allocated 168 million euros to attract high-level specialists in research and innovation. (...) The program can be accessed until November 15 (...) and the cap per project is set at 1.5 million euros over three years. It is a programme that we really want a lot for Romanian researchers from abroad to access and be part of everything we are trying to do now."
Ciuca added that research and development in Romania is not "exactly in the best shape," because in the last national budget research and development public spending was 0.17%.
"We have analysed and we were able to come to the conclusion that even if we came now with 1%, there is still no framework in place to make sure the money is spent. And there is one additional condition - that this spending should not be done on papers and files, but on practical things that will have an impact and produce added value through their subsequent application in the economy. For next year, the budget will be at least double, if not triple, because our intention is to have as real a picture as possible of what can be done and, little by little we will begin to secure the due attention to this field of research and development. We are aware that Romanians need real opportunities and programmes."
Ciuca told the entrepreneurs in attendance that business development in the two countries has contributed to the strengthening of bilateral relations between Romania and Belgium.
He told them that they are welcome to start up in business in Romania, considering the opportunities offered, both by projects funded under PNRR, as well as in the context of the measures taken by the government.
Ciuca mentioned a recent decision taken by the Romanian government regarding the issuing of single industrial licenses.
He also pointed to estimates by international institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, regarding Romania's economic growth, which should get past 4.5% at the end of 2022.
Also attending the meeting was Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu.