Prospects of Further Development
Western Romania is a success story, considering the current and real development perspectives. The city on Bega maintains the traditional role of triggering the national development countrywide, shown by statistics ranking Timisoara as second after Bucharest in terms of business growth
Text courtesy of Nicolae Robu, mayor of Timisoara
Both the overall GDP and the GDP per capita indicators recorded a yearly evolution compared to the national average. In this context, one can say that the growth prospects are real.
The current development comes from the fact that Timisoara continues to be attractive for investors, by offering fiscal facilities welcomed by the companies in the region, in line with their investment volumes and the created job pool. Also, the city is experienced in project development based on European funds, with a 95.34 per cent absorption rate and 100 per cent success rate for these EU funds-financed projects. This adds to multiple local projects financed by the local budget. We take great pride in the fact that the city hall of Timisoara enjoys a good reputation in terms of transparency and money spending reports and this has also resulted in a great competition among the companies, either local or international, to access the funding.
The opportunities and benefits enabling the business growth locally comprise a modern and complex infrastructure, the good connectivity due to the close highway and the international airport, the high-rated workforce, besides the fiscal facilities offered by local administration. For us, the greatest challenge is to fully develop the local capacities in terms of business development, together with the neighbouring county Arad, in order to consolidate our position as a development pole in Romania.
The dialogue between the private and public structures is considered to be efficient, because at the city hall we try to meet the need for the business development voiced by companies, by offering and enabling all the tools that are our responsibility. For instance, at the demand of the large companies operating at Timisoara in the automotive sector, we developed a local centre for training and work skill development, financed by EU funds. Also, we created the IT&C business centre. However, there is still room for improvement, especially in the sector of public-private partnership projects, to better answer the needs of the business environment. Also, at the national level, we need more predictability and stability in legislation and a simpler regulatory structure. So far, there are many rules that contradict themselves or are subject to interpretation when they have to be implemented.
At the city hall, we developed a Consultative Economic Council, where representatives of local administration and business people meet and discuss the matters that affect the business environment and where the dialogue is meant to result in concrete projects to empower the business development and the entrepreneurial education. The council is formed by 40 representative institutions operating in financial and economic sectors, from business clubs, clusters, development agencies and banks, to universities and diplomacy. The council functions as a workgroup. The short and medium term priorities are to enable the support tools for the Excellency Centre in the automotive sector and the IT&C business centre, to attract a larger commitment from universities and professional schools into the business environment, after the German model of dual education system.