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Friday, September 17, 2004
Business in Romania blog
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Romania has hundreds of companies that operate illegally and damage the image of the country abroad, the head of a foreign investors association said in comments published Thursday.

Foreign Investors Council Chairman Gilbert Wood said Romania, which does not yet have a market economy that functions by European Union standards, is being preyed on by corporate ``sharks'' that don't respect Western ways of doing business.

``There are some 500 sharks in Romania swimming in a pool following their own laws and distorting the market,'' the Adevarul newspaper quoted Wood as saying. He did not elaborate and was unavailable for comment Thursday.

The EU, which Romania wants to join in 2007, has repeatedly urged the government to speed up democratic and economic reforms and reduce corruption to qualify for membership.

Wood also complained that multinational companies don't benefit from the same treatment as state companies, some of which have been allowed to accrue large debts to the state, a practice the EU has criticized.

State companies ``benefit from having huge debts wiped off .

although some of these problems have been resolved,'' he said at a seminar on Romania's economy.

The average monthly salary in Romania is 6 million lei (US$180, euro150), and annual inflation is about 12.4 percent, compared to 7.2 percent in neighboring Hungary, which joined the EU in May.

Posted by Mihai : 9/17/2004 11:07:00 am Investors Comment on Romanian Companies
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